Prep Wrestling

2020 Iowa state wrestling tournament: Class-by-class preview with predictions

Lisbon, West Delaware contend for team titles; 18 individual champions return

Solon's Hayden Taylor wrestles Winterset's Bryce Hatten in the 126-pound Class 2A championship bout at the state wrestli
Solon's Hayden Taylor wrestles Winterset's Bryce Hatten in the 126-pound Class 2A championship bout at the state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. Taylor won by major decision 11-3. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Taking a closer look at the Iowa high school wrestling traditional state tournament, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Class 3A

Top qualifiers: Southeast Polk 13, Fort Dodge 11, Johnston 11, Bettendorf 10, Waverly-Shell Rock 10, Norwalk 9, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 8, Linn-Mar 8, Iowa City West 7, North Scott 7, Waukee 7

Area qualifiers by school: Cedar Rapids Kennedy 8, Linn-Mar 8, Iowa City West 7, Iowa City High 6, Cedar Rapids Prairie 5, Western Dubuque 4, Marion 3, Clear Creek Amana 2, Cedar Rapids Jefferson 1, Cedar Rapids Washington 1, Cedar Rapids Xavier 1

2019 top three teams: 1. Waverly-Shell Rock 157, 2. Southeast Polk 123, 3. Fort Dodge 105

Returning state champions: Trever Anderson, Ankeny (113), Drake Ayala, Fort Dodge (120), Cullan Schriever, Mason City (126), Carson Taylor, Fort Dodge (126), Caleb Rathjen, Ankeny (138), Eli Loyd, Pleasant Valley (152), Gabe Christenson, Southeast Polk (195)

Individual champion predictions

106 — Nathan Jesuroga, Southeast Polk

113 — Trever Anderson, Ankeny

120 — Drake Ayala, Fort Dodge

126 — Cullan Schriever, Mason City

132 — Hunter Garvin, Iowa City West

138 — Caleb Rathjen, Ankeny

145 — Colby Schriever, Mason City

152 — Eli Loyd, Pleasant Valley

160 — Ben Kueter, Iowa City High

170 — Logan Neils, Ankeny Centennial

182 — Will Hoeft, Iowa City West

195 — Gabe Christenson, Southeast Polk

220 — Brayden Wolf, Waverly-Shell Rock

Hwt. — Griffin Liddle, Bettendorf

Outlook: Southeast Polk and Waverly-Shell Rock should have another fun battle. The Rams are looking for their first title since winning three straight from 2015-17. They boast the most qualifiers of any team in all classes, including three more than contender Waverly-Shell Rock. A few extra points from an unlikely contributor could be the difference in the team race. Fort Dodge has a slight chance to break into the top two, but is a solid third.

Iowa City West is intriguing. The Trojans don’t have the depth, but have five legitimate medalists, including top-ranked Hunter Garvin (132) and No. 2 Will Hoeft at 182. If West can place another on the podium it has a shot to crack the top four or maybe even three. Linn-Mar matched Cedar Rapids Kennedy with the most area qualifiers. The Lions could earn a top-five finish with possible finalists in Brandon O’Brien (106), Bryce Parke (126) and Tate Naaktgeboren at 160.

Team predictions: 1. Southeast Polk, 2. Waverly-Shell Rock, 3. Fort Dodge



Class 2A

Top qualifiers: West Delaware 12, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 8, Bondurant-Farrar 6, Gilbert 6, Osage 6, Solon 6, Central Lyon-GLR 5, Crestwood 5, Forest City 5, Iowa Falls-Alden 5, Union Community 5, Van Meter-Earlham 5, Winterset 5.

Area qualifiers by school: West Delaware 12, Solon 6, Union Community 5, Independence 4, West Liberty 4, South Tama 3, Anamosa 2, Center Point-Urbana 2, Jesup 2, Maquoketa 2, Mount Vernon 2, North Fayette Valley 2, Williamsburg 2, Benton Community 1, Decorah 1, Mid-Prairie 1, Monticello 1, Tipton 1, Vinton-Shellsburg 1, Washington 1, Waukon 1

2019 top three teams: 1. West Delaware 76.5, 2. Spirit Lake Park 63.5, 3. Clear Lake 62.5

Returning state champions: Carter Fousek, Crestwood (113), Matthew Lewis, Centerville (126), Hayden Taylor, Solon (145), Jack Thomsen, Union Community (145), Cody Fisher, Woodward-Granger (220)

