A closer look at Gazette-area teams competing in the 2021 Iowa high school wrestling state duals tournament Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, plus predictions for each class.
No. 1 Waverly-Shell Rock vs. No. 8 Linn-Mar
No. 4 Fort Dodge vs. No. 5 North Scott
No. 2 Southeast Polk vs. No. 7 Norwalk
No. 3 Waukee vs. No. 6 Bettendorf
Coach: Doug Streicher (24th year)
State duals appearances: Sixth overall, first since 2014
Road to Des Moines: Eighth-ranked Linn-Mar won a home thriller against No. 10 Dubuque Hempstead. In the closest qualifying dual in 3A, the Lions’ 37-31 victory came down to the final match won by freshman Grant Kress.
Outlook: The Lions have a tough draw, facing top-ranked Waverly-Shell Rock, which has finished second each of the last two seasons. Linn-Mar has seven ranked wrestlers, while the Go-Hawks have nine, crossing paths in five weights. The Lions have some firepower and potential for some bonus point victories and to keep other matches close. Streicher has used the team’s depth and flexibility to move wrestlers around to create better matchups. Reaching the semifinals will be a tough task, but a run through the consolation side is certainly possible.
Southeast Polk has topped Waverly-Shell Rock the last two seasons. The Go-Hawks are in good position to snap that streak. Southeast Polk edged Waukee on criteria in the regular season. Expect another tight matchup in the semifinals with the Rams winning and the Warriors settling for third.
Predictions: 1. Waverly-Shell Rock, 2. Southeast Polk, 3. Waukee
No. 1 West Delaware vs. No. 8 Sergeant Bluff-Luton
No. 4 Davenport Assumption vs. No. 5 Independence
No. 2 Crestwood vs. No. 7 Creston/O-M
No. 3 Osage vs. No. 6 Winterset
Coach: Jeff Voss (26th year)
State duals appearances: 11th overall, fourth straight
Road to Des Moines: West Delaware has rolled through the competition for the second straight season. The Hawks reached the state duals by blanking South Tama, 74-0.
Outlook: The Hawks have dominated their way to the top of 2A again. They are the top seed for the third straight season, looking to become the fifth team in Iowa history to three-peat at state duals. The lineup features 10 ranked wrestlers. The top-ranked trio of Jared Voss (170), Wyatt Voelker (195) and heavyweight Carson Petlon highlights a stretch of hammers from the middleweights on up that can stockpile bonus points in bunches. West Delaware opens with Sergeant Bluff-Luton with a victory possibly setting up a rematch with rival Independence. The Hawks won the regular-season dual, 45-21.
Expect the Hawks to face the winner between No. 2 Crestwood and No. 3 Osage in the final.
Coach: Michael Doyle (22nd year)
State duals appearances: 11th overall, third straight
Road to Des Moines: The Mustangs handled Williamsburg, 50-18, in the regional duals final, reversing last year’s state duals semifinal result. Independence built a 21-0 lead and won 10 of the first 12 bouts.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Outlook: Independence has progressed along with the season. The Mustangs are the fifth seed and certainly have the ability to defeat No. 4 Davenport Assumption in the quarterfinals. The challenge becomes immensely greater if they make it to the semifinals, likely against West Delaware. Independence dropped close duals to both Crestwood and Osage in the regular season. The Mustangs could face either for third place. If that occurs, they could easily improve individual performances to switch those earlier duals.
Predictions: 1. West Delaware, 2. Crestwood, 3. Independence
No. 1 Don Bosco vs. No. 8 MFL MarMac
No. 4 Lake Mills vs. No. 5 Woodbury Central
No. 2 Lisbon vs. No. 7 West Hancock
No. 3 Logan-Magnolia vs. No. 6 West Sioux
Coach: Brad Smith (21st year, 42nd overall)
State duals appearances: 15th overall, seventh straight
Road to Des Moines: Lisbon closed the regular season ranked second. The Lions steamrolled Alburnett, 69-12, in the regional duals final at home. Lisbon won 12 of 14 weights against the Pirates and had the dual locked up before it surrendered a weight.
Outlook: Second-ranked Lisbon has thumped 1A foes all season with the only setback coming by criteria to 2A Assumption. The Lions are as solid as ever, despite an open weight at 113. They have the firepower to make up those points and then some with 10 ranked wrestlers, including two-time state champion Robert Avila Jr., defending 120-pound state champ Brandon Paez and top-ranked Cole Clark at 220. Logan-Magnolia and West Sioux could be an interesting quarterfinal with the Lions likely awaiting the winner.
The Lions seem to be on a collision course with top-ranked Don Bosco in a rematch of last year’s final. Lisbon won that exciting final with a fall in the last match. The two programs have split the last four 1A state duals crowns. Unfortunately, a winter storm wiped out their regular-season matchup to get a gauge on how they match up this year.
Coach: Chet Bachman (21st year)
State duals appearances: First in school history
Road to Des Moines: The Bulldogs were able to host regional duals for the first time in school history. They defeated Wilton, getting a pin from heavyweight Jacob Trudo to cement the 40-38 victory.
Outlook: Eighth-seeded MFL MarMac will make its state duals debut, but is in the unenviable position of facing top-seeded Don Bosco. The Bulldogs have a strong and balanced lineup, presenting competitive wrestlers at each weight. Ninth-ranked Karter Decker (138), fourth-ranked Gabe McGeough at 160 and No. 10 Trudo will attempt to lead the way for MFL MarMac. The Bulldogs are unbeaten, so a deep run through the consolation bracket is a possibility. This will be a good building block for a fairly young squad that has a bright future.
Predictions: 1. Don Bosco, 2. Lisbon, 3. Logan-Magnolia
Comments: (319) 368-8679; email@example.com