116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Bryce Esmoil started wrestling about the time his younger brother, Will, was born.
The duo has shared a love for the sport ever since and finally get the chance to compete in the West Liberty lineup together.
'It's pretty special,' said Bryce Esmoil, a junior 195-pounder. 'It's fun to cheer him on and the whole team.'
They have helped West Liberty open 7-0, including a 63-18 victory Thursday night at Iowa City Regina. Bryce Esmoil posted a 12-3 major decision, while Will Esmoil received a forfeit at 106.
They have combined for 18 wins this season. Will Esmoil is 10-1 with three pins and his older brother is 8-2 with two pins and two major decisions. Will Esmoil, a freshman ranked eighth, said he's dreamed of the opportunity to compete along side his brother, even if it is only for a couple years.
'I just kind of followed in his footsteps,' Will Esmoil said. 'They have high expectations for me. I just have to go wrestle my best.'
They are drastically different in size, but share the same competitive streak. They often challenge one another, including a proposal for a takedown contest had they both wrestled against the Regals. The winner will normally needle the other and sometimes things get temporarily heated.
'Usually, we're always smack talking,' said Bryce Esmoil, a two-time state medalist who placed third with a 49-1 mark last season. 'There are holes in our walls downstairs from wrestling around.'
Neither wants to take a back seat to the competition, and that goes for each other as well. Success for one fuels the other to match it.
'If one wins, they are cheering for them,' West Liberty Coach Jeff Wiele said. 'I think that gives them motivation that they want to win, too.'
Will Esmoil owns an advantage on his top-ranked sibling.
'I have a better record than him, right now,' Will Esmoil said. 'I'm going to try and keep that as long as I can.'
Will Esmoil said he is more nervous watching his brother wrestle than taking the mat himself. Bryce Esmoil said he was shaking with excitement as he watched his sibling beat a ranked foe the first night of competition.
'I was trying to help him and say anything I could,' Bryce Esmoil said. 'Before he went out and wrestled I slapped him on the side of the face and told him to kick this kid's butt. He won, but it was closer than it needed to be.'
They also serve as each others' biggest supporters, despite the good-natured rivalry and the desire to be the best.
'It's great,' Wiele said. 'It's fun watching them in the corners cheering each other. It's a good bond they get to enjoy together.'
The goal is for both to end the season on the state podium. Bryce Esmoil has proved himself and is a top contender for a state title. He said his brother has the potential to medal.
'That would be amazing,' Bryce Esmoil said. 'It would be like a dream come true. I really want him to do well this year.'
AT IOWA CITY
West Liberty 63, Iowa City Regina 18
182 pounds — Mason Simpson (ICR) pinned Jackson Gingerich, 3:55; 195 — Bryce Esmoil (WL) major dec. Rowan Udell, 12-3; 220 — Ramon Martinez (WL) pinned Russell Hingst,: 39; Hwt. — Jared Brinkman (ICR) pinned Andy Lopez,: 28; 106 — Will Esmoil (WL) won by forfeit; 113 — Talen Dengler (WL) pinned Henry May,: 46; 120 — Zack Seering (WL) won by forfeit; 126 — Coy Ruess (WL) pinned Scott Blondin, 1:29; 132 — Noah Bierman (WL) tech. fall Tanner Rios, 17-1; 138 — Justis Dengler (WL) won by forfeit; 145 — Austin Beaver (WL) pinned Will Bobst,: 40; 152 — Joe Kelly (WL) won by forfeit; 160 — A.J. Lenz (WL) won by forfeit; 170 — Nick Milder (ICR) pinned Joe Baker, 3:59.
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