DES MOINES — The redemption tour is complete.
Julien Broderson lost twice during the regular season. He avenged both defeats in the postseason.
A year after not making it out of districts, the Davenport Assumption sophomore is an Iowa Class 2A state wrestling champion.
Broderson knocked off second-ranked Ryan Gorman of New Hampton in the 160-pound finale Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, 4-2.
“Me coming in today and wrestling how I did, it really proved how much you can improve in one year,” he said. “It is a great, great feeling.”
Assumption made it a championship sweep. Matt Robertson, after a dramatic semifinal win, staved off Keokuk’s Brant O’Shea 3-2 in the 132-pound championship match.
Robertson and Broderson are Assumption’s 21st and 22nd state champions.
“It’s pretty special, something that’s going to be with me for a lifetime,” Robertson said.
It was enough to propel the Knights to third place in the team standings and a trophy with 83 points, 3.5 in front of Creston/Orient-Macksburg. Solon edged New Hampton by a half-point for the title.
Broderson lost to top-ranked Luke Hageman of Dyersville Beckman and Gorman during the regular season. He beat Hageman in the district championship 10-5. He took down Gorman in front of the 30th consecutive sell-out crowd on championship night.
“(The Gorman loss) was one of the losses I really wanted to avenge,” Broderson said, “and I got to do it in front of everybody that I know.”
After a scoreless first period, Broderson tallied a reversal in the second period. He added a takedown off Gorman’s attack in the third period to build a 4-1 cushion.
“He has great athleticism and it paid huge dividends to get that takedown,” Assumption coach Pete Bush said. “Julien has always kept focused on what he wanted. His goal was to be a state champion this year, and he never deviated from that thought.
“Tonight was the crowning moment of all the efforts he put in during the season and offseason.”
Robertson hardly cracked a smile after having his arm raised.
“It feels pretty good, but I definitely felt like I could have wrestled better,” Robertson said. “I wasn’t very impressed with my performance. Three-to-two is a little too close.”
Robertson (46-1) recorded a first-period takedown and an escape in the second but never could add on. O’Shea closed the gap with a takedown in the final 15 seconds.
“I wrestled kind of slow, and that’s not how I like to wrestle,” Robertson said. “I would have liked to have gotten a lot more takedowns in that match and turn him, but I wasn’t able to do it, and that’s why it was so close.”
Bush had no qualms about his performance. The result was all that mattered.
“Even though it probably wasn’t as sexy as he likes, because he enjoys entertaining the crowd, he did enough to get a championship,” Bush said. “That was his goal.”
Robertson placed seventh in Class 3A last year with Pleasant Valley. He transferred in the offseason.
“I knew it was a great decision when I walked into practice on the first day at Assumption,” he said. “The mentality was different than it was in the PV room. Clearly it was the right decision.
“With this skill set I’ve gained being at Assumption, I’ll hang with anybody in the state now.”
After having his championship aspirations dashed in Friday night’s semifinal, Assumption’s Noah Broderson regrouped with two first-period pins in the consolation round to place third.
Noah Broderson (43-4) was emotional walking off the mat. He placed third at state twice and seventh as a sophomore while compiling more than 130 wins the past three seasons.
“It just started hitting me after my last match that I didn’t win state and it was the last time wrestling in an Assumption uniform,” Noah Broderson said.
Even without an individual title, Noah Broderson leaves with a slew of memories.
“Just all the fun times I had with my teammates and how one coach can change your whole life,” he said.
Noah Broderson plans to wrestle in college but has not selected a school yet.
“I’m not going to stop training,” he said. “I’ll probably be back in the room in a couple days getting ready for the postseason and national tournaments.”
His teammates, Sean Casey (126) and Brock Timmons (170), each placed eighth.