Prep Wrestling

Iowa high school wrestling 2020-21: Gazette area wrestlers to watch

2-time state champions Robert Avila Jr. and Hayden Taylor highlight list that includes 10 titlists

Lisbon's Robert Avila Jr. is declared the winner over Martinsdale St. Mary's Cole Cassady in their 132-pound Class 1A ch
Lisbon's Robert Avila Jr. is declared the winner over Martinsdale St. Mary's Cole Cassady in their 132-pound Class 1A championship match at the IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. Avila Jr. won by fall in 3:22. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Eastern Iowa is stocked with wrestling talent every year. This season is no different. Here are 20 wrestlers to watch for the 2020-21 season.

Adam Ahrendsen, Union Community, sr. — Class 2A 160-pound state champion with 45-1 record, two-time state finalist, three-time state qualifier, 125 career wins, ranked 15th nationally at 182 by flowrestling, University of Northern Iowa signee.

Jannell Avila, Lisbon, soph. — Won 138-pound title at Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association state wrestling tournament, going 19-2 overall, ranked ninth in’s girls’ Fab 50.

Robert Avila Jr., Lisbon, jr. — Two-time state champion, winning 1A titles at 126 and 132, finishing 48-0 last season and is 103-1 overall.

Ashton Barker, Iowa City West, sr. — Placed third at 3A state tournament the last two seasons, finishing 31-6 last season. Iowa State commit.

Cole Clark, Lisbon, sr. — Two-time state medalist, 1A 195-pound state runner-up with 45-3 mark, placed fifth at 182 as freshman, 120 career victories.

Hunter Garvin, Iowa City West, jr. — Two-time state finalist, won 132-pound 3A title with 33-3 record, state runner-up at 120 as freshman, Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Conference Wrestler of the Year, ranked ninth nationally at 138 by flowrestling.


Graham Gambrall, Iowa City West, jr. — Three-time state medalist, winning 3A 145-pound state crown with 36-5 record, placed sixth and eighth first two seasons, 122 career victories, Oregon State signee.

Damon Huston, Midland, sr. — Two-time state medalist, 1A 120-pound state runner-up with 49-4 record, placed third as a sophomore, 138-14 career mark, Iowa State commit.

Ben Kueter, Iowa City High, soph. — 3A 160-pound state champion with 24-0 record, MVC champion and Super Meet Outstanding Wrestler, ranked nationally by multiple outlets, top-ranked sophomore by

Tate Naaktgeboren, Linn-Mar, soph. — 3A 160-pound state runner-up, finishing 36-3, MVC Super Meet runner-up, first-team all-MVC.

Aidan Noonan, Cascade, sr. — Two-time state champion, capturing 1A titles at 126 and 113 with 87-match win streak, ranked 10th nationally at 132 by flowrestling, Wyoming commit.

Brandon O’Brien, Independence, sr. — Two-time state qualifier and 3A 106 state runner-up for Linn-Mar in 2020, posted 21-2 mark.

Brandon Paez, Lisbon, soph. — 1A 120-pound state champion, posting a 47-6 record.

Millie Peach, Iowa Valley, sr. — Two-time 195-pound champion at the IWCOA girls’ state tournament, finishing with a 9-0 mark, ranked No. 1 in’s girls’ Fab 50 and seventh nationally.


Kobe Simon, West Liberty, sr. — Two-time state medalist, 2A 220-pound state runner-up with 37-1 record, three-time state qualifier, placing fourth as a sophomore, 105 career wins.

Meridian Snitker, Waukon, jr. — Two-time finalist at the IWCOA girls’ state tournament, posted a 25-2 record and is 31-3 overall.

Christian Stanek, Cedar Rapids Xavier, jr. — Two-time state medalist, finished sixth at 138 in 3A with 39-8 record and placed eighth as a freshman, first-team all-MVC.

Hayden Taylor, Solon, jr. — Two-time 2A state champion, claiming titles at 126 and 145 pounds, posting a 52-0 mark and 103-2 overall, ranked 14th at 160 by flowrestling.

Wyatt Voelker, West Delaware, jr. —  Two-time state medalist, placing third at 195 with 43-2 record, finished fourth as a freshman, ranked 14th at 220 by flowrestling.

Isaiah Weber, Independence, jr. — Two-time 2A state runner-up at 126 and 113, two-time Wamac conference champion, 97 career victories.

Cole Whitehead, Center Point-Urbana, sr. — 2A 113-pound state runner-up with 41-2 record, finished sixth as a sophomore, three-time state qualifier, 112 career wins, Wisconsin-La Crosse recruit.

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