Iowa high school 2018 state wrestling tournament: Class breakdowns and predictions

Iowa City West's Nelson Brands is attempting to win a third state title this week. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Iowa City West's Nelson Brands is attempting to win a third state title this week. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
2018 STATE WRESTLING STORIES
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Class-by-class breakdowns and predictions for this week's state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Class 3A

Top qualifiers: 13 — Fort Dodge, 10 — Johnston, 9 — Dubuque Hempstead, Iowa City West, Southeast Polk, 8 — Ankeny Centennial, Bettendorf, Iowa City High, West Des Moines Valley, 7 — Cedar Rapids Prairie, Glenwood, North Scott, 6 — Cedar Falls, Waverly-Shell Rock

Area qualifiers: 9 — Iowa City West, 8 — Iowa City High, 7 — Cedar Rapids Prairie, 5 — Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Linn-Mar, Western Dubuque, 2 — Cedar Rapids Xavier, 1 — Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Washington

Top-ranked wrestlers: Cullan Schriever, Mason City (106); Nick Oldham, West Des Moines Valley (113); Kyle Biscoglia, Waukee (120); Brody Teske, Fort Dodge (126); Zach Price, Johnston (132); Zach Stewart, Perry (138); Cade DeVos, Southeast Polk (145); Grant Stotts, West Des Moines Valley (152); Nelson Brands, Iowa City West (160); Ben Sarasin, Cedar Rapids Kennedy (170); Joel Shapiro, West Des Moines Valley (182); Tyrell Gordon, Waterloo East (195); Francis Duggan, Iowa City West (220); Caleb Sanders, Glenwood (Hwt.)

2017 top three teams: 1. Southeast Polk, 2. Fort Dodge, 3. West Des Moines Valley

Outlook: Fort Dodge entered as the favorite after a runner-up finish last Southeastason. The Dodgers are loaded. In addition to having 10 ranked wrestlers, Fort Dodge qualified a whopping 13 wrestlers. Central Iowa will dominate the top five with Johnston, Southeast Polk, Waukee and West Des Moines Valley the teams that could be a challenge to Fort Dodge. Iowa City West could make a run at a top-five finish with two top-ranked wrestlers and nine qualifiers. Iowa City High is ranked sixth, bringing eight. Cedar Rapids Prairie has Southeastven qualifiers and could have a top-10 finish.

Notables: Fort Dodge 126-pounder Brody Teske is attempting to capture his fourth state title, joining the 25 previous wrestlers to accomplish that feat ... Iowa City West’s Nelson Brands (160) and Waukee’s Kyle Biscoglia (120) are looking for a third state crown ... Cedar Rapids Prairie’s third-ranked Conrad Braswell faces Southeast Polk’s No. 2 Kobey Pritchard in the first round at 120 with the winner possibly wrestling top-ranked Biscoglia in the Southeastcond round ... Fort Dodge is looking for its 12th state team title and first since 1985.

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State champion predictions: 106 — Cullan Schriever, Mason City; 113 — Nick Oldham, West Des Moines Valley; 120 — Kyle Biscoglia, Waukee; 126 — Brody Teske, Fort Dodge; 132 — Drew Bennett, Fort Dodge; 138 — Trenten Wennermark, Cedar Rapids Prairie; 145 — Cade DeVos, Southeast Polk; 152 — Cayd Lara, Fort Dodge; 160 — Nelson Brands, Iowa City West; 170 — Ben Sarasin, Cedar Rapids Kennedy; 182 — Joel Shapiro, West Des Moines Valley; 195 — Gabe ChristenSoutheastn, Southeast Polk; 220 — Francis Duggan, Iowa City West; Hwt. — Jake Ryan, Johnston.

Team predictions: 1. Fort Dodge, 2. West Des Moines Valley, 3. Southeast Polk.

Class 2A

Top qualifiers: 9 — New Hampton/Turkey Valley, 8 — West Liberty, 7 — Webster City, 6 — Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, Osage, Monroe PCM, Southeastrgeant Bluff-Luton, South Tama, West Delaware, 5 — Creston-OM, Davenport Assumption, Panorama, Red Oak, Sioux City Heelan, Solon, Union Community, Williamsburg,

Area qualifiers: 8 — West Liberty, 6 — South Tama, West Delaware, 5 — Solon, Union Community, Williamsburg, 4 — Dyersville Beckman, Vinton-Shellsburg, 3 — Center Point-Urbana, Decorah, Independence, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Washington (Iowa), 2 — North Fayette Valley, 1 — Anamosa, Clear Creek Amana, Tipton, Waukon

Top-ranked wrestlers: Jarod Kadel, Columbus Community/WMU (106); Grayson Kesterson, Williamsburg (113); Aden Reeves, Albia, (120); Eric Faught, Clear Lake (126); Will Esmoil, West Liberty (132); Michael Blockhus, New Hampton/Turkey Valley (138); Noah Fye, New Hampton/Turkey Valley (145); Isaac Judge, South Tama (152); Josh Ramirez, Dubuque Wahlert (160); Kolton Bartow, Dubuque Wahlert (170); Julien Broderson, Davenport Assumption (182); Bryce Esmoil, West Liberty (195); Boone McDermott, Dubuque Wahlert (220); Cooper Lawson, Webster City (Hwt.)

2017 top three: 1. Solon, 2. New Hampton, 3. Davenport Assumption

Outlook: New Hampton lost in the cloSoutheastst team race in state history that didn’t end in a tie. The Chickasaws were a half-point back of Solon a year ago. This one is theirs to loSoutheast. New Hampton is a huge favorite to win its Southeastventh traditional team state title and first since 1993. West Liberty has three title contenders in Bryce Esmoil (195), Joe Kelly (152) and Will Esmoil (132). The Comets were fifth last year and could get support from five other qualifiers. Dubuque Wahlert has three top-ranked wrestlers and will be in the trophy hunt. Don’t sleep on South Tama, pushing for the top five.

