A closer look at Gazette area teams in Wednesday's Iowa high school wrestling state duals tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, plus predictions for all three classes.
No. 1 Don Bosco vs. No. 8 Woodbury Central
No. 4 Lake Mills vs. No. 5 Logan-Magnolia
No. 2 Lisbon vs. No. 7 Clarion-Goldfield-Dows
No. 3 West Sioux vs. No. 6 Denver
2019 champion: Don Bosco
Coach: Brad Smith (8th season, 21st overall)
Appearance: 14th overall, sixth straight
Road to Des Moines: Lisbon has been one of the best dual teams regardless of class all season. The Lions produced one of the most impressive regional dual performances. The Tri-Rivers Conference champions throttled No. 23 Belle Plaine and Wapello by a combined 163-0, giving them 13 shutouts this season.
Outlook: State duals and the traditional state meet is a two-horse race between Lisbon and mighty Don Bosco. The two teams should have little trouble setting up this season’s rubber match for the championship. West Sioux has seven ranked wrestlers and could be the biggest threat for an upset. It’s a mild one at best. Lisbon and Don Bosco split regular-season duals. The Lions won at the Battle of Waterloo, while Don Bosco’s strategy in a dual at the end of January led to a victory. Expect another clash that will either be the Dons’ 11th crown or the Lions’ fifth.
1A predictions: 1. Lisbon, 2. Don Bosco, 3. West Sioux
No. 1 West Delaware vs. No. 8 Humboldt
No. 4 Osage vs. No. 5 Davenport Assumption
No. 2 Independence vs. No. 7 Winterset
No. 3 Williamsburg vs. No. 6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton
2019 champion: West Delaware
Coach: Jeff Voss (25th season)
Appearance: 10th overall, third straight
Road to Des Moines: West Delaware has dominated 2A competition this season with its only losses to 1A powerhouses Don Bosco and Lisbon. The Hawks captured a regional dual title, winning 23 of 28 matches against Anamosa and Camanche. They dropped the Blue Raiders, 76-3, and clinched the state duals berth with a 54-24 victory over Indians.
Outlook: West Delaware has a chance to win consecutive state titles for the first time in school history. The Wamac Conference champions are heavy favorites, owning dominant wins previously over second-seeded Independence and No. 3 Williamsburg. The first test could come in the semifinals against much improved Davenport Assumption or Osage. A rematch with a Wamac foe is likely in the finals and so is the Hawks’ third state duals crown.
Coach: Michael Doyle (21st season)
Appearance: 10th overall, second straight
Road to Des Moines: Independence set a school record for dual victories with its regional dual title. The Mustangs defeated Mount Vernon, 58-10, in the regional semifinal. They needed a pin and decision from senior duo Matthew Doyle and Cole Davis in the final two bouts for a 31-29 come-from-behind win over Charles City.
Outlook: Independence enters as the No. 2 seed and shouldn’t have a problem with Winterset in the quarterfinals. Tougher challenges await in the semifinals, facing either Williamsburg or Sergeant Bluff-Luton. The Mustangs and Raiders faced off in mid-January with Independence winning the final and decisive match in the ultimate tiebreaker. The Mustangs have won tight duals against good competition, which will help.
Coach: Grant Eckenrod (19th season)
Appearance: 3rd overall, first since 2018
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Road to Des Moines: The Raiders blanked Mount Pleasant, 76-0, in the regional semifinals and defeated Bondurant-Farrar, 39-25, to secure their second state duals appearance in the last three seasons.
Outlook: The Raiders are a prototypical dual team, placing competitive wrestlers on the mat at every weight for a balanced lineup. Williamsburg only has two state qualifiers — top-ranked 138-pounder Jalen Schropp and No. 10 Kayden Gryp at 120 — so this will be the biggest event for most of the starters. Sergeant Bluff-Luton could be entertaining. A rematch with Independence could await in the semifinals. The first finals appearance could await them.
2A Predictions: 1. West Delaware, 2. Williamsburg, 3. Independence
No. 1 Southeast Polk vs. No. 8 West Des Moines Valley
No. 4 Bettendorf vs. No. 5 North Scott
No. 2 Waverly-Shell Rock vs. No. 7 Indianola
No. 3 Fort Dodge vs. No. 6 Waukee
2019 champion: SE Polk
Outlook: Defending state duals champion Southeast Polk has reached the finals in six of the last seven seasons, winning four championships. The Rams should be a safe bet to make it again. Waverly-Shell Rock had to settle for a runner-up finish to Southeast Polk last year, falling 37-27 in the final. Expect a rematch and a much anticipated showdown between the top two teams in 3A. Third-seeded Fort Dodge has an outside shot to spoil the rematch, if it gets by Waukee in the quarterfinals.
3A predictions: 1. Southeast Polk, 2. Waverly-Shell Rock, 3. Fort Dodge
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