116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MANCHESTER – West Delaware has held a stranglehold on Class 2A in recent seasons.
The Hawks swept state team titles last season, completing the feat for the second time in three seasons and giving them five state team championships during that stretch. They also have won the last four versions of the Wamac Conference tournament as well.
Top-ranked West Delaware proved it was in position again with a team title at the South Winn Invitational on Saturday at Calmar. The Hawks scored 249 ½ points, topping runner-up and No. 2-ranked Osage by 24 ½.
“It was good to go against one of the top teams in Class 2A,” said West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss, who led the Hawks to the 2A state traditional title in 2013. “I don’t think either team was necessarily at full strength, by any means. In that situation, I was proud how our kids wrestled and advanced in that tournament. They battled all day. I was really happy.”
West Delaware had six champions and 10 finalists, while Osage crowned four with nine in the finals. The one state team championship that the Hawks didn’t win since 2019 was the 2020 traditional title won by the Green Devils. Both teams will be in the hunt again. Voss said he didn’t notice his team went 4-2 against Osage in the finals.
“I was more concerned with how we competed more than who we competed against,” Voss said. “I know we matched up with Osage. I know they’re a good team and I think in a dual it would be a heck of a meet. Tournament situation is a little different with how many guys you have placing. It was a good indication. I’m not saying we’re the best 2A team but I do think we’re in the upper tier.”
The Hawks have been on a tear since the season-opening dual loss to 3A top-ranked Waverly Shell Rock, which is ranked 17th nationally. West Delaware has had 10 finalists in each of the first two tournaments. Eleven Hawks have won titles. They have outscored opponents in their last two dual wins by a combined, 107-46. This is all without state medalist Jadyn Peyton, who has been sidelined by an injury suffered during football but is expected to return after the holiday break.
“We’re real happy with the progress we’ve made since our first competition,” Voss said. “We’re starting to get our lineup set. It won’t be fully set until after Christmas break, but all the kids we have out there are competing hard and getting better.”
State champion Wyatt Voelker has been dominant again. He is 8-0 with six pins, a technical fall and a major decision, pinning his way through the 220 bracket Saturday. Carson Less (120) and Kyle Cole (170) are both 8-0 as well. Logan Peyton (160) and 182-pounder Will Ward are both 7-1. Three more Hawks have seven victories, including freshman Brent Yonkovic. He is 7-2 with just one loss to an in-state wrestler.
Voss said Yonkovic has battled tough opponents, so far.
“He ended up wrestling like five state placewinners,” Voss said about a 4-1 stretch. “It was his first time down to 138 last week. I was happy with how he competed against some of the top guys.”
West Delaware’s next big challenge will be the Battle of Waterloo at Young Arena. West Delaware is the top seed of a seep Bracket C. Linn-Mar is the No. 2-seed behind the Hawks, who open with Waterloo West. North Scott is the third seed, while Davenport Assumption is fourth.
“We’re the No. 1 seed but I don’t know if we’re the best team in that bracket,” Voss said. “Dual meets are all about matchups, so we’ll try to give our team the best matchups to compete in those duals. Then, we’ll see what happens.
“I love the tournament because you see some of the top teams.”
ALBURNETT GRABS TEAM TITLE
Alburnett captured the team championship at Mid-Prairie’s Colton Allen Memorial tournament Saturday at Wellman. The Pirates put nine of its 12 participants in the top-two of their respective weight classes.
Rowdy Neighbor (106), 113-pounder Dawson Becker, Preston Klostermann at 120, Brody Neighbor (132) and Gunnar Keeney at 152 each won titles. All the Pirates placed fourth or better, scoring 175 points and topping runner-up Benton Community by 24.
Jaiden Moore (126), Brenden Heying (145), Mason Dellamuth (160) and heavyweight Brennen Biegen won titles for the Bobcats.
The Battle of Waterloo will consist of 32 boys’ teams in four eight-team brackets. The event will also include two four-team round-robin pools.
The two-day dual tournament begins Friday with bracket competition and ends with placing pools on Saturday. Don Bosco, Waverly-Shell Rock, West Delaware and Lisbon are top seeds of their respective brackets. Ankeny is the second seed in Bracket A with the Dons. Osage is the No. 2 seed in Bracket B with the Go-Hawks. Lisbon could face Independence, who went 5-0 Saturday to win the South Tama Duals, in the Bracket D final.
The girls’ competition consists of Independence, North Scott, Osage and Waverly-Shell Rock in the pool named for former Cedar Falls wrestler Cassie Herkelman. Bettendorf, Cedar Falls, Charles City and Crestwood are in the pool named for Megan Black, a former Ottumwa wrestler who transferred to Eddyville-Blakesburg and became the first female to medal at the Iowa High School Athletic Association state tournament.