The Perfect Ending to Four State Titles

West Delaware clenches the win over rival, Independence, for the fourth year in a row, leading to the fourth consecutive championship title for the Hawks.


Jenne Voelker

The Hawk’s pose with their trophy and banner after claiming their fourth state title.

Lexi Harbach, Staff

Winning a state dual title is impressive by any means, but that wasn’t enough for top-ranked West Delaware. With the senior class of 2022 leading this year’s team to their fourth straight victory, their win this season came with hardships, lessons, and teamwork.

Heading into the 2021-2022 wrestling season, the Hawks’ starting lineup consisted of 14 boys, seven being new starters to the varsity team. At the beginning of the season, the Hawks fell short to tough competition such as Waverly Shell-Rock and Don Bosco. 

Although these boys faced tough competition in their first few weeks of duals, they did not let those hardships faze them. “Those first duals really made us more accountable for one another as teammates,” said Carson Less, a junior and three-year varsity starter for the Hawks. “We all wanted to get better so we pushed each other to succeed.” 

Not long after, the Hawks found their groove and continued undefeated in duals the rest of the season. 

After breezing through regional duals, the team headed into the 2022 State Duals with a fourth state title in their sights.

Coaches Jeff Voss and Adam Reth celebrate with seniors Voelker and Peyton as Monaghan (sr) claims his fall against independence. (Jenne Voelker)

Sawyer Falck (220) and Cameron Geuther (285), both juniors at West Delaware, started the state duals off strong with a fall in 33 seconds for Falck and another in 1:08 for Geuther. Despite the energy the Hawks showed right off the bat, the Nikes won six out of the next eight matches—until the Hawks’ 160-pounder took the mat.

Jadyn Peyton, a senior at West Delaware and four-year varsity starter, stepped on the mat and gave the energy back to the Hawks. Despite his torn ACL and ranked opponent, Peyton took control and pinned Samuel West in 1:39.

“I knew that this match was key to our team finishing the dual,” Peyton said. “I just went out there, did my thing, and tried to bring excitement back to the boys.”  

The Hawks ended this dual, 40-32, and advanced to compete against Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the semifinals. 

The number four ranked SBL Knights started off hot winning six out of the eight first matches. Guether, Less, and freshman Brent Yonkovic kept the score close with their combined 13 points. The Hawks trailed, 13-24, until Peyton’s, Kyle Cole’s (sr), and Will Ward’s (jr) teamwork came through with three falls to take the score to 31-24.

 Number one ranked senior Wyatt Voelker (195) took the mat by storm with a fall in 1:11. This put the win out of reach for SBL. After his win, Voelker turned to his lined-up teammates and yelled, “We’re going to finals, baby!” The excitement carried through to the last match when Falck claimed his fall in 1:49, ending the dual 43-24. 

In the 2A state dual finals, the Independence Mustangs and West Delaware Hawks faced off for the fourth year in a row. After the Hawks came out on top with the coveted Highway 20 Clash trophy this year, the wrestlers and fans were excited to compete against their rivals one more time.

Independence started off strong with a 0-12 score heading into the 120-pound match. Less took on Kale Wieland and won the match with a 5:1 decision. Less’ energy carried through as the Hawks won the next three matches with a fall in 1:33 from Engel and a decision from Jax Miller (Fr) and Yonkovic.

With the energy levels higher than ever, the middle and upper weight classes did not come to mess around. The Peyton brothers, Logan and Jadyn, came out hot and claimed their falls both under 2:00 minutes. With a score of  27-18, Cole, Ward, and Falck added to that total with one major decision and two pins. Falck, a new starter for the Hawks, pinned his opponent Landon Duffy in a quick 23 seconds.

“I walked out there feeling loose, and I tried to treat it like any other match. Once I was out there, the energy from the fans fired me up to do my best,” Falck said.

2022 State Dual Statistics

Leading the Mustangs 49-18, Coach Jeff Voss sent out senior Cody Monaghan to cap the season. “I was nervous,” Monaghan said. “I knew this would be my last match in a West Delaware singlet, but the boys and crowd gave me confidence. I went out and wrestled my best match ever. It was a perfect ending against Independence for the state title.”

A perfect ending is right. The Hawks claimed their fourth straight title against Independence with a pin from Monaghan and an ending score of 55-18.