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When Julien Broderson steps on the mat, you better not flinch. There is a strong possibility you'll miss the match.

No wrestler was more dominant and spent less time competing at Bettendorf's Freeman-Castro Midwest Shootout than the Davenport Assumption junior.

Five matches, five first-period falls.

Broderson pinned Class 3A eighth-ranked Will Hoeft of Iowa City West in one minute, 12 seconds Saturday afternoon for the 182-pound crown at Bettendorf High School.

"I was just trying to win matches last year," Broderson said. "Now I'm trying to win as fast as I can or score as many points as I can, and I'm pretty confident in winning.

"I warm up and just know I'm going to win. That's my mentality every time."

Broderson (20-0) has had only one six-minute match this season. He's recorded 15 pins, three forfeit victories, a technical fall and a 10-4 decision.

Since claiming a state championship last February, Broderson hardly has taken a break. He wrestled AAU, placed fourth at Fargo Nationals in the Cadet Greco Division and has trained feverishly for a repeat title run.

"He's a pretty focused guy, and wrestling is a big part of his life," Assumption coach Pete Bush said. "You can see he's improved significantly since last year, and he was a state champ last year. It is kind of scary what he's going to accomplish this year and the year after that."

Broderson, who collected his 100th career win Friday, still is highly motivated from missing out on the state tournament two years ago as a freshman.

"I don't want to miss the state tournament ever again," he said. "That was a horrible feeling."

Broderson was one of four local champions in the 16-team tournament.

Camanche had two in Baylor Crigger (152 pounds) and Kolby Snodgrass (220) while Bettendorf's Will Jefferson (138) also took top honors.

Fueled by four titles, Waukee won the tournament with 289 points. Johnston was runner-up at 253.5, and Waverly-Shell Rock snatched third. Assumption took fifth and Bettendorf was eighth.

Crigger (30-0) received a medical forfeit win in the final over Oswego's Juan Bazaldua. Crigger has had only two tight matches all season, both coming in this tournament.

"That was important because I haven't had many matches go the distance," Crigger said. "That will help me for next weekend (at Bob Lueders) and further on."

Snodgrass (31-1) arguably has been the surprise story of the area.

After not even making it out of sectionals last year, the senior picked up the biggest tournament title of his career Saturday.

He took down Burlington's Mason Hartman in sudden victory for a 3-1 win.

"One of the only 2A schools in this building, winning a tough competition like this, hopefully sets me up for a good spot at sectionals," Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass' lone loss was a 2-1 setback to state-ranked Brett Schoenherr of Midland.

"After that loss, I knew I had to get my head in the game and keep pushing because there was a lot of season left," Snodgrass said. "I had to focus on the prize, and that's to be on the podium at state."

The gaudy record even shocks Snodgrass, who anticipated to have double-digit losses by this point in the season.

"He's more dedicated this year," Crigger said. "He has a different mindset. He's a senior and knows he has to lead. I'm proud of him."

Jefferson spent the first half of the season wrestling at 145. Recently, he decided to drop down to 138.

The Bettendorf junior recorded a takedown 28 seconds into his final and finished off the fall in 1:14 against Johnston's Sterling Brunk.

"I felt good (at 138), felt strong," Jefferson said. "It shows that the hard work is paying off."

Looking at the competition statewide, Bettendorf coach Dan Knight said Jefferson made the decision to drop down.

"From a team standpoint, it helps us a bunch, but that's where he wants to be as well," Knight said. "It is a win-win for everyone."

Jefferson believes he can contend for a state title at that weight. Knight was very encouraged by what he saw this weekend.

"He's usually slow and methodical, but his foot and hand speed are better, and he's getting more confident, taking more shots and finishing his shots," Knight said. "It makes him a lot more complete when he's able to score a lot on his feet."

In a battle of top-ranked wrestlers at 132, Johnston's Zach Price downed Assumption's Matt Robertson 10-7 in the finale.

Price, named the tournament's most outstanding wrestler, used a big second period to open up a 10-2 cushion. Robertson executed a five-point move late but suffered his second finals loss in as many weekends.

"It just showed I need to get to my offense earlier," Robertson said. "If I would have pushed the pace a little bit earlier, it would have made a difference in the match.

"He's long, strong and very good defensively, but I definitely feel this will help me. Win 100 matches and lose one, and you learn more out of the one loss than those 100 wins. Although the losses suck, it is good for me and shows what I need to improve on."

Assumption's Trenton McDonough (106) and Seth Adrian (195), Pleasant Valley's Eli Loyd (132) and Bettendorf's Griffin Liddle (285) each took third place at their weight.

"We're not as far as I thought we'd be at this point, but I was happy with a lot of results the last two days, and this is a great stepping stone," Bush said. "Our inexperience has shown a lot this year, but it showed less the last couple of days. We went forward as a team this weekend."


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.