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Two North Mahaska wrestlers are still alive for a position on Saturday’s podium while the two seniors saw their high school careers come to an end with losses in the consolation bracket. Junior Joel DeJong and sophomore Ryan Groom remain in contention in the consolation bracket. A win in tonight’s action places them no worse than eighth.

North Mahaska currently sits in 35th in the team race with 15.5 points. Perennial favorites Don Bosco and Alburnett are first and second respectively with 95.5 and 80.5 points.

DeJong was first up in Thursday’s action and faced Nodaway Valley’s Keyin Steeve. DeJong scored a first period takedown and in the second added a reversal and three back points before securing a pin at the 3 minute 53 second mark.

Joel DeJong of North Mahaska gets his hand raised after pinning Oakland Riverside’s Jordan Smith in 1:18. He faces Wilton’s Owen Adlfinger tonight at 126 pounds. Photo by William Goemaat.

In the second round of consolations DeJong secured a first period pin of Jordan Smith of Oakland Riverside in 1:18. The victory pits him against Wilton’s Owen Adlfinger. DeJong has an overall record of 39-12 while Adlfinger is 44-10.

Senior Angello Wittenburg saw his season come to an end when he lost for the second time. He opened Thursday in the 157-pound consolation with a 10-6 decision of Martensdale-St. Mary’s Conor Cassady, the fourth-seeded wrestler. Cassady (42-4) opened the match with a takedown and Wittenburg escaped. Cassady added another takedown and led 4-1 going into the second period.

Wittenburg scored three takedowns in the second period while Cassady was awarded two escapes. Wittenburg escaped in the third period then scored a takedown for the win. Wittenburg improved his season record to 35-9.

Austin McMahan, right, met Jacob Bishop of Hinton in a consolation bout Thursday. The two went toe-to-toe before Bishop pinned McMahan in the final minute. Photo by William Goemaat.

In what would be his final match, Wittenburg was facing Gage Holub (38-17) of Lisbon. Wittenburg scored first with a takedown and Holub made a quick reversal and pinned the Warhawk at in 1:29.

The other senior Austin McMahan also saw his state trip end in the consolations. He met Hinton junior Jacob Bishop (41-7) and lost a 7-1 decision. McMahan was awarded a penalty point in the first period then Bishop controlled the rest of the match. McMahan ends the season 22-15.

Entering Thursday’s action, Groom was the lone Warhawk on the championship side of the bracket. Groom met three-seeded Brody Brisker of Wilton in the 132-pound bracket. Brisker scored a first period pin of Groom in 1:37 for Groom’s first loss of the tourney.

Groom (46-4), the sixth seed, will meet Hinton’s Ethan Sachau (23-8), who is seeded seventh in the tourney.

A Facebook post by coach Groom stated, “We experienced ups and downs today but that’s what the state tournament is all about. Joel and Ryan wrestle tomorrow (Friday) starting at 6 p.m. First round is the blood round.

“Unfortunately, our two seniors are done. We are proud of their accomplishments this season and wish them the best on their future! Thank you for your dedication to our team and the sport of wrestling Austin and Angello.”

Coach Ryan Groom said the two remaining wrestlers are poised for their matches tonight.

North Mahaska’s Ryan Groom, right, squared off with Wilton’s Brody Brisker and lost by pin at 132. Groom, the sixth-seeded wrestler, will meet Ethan Sachau of Hinton tonight. Photo by William Goemaat.

“Yea, Joel looked like a man on a mission and he is locked in and ready to roll,” said Groom. “Ryan also looked good. He is ready to get the next best thing, third place.

“The other two boys wrestled well. Sometimes life’s not fair and we deal with it as it comes. I can’t express to how proud and honored I am that I get the chance to coach these kids. This is what it is all about watching kids strive for their dream.”