Individual champion predictions

106 — Camron Phetxoumphone, Webster City

113 — Carter Fousek, Crestwood

120 — Colby Lillegard, Bondurant-Farrar

126 — Matthew Lewis, Centerville

132 — Kayden Kauzlarich, Centerville

138 — Jalen Schropp, Williamsburg

145 — Hayden Taylor, Solon

152 — Will Esmoil, West Liberty

160 — Adam Ahrendsen, Union Community

170 — Caleb Swalla, Van Meter-Earlham

182 — Sage Walker, Eddyville EBF

195 — Wyatt Voelker, West Delaware

220 — Cody Fisher, Woodward-Granger

Hwt. — Kaden Sutton, Adel ADM

Outlook: West Delaware’s achievement last year was certainly an anomaly. Teams had won state titles without an individual champion and Urbandale won a crown without a finalist in 1996. The Hawks didn’t have a wrestler finish higher than fourth. Don’t expect that to be the case this year. West Delaware have title contenders and it has depth as well, qualifying a 2A-best 12 wrestlers. The Hawks have talent and depth. They are in the driver’s seat and have a strong shot at a second consecutive sweep.

Union Community has the firepower to push but is hampered by just five qualifiers. The Knights have former state champion Jack Thomsen (145) and top-ranked Adam Ahrendsen (160) to lead the way. Sergeant Bluff Luton has eight qualifiers and certainly will contend for a trophy. The finishes might not be high enough for a title. Solon has six qualifiers, including defending state champion Hayden Taylor and No. 3 Zeb Gnida. They spearhead Solon’s chances at a top-five performance. Independence also has the ability to finish in the top five as well.

Team predictions: 1. West Delaware, 2. Union Community, 3. Sergeant Bluff-Luton


Class 1A

Top qualifiers: Don Bosco 10, Lisbon 8, West Sioux 8, Logan-Magnolia 6, New London 6, Underwood 6, West Hancock 6, Martensdale-St. Marys 5, Nashua-Plainfield 5, Woodbury Central 5


Area qualifiers by school: Lisbon 8, MFL MarMac 4, Belle Plaine 3, HLV 3, North Linn 3, South Winneshiek 3, Alburnett 2, BGM 2, Highland 2, Iowa City Regina 2, Iowa Valley 2, Midland 2, North Cedar 2, Sigourney-Keota 2, Cascade 1, Dyersville Beckman 1, East Buchanan 1, Edgewood-Colesburg 1, English Valleys 1, Postville 1

2019 top three teams: 1. Don Bosco 151, 2. Lisbon 104.5, 3. Denver 99.5

Returning state champions: Marcel Lopez, New London (113), Aidan Noonan, Cascade (126), Adam Allard, West Sioux (126), Robert Avila Jr., Lisbon (132), Cael Happel, Lisbon (138), Treyton Cacek, Graettinger GTRA (182)

Individual champion predictions

106 — Gable Porter, Underwood

113 — Marcel Lopez, New London

120 — Hagen Heistand, Logan-Magnolia

126 — Adam Allard, West Sioux

132 — Robert Avila Jr., Lisbon

138 — Cael Happel, Lisbon

145 — Nick Hamilton, Underwood

152 — Marshall Hauck, Lisbon

160 — Cade Tenold, Don Bosco

170 — Ethan Fulcher, Hudson

182 — Thomas Even, Don Bosco

195 — Cole Clark, Lisbon

220 — Joel Mendoza, Eagle Grove

Hwt. — Chet Buss, North Butler-Clarksville

Outlook: Imagine Lisbon and Don Bosco battling for a traditional state team title. Seems strange, huh? The two teams have finished 1-2 each of the last three seasons and this year is more of the same. Don Bosco has the edge in qualifiers, which could help it tally a few extra points. Lisbon is loaded with title contenders. Cael Happel is going for his fourth state title, while sophomore Robert Avila Jr. is also a defending champ. Sophomore Quincy Happel (106) and 152-pounder Marshall Hauck are seeded first. Cole Clark is the No. 2 seed at 195, and seventh-ranked Brandon Paez has been wrestling as well as anyone in the state at 120. That is five to six individual title contenders. The Dons are as balanced as anyone and have their own contenders, including Thomas Even (182), Cade and Carson Tenold at 160 and 170, Cael Rahnavardi at 145 and Garrett Funk at 120. This could come down to one of those upperweight finals Saturday night.

Third place could produce another team battled between West Sioux and Underwood. West Sioux has eight qualifiers, while Underwood has six with a chance to win multiple individual titles.

Team predictions: 1. Lisbon, 2. Don Bosco, 3. Underwood

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