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.





Regina’s Big Schott: Senior Ryan Schott wins third tournament title

IOWA CITY - Iowa City Regina's Ryan Schott could not have scripted the day much better.

The Regals senior had his brother, T.J., in his corner, his family cheering him on from atop the bleachers and he was in his home gymnasium. The setting ... »

Lisbon overcomes forfeits to win bracket at Battle of Waterloo

WATERLOO - Lisbon wrestlers know to bring their lunch pails to work.

The Lions are not strangers to hard work, but this weekend they needed their shovels as well.

Unable to fill the lightest weight class and an open weight due to injury, ... »

Watch: Pinning Combination returns with Iowa high school, college wrestling talk

The Pinning Combination is back for the 2017-18 wrestling season.

Watch as The Predicament's Wyatt Schultz, former Cedar Rapids Jefferson coach Dick Briggs and The Gazette's K.J. Pilcher talk Iowa high school and college wrestling.

Among ... »

Williamsburg handles transition from football to wrestling seasons

WILLIAMSBURG - The transition from fall to winter sports seasons produced a mix of good and bad for Williamsburg.

The football team reached the Class 2A state football finals, earning a runner-up finish in mid-November, which was very good.

... »
New faces, old expectations for Prairie wrestling

CEDAR RAPIDS - Cedar Rapids Prairie Coach Kane Thompson expected some growing pains this season.

After all, the Hawks only returned six starters from last year's team that won a fifth consecutive Mississippi Valley Conference Super meet title. ... »

Wrestling Weekend That Was: Iowa fans get first look at Spencer Lee

Iowa had some memorable and long awaited debuts. A pair of prep wrestlers delivered the marquee match that many expected. Brock Rathbun is honored in the wrestling weekend that was.

Lee is free

Well, not really, but Iowa wrestling fans ... »

Duane Schulte of Cedar Rapids Xavier is The Gazette's 2017 football coach of the year

CEDAR RAPIDS - On the wall behind Duane Schulte's desk hangs laminated newspapers from seasons Cedar Rapids Xavier reached the playoff round of 16.

Eyes don't have to wander far to see an old photo of two smiling sons, Bryce and Quinn, as they b ...

Family is an important part of Schulte's life. He has coached all three sons. His oldest, Reggie, led Xavier to consecutive 4A title games in 2012 and 2013, continuing his career at Northern Iowa. Bryce reached the semifinals in two of his final three s ...

Schulte has been the only head football coach at Xavier, which opened in 1998. He had served as the Cedar Rapids LaSalle head coach for four seasons before the school merged with Cedar Rapids Regis.

LaSalle introduced Schulte to some special com ...

All the pieces are in place for continued success.

Schulte admitted he used to entertain the idea of resigning when Quinn graduated. He has more of a "year-by-year" and "see what happens" approach.

"I'm still coaching because it's fun," ... »

West Liberty’s Joe Kelly tops state champion for Mount Vernon Invitational crown

MOUNT VERNON - Joe Kelly was feeling a little under the weather.

Just a cold and nothing that resembled the circulated rumors.

The West Liberty senior looked healthy, capturing the 152-pound title and helping the Comets tie Lisbon for ... »

Iowa City High’s Jacob Dykes focused on strong finish

IOWA CITY - Jacob Dykes drew motivation from chasing higher ranked wrestlers last season.

He ascended the list as the wins mounted in a regular season that ended without a loss and maintained a perfect record, earning his second Class 3A state t ... »

The wait is almost over: Alex Marinelli expected to make Iowa debut

IOWA CITY - The wait is over for Alex Marinelli.

This weekend will bring an end to the recurring question of when he will take the mat in the University of Iowa singlet.

The redshirt freshman and Hawkeyes Coach Tom Brands assured that Ma ... »

Video: Tom Brands talks to media during weekly interviews
IOWA CITY - Iowa Coach Tom Brands made his weekly appearance in front of media Tuesday at the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Br ... »
Van Meter beats Iowa City Regina for Class 1A football title
CEDAR FALLS - Just about everything that could go against Iowa City Regina did. Take the fourth-down conversion that became one of three first-half t ... »
Cedar Rapids Xavier beats Pella in state championship to complete perfect season
CEDAR FALLS - The final second ticked off the clock and Cedar Rapids Xavier Coach Duane Schulte turned to his assistant coaches for one last instructi ... »
Waukon drops Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley to return to state football finals
CEDAR FALLS - The first time Waukon played for a state football title a young Mitchell Snitker served as a ball boy. At that time, there had to be vi ... »