116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A fitting tribute, high school and college teams adjust on the fly and brother was pitted against brother. This is the Wrestling Weekend That Was.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson honors Wyatt Schultz
Cedar Rapids Jefferson honored the late Wyatt Schultz on Saturday at the J-Hawk Invitational. Schultz was the longtime owner and editor of The Predicament — a newspaper and website that covered wrestling at all levels across the state — and strong supporter of J-Hawks athletics, attending and shooting photographs during various sports events.
Jefferson announced Saturday that the tournament’s top accolade will be called the G. Wyatt Schultz Outstanding Wrestler Award.
“I wanted to honor Wyatt somehow,” said Jefferson Coach Rob Martin, noting Schultz adopted the J-Hawks as his hometown team more than two decades ago. “I walked in and talked to (Jefferson Activities Director Chris) Deam about naming the award after Wyatt. He was like, ‘I was thinking the same thing.’”
Schultz’s widow, Kirsten, and son, Grant, attended the competition and handed out the plaque in his name, following the medals and team champion presentation.
Iowa City High’s two-time state champion and University of Iowa commit Ben Kueter was the inaugural recipient. The Class 3A top-ranked 220-pounder dominated the field, recording his second fall of the tournament in the final. He also had a technical fall in the semifinal, owning a 20-0 record this season and 55-0 in his career.
Kueter was flanked by Kirsten and Grant for a photo with the plaque that includes a photo of a smiling Wyatt wearing a shirt with the word “Wrestling” sprawled across the front.
“I put the plaque up next to my Fargo plaque,” said Kueter, a Junior national champion and 2021 freestyle national finalist. “I’m very honored to be the first one to receive it.
“You could tell it meant a lot.”
Schultz was also honored at the Cliff Keen Independence Invitational in December. He spent a long time, helping seed and run the J-Hawk Invitational, in addition to shooting photos. A frame team poster that highlighted Wyatt and his notable “Let’s Keep Wrestling on the Move” mantra was presented to Kirsten to cap the ceremony.
“It was the least I could do for Wyatt,” Martin said about the special day. “He gave so much to Jefferson wrestlers over the years.”
Weather creates changes
The storm that dumped several inches of snow on Central and Eastern Iowa Friday forced remaining tournaments to alter their fields and teams scrambling to find competition after cancellations.
Class 2A top-ranked West Delaware and Linn-Mar called an audible and joined Marion’s Loyd Shaffer Invitational. The Hawks scored 247.5 points and topped 3A No. 5 Linn-Mar (204).
West Delaware’s balance was on display. Brayden Maury (106), Carson Less (120), Brent Yonkovic (138), Logan Peyton (152) and Wyatt Voelker (195) won titles for the Hawks. Yonkovic avenged a loss to North Linn’s Cael Bridgewater, winning 8-4. It was the second straight weekend they met for a tournament title. Bridgewater won the previous meeting by two points.
Linn-Mar was scheduled to compete at Ankeny’s Bob Sharp Invitational, but switched when it was canceled. The Lions crowned three champions, including Kane and Tate Naaktgeboren. The brothers pinned their way through their brackets. Kane claimed the 132 title, while Tate captured the crown at 170. Grant Kress won the 145 title for the Lions.
Waverly-Shell Rock, ranked No. 2 in 3A, was added to the Ed Hadenfeldt Invitational at Solon. The Go-Hawks were also originally slated to wrestle in Ankeny. WSR rolled to the tournament title, scoring 324 points, 117 more than runner-North Scott.
The Go-Hawks crowned nine champions. Lisbon was third with 184.5 points. Quincy Happel (126) and Max Kohl (170) won titles for the Lions. Happel pinned his way through the bracket and captured his 150th victory Saturday, improving to 29-1 this season.
UNI’s switch leads to win over Air Force
Weather wasn’t the reason for disruptions for Northern Iowa.
UNI’s dual against Northern Colorado Friday was postponed due to COVID-19 issues among the Northern Colorado program. The Panthers shifted from Greeley, Colo., to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Programs arranged for a replacement dual at the last minute, preventing a missed competition date.
UNI won seven matches against the Falcons, receiving a pin from Kyle Biscoglia (133) and major decisions from former Lisbon four-time state champ Cael Happel at 141, Austin Yant (165) and 184-pounder Parker Keckeisen. Cael Happel amassed 21 points and beat Garrett Kuchan by 12.
Jaiden Moore wins ranked battle
Benton Community’s 2A top-ranked Jaiden Moore faced 3A No. 4 Brayden Parke in the 126 final at Marion’s Loyd Shaffer Invitational. Moore scored a takedown in sudden victory for an 8-6 decision. It was the first takedown of the match for Moore, who scored three reversals in regulation.
The dual between NAIA power Grand View and NCAA Division II Nebraska-Kearney concluded with a sibling rivalry. Twin brothers, Josh and Justin Portillo, wrestled each other in the final bout of a dual Saturday.
The pair combined to win five state titles for Clarion CGD. Josh won three straight from 2014-16, while Justin won crowns in 2015 and 2016. Josh is a three-time All-American for the Lopers. Justin is a four-time All-American and a 2020 national finalist.
Fans weren’t disappointed. The brothers battled to a 10-10 tie through regulation. Josh scored a takedown for a 12-10 decision in sudden victory, but Justin and the Vikings won the dual, 19-18.