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Five of six hit podium for STC Trojans

February 23, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Three years ago freshmen Tanner Probasco and Isaac Judge, juniors Jaret Probasco and Bailey Chyma, and seniors Brandyn Jensen and Ian Slagle walked out of the Solon High School gym empty handed. South Tama walked away from Districts without a single wrestler qualifying for the State Tournament. It was a first for South Tama and not a first anyone wanted. At the time, Coach Nate Van Dyke called it an eye opener especially for the younger wrestlers.

The STC wrestling program has come a long way in those three short years. Once again, history was made only this time for the good. South Tama sent six senior wrestlers to the State Tournament from Feb.15-17. Those wrestlers included Brady Fritz (132), Tanner Probasco (138), Colton Vest (145), Isaac Judge (152), Dalton Rosenburg (182) and Mario Moncada (285).

The history maker for the Trojans came from STC's Isaac Judge. Judge captured his second State Title, which was a first for South Tama. Never before had South Tama produced a multi-year state champ. Some had come close such as Paul Bradley who was a runner-up in 2000 and Champ in 2001 but no one had gotten it done until Judge. See the full story in Toledo Chronicle (Feb. 21). A fun fact for STC wrestling fans, Judge won his titles at the same weight as Coach Van Dyke won his State Title in 2003.

Article Photos

South Tama’s Brady Fritz scrambles around Assumption’s Matt Robertson for a take down in the Class 2A 132 Finals match on Saturday, Feb. 17. Robertson was able to defend his title over Fritz. Following the match Fritz was comforted by coaches Nate Van Dyke and Jason Arp.
News Herald Photos/Allison Graham

The Trojans had not one but two wrestlers in the State Finals. It had been nearly two decades since that has occurred. Chris Harrison won a title in 2002 and Danny Elsbury was a runner-up that same year. This year it was Isaac Judge and Brady Fritz.

Brady Fritz joined the South Tama wrestling program in 2016 as a sophomore, transferring from East Marshall. He began his bid to the Final round by pinning Brody Roll of Osage in the opening round. Fritz then upset No. 1 ranked Will Esmoil of West Liberty with a 5-1 win in the quarters. A 5-2 win over Jack West of Winterset in the semis put Fritz in position to capture his dream of a State title.

The final bout was between Fritz and the defending state champion, Matt Robertson of Davenport Assumption. The match was interesting visually as the two could not have been built any different. Fritz is long and lankey and Robertson is short and bulky.

Fritz had a good handle on the match through the second period, however one swift move by Robertson caught Fritz and locked him up on his back near the edge of the mat. Robertson would have probably been awarded back points but the two were called out of bounds. The take down put Robertson up 4-3. After resetting, Fritz tried to work himself free but was unable to get an escape or reversal. Fritz finished as the runner-up. While it surely wasn't what he wanted Fritz finished his career as a very decorated wrestler for the Trojans. He went 46-4 his senior year, was a three time State place winner, and also earned 150 career wins.

Tanner Probasco finished his high school career taking third place. Probasco's high school career had some ups and downs. He really had a tough tournament his junior year and did not place. He came back his senior year and had a strong showing.

Probasco won his opening match 13-5 over Adam Ahrendsen of Union. He pinned Cam Rice of C/WMU in the quarters but fell in the semis to No. 2 Jarrett Miller of Ballard. Probasco had a dominate wrestle-back topping Easton Graff of Sergeant Bluff-Luton 8-0. His third place match was a rematch from Districts. Probasco once again took down Colby Tool of PCM for third. Probasco closed out his senior year 30-1, was a three time state qualifier, two time place winner and earned 150 career wins.

He accomplished all of this while dealing with a should injury, which forced him to change his offense but did not slow him down.

"What he did was amazing this year," Van Dyke said. "He tore his labrum in football and his shoulder sub lexes every day and that's just another level of toughness. What he did to have a one-loss season and come up finishing third place at state is amazing. I am going to be talking about him to a lot of teams for a long time."

The group of STC seniors was rounded out by Dalton Rosenburg at 182 and Colton Vest at 145 who finished 7th and 8th. Five of the six State qualifiers finished as medal winners each getting to climb the podium for recognition. Mario Moncada who wrestled at 285 who was eliminated in day one. This was a very special group for the STC wrestling program and they surely will be talked about for years and years to come.

"It's been a blast working with them and all season the expectation has been higher so it's hard to just relax and have fun with them in their last year. But this weekend I had fun with them and they didn't disappoint," said Van Dyke. "They competed hard, I just loved being a part of it and they all have great support systems. They all build each other up and they are all great kids and it was an honor to be a part of that group."

To top it all off the Trojans finished third as a team at the Individual State Tournament and were awarded a trophy following the final match of the tournaments.



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