Prep Wrestling

West Delaware dominates its way to second straight state duals crown

Hawks win 12 matches in 53-9 victory over Williamsburg in Class 2A final

DES MOINES — West Delaware’s power has been unmatched by Class 2A competition all season.

No surprise the Hawks flexed their muscle one more time Wednesday night.

Top-ranked West Delaware dominated its way to a second consecutive 2A state duals championship at Wells Fargo Arena. The Hawks won 12 matches and cruised to a 53-9 victory over Williamsburg for their third overall dual crown.

West Delaware finished 25-2 overall, going 19-0 against 2A competition. The Hawks have won 35 straight duals in the class, dating back to a third-place dual win here in 2018 — also against the Raiders.

“We stayed healthy all year,” West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss said. “We kept getting stronger and stronger. You have to have a little luck that way, too, but just the overall improvement this group made is pretty good.

“They’ve done it all year. They kept getting better every single time we stepped on the mat.”

Similar to their first two rounds, the Hawks soared to a strong start against Williamsburg. West Delaware won the first 10 matches and had the title in hand before it even lost a match.

Cael Meyer (160), Jack Neuhaus (182) and top-ranked 195-pounder Wyatt Voelker recorded falls and Jared Voss (170) had a technical fall in the first four matches, building a 23-0 lead.

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Luke Farmer added a 32-second pin at 113 that actually sealed the win just past the midway point.

“It was just awesome,” said Farmer, who went 3-0 Wednesday. “We’ve been saying all year that our best is yet to come and I think, honestly, (Wednesday) we wrestled our best we have all year.”

This is a team that thrives off each other’s success and has been a key component in the success, according to Voss.

“When someone adds a little excitement they want to add to it,” he said. “They have been a team of momentum all year. Once we have a few things happen they just take off.”

Jadyn Peyton (145) and Will Ward closed the dual with decisions. It was West Delaware’s first repeat and put the Hawks in position for back-to-back state title sweeps.

“I think it’s big in our history,” Meyer said. “No one has ever done it before. I think it means a lot to us.

“This was our vision all year. We had the opportunity and we executed.”

West Delaware wasn’t challenged in the first two rounds and won 34 of 42 total matches Wednesday. The Hawks rolled No. 8 Humboldt, 60-12, in the quarterfinals and advanced to the finals with a 54-18 victory over Davenport Assumption.

The Hawks entered the tournament with a 57.8 average margin of victory over 2A foes.

“We prepare the same for every dual,” Meyer said. “It doesn’t matter who you’re wrestling. Just try to score as many points as you can.”

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The Raiders (38-4) earned their best state duals finish. They reached the finals by avenging a 28-27 regular-season Wamac loss to Independence. The Raiders reversed a couple key results from the previous dual and closed with consecutive pins from Sam Van Dee (132), top-ranked 138-pounder Jalen Schropp and Kam Royster at 145 to win, 44-25.

Independence placed fourth, matching its best finish since 2014.

“To have three Wamac (Conference) teams in the final four is something special,” Williamsburg Coach Grant Eckenrod said. “We’ve had this one circled since they beat us by a point. I’m not going to lie. We’ve talked about it. We’ve reminded them of it. We were hoping to get a shot at them. They’re a great a program.”

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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