116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — Bryce and Drew West entered high school with the goal to be four-time state wrestling champions together.
The twin brothers have been regulars on the state podium the last three years with Drew winning a state crown as a freshman and Bryce claiming championships each of the last two seasons.
The duo will attempt to close their prep careers by winning titles together in the same season for the first time. Bryce and Drew West are ranked first at 120 and 126, respectively, in Class 2A, transferring to Solon from Highland for their senior year.
'It would mean a lot,' Bryce West said. 'We're just pushing each other to be our best. Be on top together.'
They have records almost as identical as their appearance. Bryce West is 153-2, while Drew West is 151-2. Both have finished third or better every year with two trips to the state finals.
Bryce West has won the last two 120-pound championships in 1A and was third at 113 as a freshman. He is looking for more gold, but not just for himself.
'I want to end it on a good note,' Bryce West said. 'I want to get on top and get an individual and team title, and a dual title on the way. Just pushing everybody in the room to get better so we can get there.'
Drew West was 1A's 106-pound champ in 2014 and third at 113 as a sophomore. Last year, he returned to the finals but lost to nationally-ranked Alex Thomsen of Underwood. The loss has provided additional drive in the offseason.
'I just want to get the title back after losing two years in a row at state,' said Drew West, who has not lost a varsity match outside of Wells Fargo Arena. 'I have to have a good year ...
It did motivate me in the offseason.'
Drew West said he has grown offensively from a year ago.
'I'd have to say more setups,' Drew West said. 'More leg attacks.'
They have multiple training partners, but they train together a lot. Like many twins who have wrestled together, they have had their fair share of scraps. They battle trying to make each other better without taking a back seat to one another.
'It's usually fast-paced,' Drew West said. 'We're going at it.'
Both recalled one time before the 2016 state tournament where things became heated. It marked one of the times their competitiveness turned into combat, exchanging elbows during practice.
'It's like a war,' Bryce West said. 'We're both going at it and don't want to lose. We're going all out.'
Their quest for another title will be in a different class and a different colored singlet. After standing out for the Huskies, they transferred to Solon when their mom, Becky, became Nutrition Director for Solon Community School District. Both said it was a hard decision.
'It was tough,' said Bryce West, noting their sister played softball for Solon. 'We just decided to stay with our family and be together.'
Solon Coach Blake Williams said he didn't know about the new additions to the team until the news hit social media during the summer. He began to receive messages and realized he inherited as many state wrestling titles has Solon had in program history,
'I was on vacation and my phone started blowing up,' Williams said. 'That's how I found out.'
The Spartans will inject two state champions to a lineup that already included state runner-up and top-ranked 160-pounder Trevor Nelson, state placewinner Ben Carr and state qualifiers Graeson Dall and Dillon Diltz. The Spartans expect big things from the Wests in competition, but their impact is already being noticed.
'I feel they definitely raised the intensity of the room,' Williams said. 'I think other kids have watched how they just go about their business and how they do everything as far as drilling, live-wrestling and working hard.'
They weren't strangers to the Spartans. Drew West said he has known Nelson for years and that he worked out with Carr and Christian Haight in the preseason. Bryce West played football, finishing third in rushing yards with 216. He scored two touchdowns and nine total tackles.
'Both have fit in really well,' Williams said. 'We just treat them like they've been here before and they are one of the guys."