Prep Wrestling

Brandon O'Brien on boos following state wrestling championship: 'I loved it'

Class 2A recap: Independence and West Delaware crown 2 champs as Hawks run away with team title

DES MOINES — Independence’s Brandon O’Brien estimates he’s been booed off the mat on a big stage three times.

Saturday night at the Iowa high school state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena is as big of a stage as a high school wrestler can get.

It’s the stage where West Delaware already locked up the Class 2A team title before the day began and the Hawks ended with 150 team points. It’s the stage where Solon’s Hayden Taylor won his third state title in three years.

And it’s the stage where O’Brien got booed off the arena floor after beating Averee Abben of Osage 4-3 in tiebreakers in the 132-pound final thanks to a reversal with just seconds left in the match.

“I loved it,” O’Brien said of the chorus of boos. “That’s what motivates me and it’s not the first time it’s happened.”

O’Brien’s legs were cramping and he wasn’t getting back to the center of the mat as quickly as some in the crowd would have liked. He also took injury timeouts a few times to have the trainers look at his legs. Osage fans yelled that he was tired and faking injuries in between their boos of the senior wrestler.

O’Brien got a takedown with two seconds left in the third period to force a sudden victory. All eyes were on that match since it was the only one in overtime. Nothing came of the sudden victory, so the match moved to tiebreakers.


O’Brien was able to ride out Abben but after the first rideout, O’Brien laid on the mat and didn’t get set quickly enough and was dinged for stalling for the third time. He trailed by one. An escape would no longer win him the match and seemingly all of Wells Fargo Arena was booing him for staying down on the mat.

O’Brien was able to put his fatigue, cramping legs and the crowd aside as he got a reversal as time expired to win his first state title.

“That match pushed me to the brink,” O’Brien said. “He’s a good opponent and that match was good for me. That’s how I want to end my high school career. Triple overtime, last-second takedown to get to overtime, last-second reversal to win it.”

As O’Brien got to the tunnel, he collapsed in a heap. His legs couldn’t take him any farther. O’Brien’s coaches carried him to the locker room to recover.

O’Brien’s teammate, Isaiah Weber was in the finals as well at 138 pounds. It was Weber’s third appearance and his opponent, Nathaniel Genobana of Centerville, was in his fourth state championship match. Despite all of those appearances, neither wrestler had won a state title. Something had to give.

Weber won 2-0 thanks to an escape and two stalling calls on Genobana.

“This morning and all throughout the day I was nervous,” Weber said. “But when I got here, I realized that if I win or lose, I’m still the same person. Before the match, I was just sitting there and taking it all in. The past two years, I was too consumed with getting to the match and wanting to win that match that I didn’t even take in what was around me and my surroundings.

“This year I just took it all in and said, ‘No matter what, I’m going to have fun.’ And that was pretty fun.”

Taylor of Solon had his own fun. He won his third state title in three years, putting him in line for the opportunity to become a four-time state champion. Taylor beat Panorama’s Wyatt Appleseth 7-2 in the finals at 160 pounds.


“This one feels way better,” Taylor said. “The last one I was a little disappointed. This time, I felt like I wrestled solid and didn’t give up any positions.”

Taylor got a takedown in the final seconds to put a bow on this third title.

“There were like 15 seconds left when I looked at the clock and I thought, ‘I need to put an exclamation point on this. I need to score another one,’” Taylor said. “I got my motions going and I scored another one. I think that’s what made this one feel the best.”

West Delaware crowned two state champions Saturday night and all 11 wrestlers that qualified for the Hawks medaled.

Wyatt Voelker beat New Hampton/Turkey Valley’s Jacob Reicks by major decision, 15-7, for the 195-pound title. Voelker got bonus points in every match he wrestled in the tournament.

Then Carson Petlon beat Ginnell’s Kamrin Steveson 3-0.

“We never really talked about what our goals were here,” West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss said. “It was just what our vision was, which was to put together something special at the end. We just didn’t know how special it would be. I think that’s what was driving these guys. We didn’t set any limits as far as goals go for them. It was just a vision of what having a great team looks like and putting in the work to be a great team.”

West Liberty’s Kobe Simon won the 220-pound state championship against Dylan Winkel of Central Lyon-GLR.

The match was tied 4-4 in the third period when Simon got in on an ankle pick. He was able to finish the shot and secure a 6-4 victory.

Class 2A team scores

1. West Delaware 150

2. Osage 96

3. Independence 81

4. Crestwood 79

5. Centerville 51.5

6. New Hampton/Turkey Valley 48

7. Notre Dame/West Burlington/Danville 47.5

8. East Marshall 42.5

9. Union Community 40

10. Webster City 39

Class 2A state finals

106: No. 4 Kade Blume (Roland-Story) won in SV-1 over No. 10 Gavin Jensen (Williamsburg), 6-4


113: No. 1 Camron Phetxoumphone (Webster City) dec. No. 3 Anders Kittelson (Crestwood), 2-1

120: No. 1 McKinley Robbins (Greene County) dec. No. 2 Blaine Frazier (Notre Dame/West Burlington/Danville), 7-5

126: No. 1 Carter Fousek (Crestwood) dec. No. 2 Dominik Ridout (East Marshall), 6-4

132: No. 1 Brandon O’Brien (Independence) won in TB-1 over No. 2 Averee Abben (Osage), 4-3

138: No. 1 Isaiah Weber (Independence) dec. No. 2 Nathaniel Genobana (Centerville), 2-0

145: No. 1 Matthew Lewis (Centerville) dec. No. 2 Nick Fox (Osage), 3-2

152: No. 1 Jack Gaukel (Sergeant Bluff-Luton) major dec. No. 6 Tyler Brown (Winterset), 10-2

160: No. 1 Hayden Taylor (Solon) dec. No. 2 Wyatt Appleseth (Panorama), 7-2

170: No. 2 Carson Babcock (New Hampton/Turkey Valley) dec. No. 5 Mitchell Joines (Sioux City Heelan), 7-0

182: No. 2 Spencer Mooberry (Osage) won in SV-1 over No. 1 Adam Ahrendsen (Union Community), 6-4


195: No. 1 Wyatt Voelker (West Delaware) major dec. No. 3 Jacob Reicks (New Hampton/Turkey Valley), 15-7

220: No. 2 Kobe Simon (West Liberty) dec. No. 1 Dylan Winkel (Central Lyon-GLR), 6-4

Hwt.: No. 1 Carson Petlon (West Delaware) dec. No. 3 Kamrin Steveson (Grinnell), 3-0

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