On The Mats

K.J. Pilcher

K.J. Pilcher is a reporter for SourceMedia Group, and he covers prep sports and college wrestling, among other things. His wrestling podcast, called the "Pinning Combination" is available here at TheGazette.com and also on iTunes.

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Each point made a difference for Solon

DES MOINES - The state trophy has reached its new home in Solon.

Well before the Solon caravan toted the hardware down I-80, each Spartan qualifier had a hand in grabbing the championship.

Solon needed every single point to capture its f ... »

Nelson Brands, Max Lyon capture second state wrestling championships

DES MOINES - Iowa City West's Nelson Brands preferred the repeat performance.

Western Dubuque's Max Lyon favored his first title run a little more.

They both can agree this year's state tournament was twice as nice.

Brands and Ly ... »

Bryce West claims third state wrestling title, Solon edges New Hampton in 2A team race

DES MOINES - Solon's Bryce West rose to his feet and calmly held three fingers in the air.

The gesture signified the select group he joined with his third state title. He doesn't have enough digits to show a more elite accomplishment.

To ... »

Solon, New Hampton battle for Class 2A state wrestling title

DES MOINES - The Class 2A team race between Solon and New Hampton remains tight, heading into the championship matches.

The Spartans reclaimed the lead after the 2A consolation finals of the state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Solon ... »

Xavier’s Josh Gerke takes tough road to third at state wrestling

DES MOINES - Josh Gerke wrestled his final match and walked to the corner.

For the final time, he was met by Cedar Rapids Xavier Coach Ryan Chambers and Saints assistant Kevin Murray. They wrapped arms around each other and soaked in the occasio ... »

Bryce and Drew West earn one last chance at gold together

DES MOINES - Bryce and Drew West already have state titles.

The one thing they haven't done is climb to the top step together in the same year. The Solon seniors gave themselves one last chance.

The top-ranked twins reached the state fin ... »

Western Dubuque's Bradan Birt joins brothers as state finalists

DES MOINES - From third-string freshman to third in the state rankings, Bradan Birt's wrestling career has come a long way.

Western Dubuque's senior 132-pound took it another step further with a shot at the top step on the state podium.

... »

Lisbon takes the lead at 1A state tournament

DES MOINES - With the quarterfinals in the books, Lisbon has grabbed the lead in the 1A team state wrestling race.

The Lions ended the session with 50.5 points, edging out Sibley-Ocheyedan (44) and Don Bosco (37). It was not a great round for th ... »

Western Dubuque moves to fourth with three semifinalists

DES MOINES - Western Dubuque climbed another spot in the team standings and secured some individual hardware in the process.

The Bobcats have three semifinalists and moved into fourth in the team race after the quarterfinals and second-round con ... »

Solon gets a leg up on 2A state wrestling competition and takes team lead

DES MOINES - Solon's Graeson Dall took the term "break a leg" a little too literally.

The common phrase used to wish actors good luck took on a new meaning when he took the proverbial stage at Wells Fargo Arena.

Dall has persevered a bro ... »

Xavier’s Josh Gerke takes tough road to third at state wrestling
DES MOINES - Josh Gerke wrestled his final match and walked to the corner. For the final time, he was met by Cedar Rapids Xavier Coach Ryan Chambers ... »
Marion's Conway brothers reach state quarterfinals
DES MOINES - Form a young age, Marion's Caleb and Colin Conway trained in their own basement. Like many young athletes, they pretended those scraps w ... »