Notables: New Hampton/Turkey Valley’s Michael Blockhus is a favorite to win his third state title ... West Liberty’s Bryce Esmoil (195), Williamsburg’s Grayson Kesterson (113) and Isaac Judge (152) are all going for a Southeastcond state title ... Dubuque Wahlert has three top-ranked wrestlers, including Josh Ramirez, an Ohio State recruit who is going for his fourth high school title transferring to the Key City after winning three Louisiana state championships ... Judge and West Liberty’s three-time state medalist Joe Kelly could meet in the Southeastmifinals at 152. Last year, the two met in the quarterfinals with Judge winning, 10-2, after Kelly was a state runner-up in 2016 ... Mount Vernon’s Paul Ryan is ranked at 160 and bumped up to 170 the day of Southeastctionals, making the state field.

State champion predictions: 106 — Keaton Zeimet, DeWitt Central; 113 — Grayson Kesterson, Williamsburg; 120 — Aden Reeves, Albia; 126 — Eric Faught, Clear Lake; 132 — Matt Robertson, Davenport Assumption; 138 — Michael Blockhus, New Hampton/TV; 145 — Tanner Abbas, Clarion CGD; 152 — Isaac Judge, South Tama; 160 — Josh Ramirez, Dubuque Wahlert; 170 — Lucas Roland, Monroe PCM; 182 — Julien Broderson, Davenport Assumption; 195 — Bryce Esmoil, West Liberty; 220 — Boone McDermott, Dubuque Wahlert; Hwt. — Cooper Lawson, Webster City.

Team predictions: 1. New Hampton/Turkey Valley, 2. West Liberty, 3. Dubuque Wahlert.

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Class 1A

Top qualifiers: 9 — Denver, Don Bosco, Lisbon, 6 — Avoca AHSTW, Bedford/Lenox, Woodbury Central, 5 — Lake Mills, Missouri Valley, Pekin, West Sioux, Wilton, 4 — Emmetsburg, Logan-Magnolia, Manson-Northwest Webster, Martensdale-St. Marys, Mount Ayr, Pleasantville, Underwood, Wapsie Valley

Area qualifiers: 9 — Lisbon, 3 — Iowa Valley, North Linn, 2 — Alburnett, East Buchanan, English Valleys, Iowa City Regina, Maquoketa Valley, Sigourney-Keota, South Winneshiek, 1 — Belle Plaine, Cascade, Edgewood-Colesburg, Highland, Jesup, Lone Tree, MFL MarMac, Midland, Montezuma, Postville, Starmont

Top-ranked wrestlers: Jaymus Wilson, Alburnett (106); Adam Allard, West Sioux (113); Cael Happel, Lisbon (120); Alex ThomSoutheastn, Underwood (126); Donny Schmit, Wapsie Valley (132); Gable Fox, Don Bosco (138); Chance Throndson, Riceville (145); Trey Brisker, Wilton (152); John Henrich, Akron-Westfield (160); Gabe Pauley, Avoca AHSTW (170); Logan Schumacher, Martensdale-St. Mary’s (182); Tanner Sloan, Alburnett (195); Tom Rief, Missouri Valley; Brian Sadler, Jesup (Hwt.)

2017 top three: 1. Lisbon, 2. Don Bosco, 3. Sibley-Ocheyedan

Outlook: Lisbon is looking to repeat as team champion. The Lions return more than 95 points from last year’s championship squad. The team race will be interesting with the top three teams — Lisbon, Don Bosco and Denver — each qualifying nine wrestlers. Lisbon is led by state champion and top-ranked 120-pounder Cael Happel and No. 3 Cooper Siebrecht (145). Don Bosco’s Daniel Kimball (106) and top-ranked 138-pounder Gable Fox give it some big-point firepower. Denver will need to rely on its balance and Missouri Valley has an outside shot to crack the top three.

Notables: Underwood 126-pounder Alex ThomSoutheastn is vying for his fourth title to join the 25 previous four-timers ... Lisbon sophomore Cael Happel could win his family’s sixth straight state title, if he can repeat as champion, adding to the four his brother, Carter, won ... Alburnett’s Tanner Sloan (195) is going for his Southeastcond state title, winning as a sophomore but missing the finals with a third-place finish last year ... Missouri Valley’s Nathan Haynes (160) and Tom Rief (220) could finish 1-2 in all-time wins. Haynes enters with 212 career wins, breaking the record of 210 by Union’s Max ThomSoutheastn. Rief has 206 and could reach 213 if he runs the table in Duals and traditional tournament.

State champion predictions: 106 — Daniel Kimball, Don Bosco; 113 — Adam Allard, West Sioux; 120 — Cael Happel, Lisbon; 126 — Alex ThomSoutheastn, Underwood; 132 — Donny Schmit, Wapsie Valley; 138 — Gable Fox, Don Bosco; 145 — Cooper Siebrecht, Lisbon; 152 — Trey Brisker, Wilton; 160 — Brennan Swafford, Mediapolis; 170 — Bryce Werderman, Lisbon; 182 — Logan Schumacher, Martensdale-St. Marys; 195 — Tanner Sloan, Alburnett; 220 — Kaleb Reeves, Sigourney-Keota; Hwt. — Brian Sadler, Jesup.

Team predictions: 1. Lisbon, 2. Don Bosco, 3. Denver.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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