116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
ALBURNETT — The Pirates have consistently been a top-three team in Class 1A and this year promises more of the same. Alburnett swept state traditional and duals titles. The Pirates return the most points from last year's field, including state champion Tanner Sloan and medalists Jaymus Wilson, Ben Moyer, Tucker Franklin and Tanner Hoyer. With three more returning with winning records, including two district qualifiers, Alburnett has title hopes again.
LISBON — The resurgence of Lisbon under Hall of Fame coach Brad Smith was nearly complete when the Lions just missed a state dual crown on criteria. The Lions enter the season with four wrestlers with state meet experience and four in preseason rankings by iawrestle.com. State runner-up Chase McLaughlin leads the way. The Lions have some promising newcomers that can contribute. Expect them to continue to battle Alburnett for Tri-Rivers and state titles.
SOLON — The Spartans received a major boost with state champion twin brothers, Bryce and Drew West, joining the program for their senior season. Even without the former 1A individual champions, Solon had two state medalists (Trevor Nelson and Ben Carr) and two more state qualifiers (Graeson Dall in 2015 and Dillon Diltz 2016) back. Both Wests and Nelson have been in the state finals. The Spartans have good balance and big point scorers to make them dangerous in tournaments and duals.
SOUTH TAMA — The Trojans have an impressive junior class that helped them place 10th in the 2A state tournament a year ago. South Tama brings back 44 points from that performance, including four medalists. Isaac Judge was third last year, while Tanner Probasco was fifth. Brady Fritz and Colton Vest also reached the podium. The Trojans are poised for an even better finish this season.
CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY — The Cougars were third last season in a highly competitive Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet field. Kennedy graduated a couple key components but returns a good nucleus from the group that tied for fourth in the Class 3A state meet. Ben Sarasin and Garrett Kubovec reached the state podium and all-conference/all-metro performers Cam Shaver and Sam Paper lead the way. The Cougars will likely progress as the season does, peaking for the postseason.
CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE — The Hawks were a top-10 team again last year and won their fourth straight Mississippi Valley Conference team title. Prairie has four wrestlers back with state tournament experience, including medalist Conrad Braswell. Trenton Wennermark, Morgan Hood and Alex Heisdorffer reached Des Moines and the Hawks have four more back with at least 20 victories last year. Winning a fifth conference crown will be tougher but Prairie has potential for another strong season.
WESTERN DUBUQUE — Western Dubuque has been a competitive program annually. The Bobcats have a couple standouts in state champion Max Lyon and state runner-up heavyweight Aaron Costello. Both are NCAA Division I recruits with Lyon going to Purdue and Costello to Iowa. The Bobcats return 11 starters from their first Wamac Conference tournament champion team and accomplished younger competitors. Coach Paul Cleary said he may have the most talent and depth than in his six years as head coach and six more as an assistant.