For the second-straight year, the blood round proved to be too much.
On Friday night is a round that no wrestler likes to be in. It is called the blood round, because the winner will go on to stand on the podium at the State meet, while the one defeated has to have their year close.
This season, Kuemper Catholic’s Shea Parkis did just about everything he could to move past the dreadful blood round.
Parkis scored a lot of points in his opening round against Kain Luensman from Monticello, but Luensman scored just a little bit more, winning the match 12-6.
In the consolation round, Parkis took on Decorah’s Austin Wilkins in a match that was an instant classic.
Wilkins took the lead with a one-point escape late in the second period. Parkis then tied the match up early in the third period. With just 14 seconds left, Parkis scored a takedown and took the lead.
Things tightened up at the end of the match when Wilkins was able to gain an escape with three seconds left, but Parkis held onto the narrow victory 3-2 to advance to the second day of competition.
Against Michael Macias of Assumption, Davenport, Parkis held an early lead, getting one point off an escape in the second period.
Macias would gain an escape and a takedown in the third period to send Parkis home, despite being so close to the podium.
“He is definitely hungry for next year,” said Shane Vaughan, the head coach for Kuemper Catholic. “Shea was absolutely a good enough wrestler to place this year, and he knows that. It’s going to be something that motivates and drives him, but you can’t dwell on it. He’s a smart kid, and he’ll be able to refocus and start preparing for his senior season.”
Parkis finished his junior season with a 43-5 record. He was named the Hawkeye 10 champion of his weight class.
“Shea wrestled confidently this year down at Wells Fargo Arena,” Vaughan said. “He was definitely the aggressor in his matches and did a good job staying focused on the things that were within his control.”