DES MOINES — Wrestling, sometimes, is a bit of a gamble.
Sometimes, a sure thing disappears.
That was the case on Saturday night. Dubuque Hempstead’s third-ranked Chad Bellis saw an opportunity to change the outcome and went for it.
Ankeny’s top-ranked Trever Anderson was ready with a counter, and held off Bellis, 3-2, to win the Iowa Class 3A 120-pound state championship on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
“I was really confident that I was going to score, that’s why I took the chance,” Bellis said. “But that’s part of the deal. You can get scored on in those big moves. That’s what happens.”
Bellis chose the down position to start the second period of a scoreless match and escaped 7 seconds into the round. The duo battled to a stalemate for the rest of the period.
Anderson chose down to start the third and escaped 8 seconds later to knot the match at 1. Anderson’s takedown came with 40 seconds left and Bellis escaped with 14 seconds left, but Anderson held off his late charge.
“I was firing off on my attacks, but he came prepared and he really wanted to put me in his best position,” Bellis said. “I felt like I had to go big in the third because I didn’t want to go into overtime and I thought I had a chance to score, but it just turned into his scoring opportunity, which really sucks, but, again, all respect to him.”
Bellis, a senior transfer from Bloomington, Ill., finished his senior season with a 24-2 record — his only losses came to Anderson, now a two-time champ, and returning champion Bailey Roybal of Waverly-Shell Rock.
Bellis caps a stellar prep career with his third state medal — two from the Illinois state tournament — and he was the 2019 Illinois Class 2A 106-pound champ.
“I don’t feel like I wrestled my best in the finals, but I told God that no matter what happens I’m going to use it as a learning opportunity to get closer to him,” he said. “It really sucks and I feel terrible right now, but I’m going to stick to my promise. I’m going to try to look at the best possibility and really try to get closer to him.”