Prep Wrestling

West Liberty's Kobe Simon works toward state wrestling title

Two-time state medalist looks to improve last year's state runner-up finish

West Liberty's Kobe Simon (left) wrestles Clarinda's Crew Howard in their Class 2A 220-pound semifinal match at the IHSA
West Liberty’s Kobe Simon (left) wrestles Clarinda’s Crew Howard in their Class 2A 220-pound semifinal match at the IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Simon won by decision, 6-3. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Train. Run. Repeat.

West Liberty’s Kobe Simon understands the importance of a good routine and that his chance at a state championship depends on the amount of work he dedicates to wrestling.

It is the reason why he squeezes in a couple workouts and about a two-hour practice around online classes on weekdays.

“There’s always more work to be put in,” said Simon, a three-time qualifier and 2020 state runner-up. “Coming off that finals match last year, I wasn’t too happy with it. It really set a fire under my butt to get going for this season and make sure I get that title.”

Simon was dominant Saturday, recording five pins and helping the Comets to a runner-up finish in the Doug Philipp Duals at Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Ron Thillen Gymnasium. West Liberty went 4-1, falling to champion Williamsburg.

The Class 2A second-ranked 220-pound senior wrestled a total of 4:48, ending each of his bouts in the first period. He alternated between 220 and heavyweight with his longest contest lasting just 1:26. Simon was businesslike, improving to 14-1 with 10 pins this season. He has not lost to a 2A foe.

“That is what I thought coming in and just what I did,” Simon said. “I’m happy with how I performed.”

Mornings begin with school before some road work or a trip to the gym for lifting or cardio. Simon heads to the team’s practice in the afternoon, wrestling with coaches. He remains after the end for extra conditioning. Simon heads home for supper and then the cycle starts again.

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“It starts in the room,” Simon said. “Working every day. Even outside the room, doing extra before and after practice to just get your cardio up and your body and mindset ready to go the whole season.”

Simon realizes the example set for his teammates and others. As part of a wrestling family, he is a role model for two younger brothers in junior high and middle school.

“They’ve always looked up to me and everyone has told me that,” Simon said. “I just try to be the best of myself. They can do that (too).”

In addition to the rigorous physical regimen, Simon has focused on fine-tuning his technique. West Liberty Coach Ian Alke said Simon has attempted to become a more complete wrestler. The emphasis is to elevate from good to great in every position, which is key to capture state gold.

“He’s wrestling well,” Alke said. “He really starts shining and peaking in February.”

Williamsburg swept the competition, taking nine of 14 weights for a 49-25 victory over the Comets in the final round. The Raiders also defeated Marion (66-9), Waterloo West (63-12), Anamosa (65-18) and third-place Xavier 41-26. They improved to 13-3 and have won 13 of their last 14 duals.

“We’ve got some kids down to weight where they need to be,” Williamsburg Coach Grant Eckenrod said. “We still have two guys at home that are going to help us. We’re a completely different team, both mentally and physically, than in Week 1. We still have a long way to go, but our kids are listening and working hard.”

DOUG PHILIPP DUALS

At C.R. Xavier

Teams (record) — 1. Williamsburg (5-0), 2. West Liberty (4-1), 3. C.R. Xavier (3-2), 4. Anamosa (2-3), 5. Waterloo West (1-4), 6. Marion (0-5)

First round

C.R. Xavier 52, Anamosa 21

West Liberty 48, Waterloo West 18

Williamsburg 66, Marion 9

Second round

C.R. Xavier 57, Marion 12

West Liberty 48, Anamosa 18

Williamsburg 63, Waterloo West 12

Third round

West Liberty 44, C.R. Xavier 36

Williamsburg 65, Anamosa 18

Waterloo West 49, Marion 18

Fourth round

Williamsburg 41, C.R. Xavier 26

Anamosa 45, Waterloo West 36

West Liberty 52, Marion 9

Fifth round

C.R. Xavier 48, Waterloo West 27

Williamsburg 49, West Liberty 25

Anamosa 45, Marion 27

C.R. XAVIER 52, ANAMOSA 21

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106 pounds — Ryan Hoefer (CRX) pinned Robert Scranton, 1:38; 113 — Adam Cook (CRX) pinned Sean Kirk, 3:22; 120 — Double forfeit; 126 — Aaron Casey (A) dec. Lucas Osterhaus, 2-1 UTB; 132 — Easton Wheeler (A) pinned Connor Murray, :49; 138 — T.J. Cook (CRX) won by forfeit; 145 — Christian Stanek (CRX) won by forfeit; 152 — Grant Helmle (CRX) won by forfeit; 160 — Jevin Rexroth (CRX) won by forfeit; 170 — Caelen Shannon (CRX) pinned Ayden Koob, :31; 182 — Ivan Thomas (CRX) major dec. Nathan Keating, 14-4; 195 — Ryan Volk (CRX) pinned Jordan Brown, 3:12; 220 — Cole Sigler (A) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Connor Andresen (A) pinned Cole Murphey, :50.

C.R. XAVIER 57, MARION 12

113 — A. Cook (CRX) pinned Rafe Boucher, 2:38; 120 — Double forfeit; 126 — Osterhaus (CRX) dec. Xander Roney, 5-1; 132 — Wesley Logan (M) pinned Murray, :32; 138 — T. Cook (CRX) pinned Mason Dunlavey, 1:12; 145 — Stanek (CRX) pinned Dylan Mull, 1:48; 152 — Helmle (CRX) pinned Stijn De Lang, 1:28; 160 — Thomas McAllister (M) pinned Rexroth, 5:58; 170 — Shannon (CRX) pinned Ethan Hangartner, 1:57; 182 — Thomas (CRX) pinned Cael Scott, 2:40; 195 — Volk (CRX) pinned Tayt Broell, :21; 220 — Double forfeit; Hwt. — Murphey (CRX) pinned Austin Johnson, :29; 106 — Hoefer (CRX) won by forfeit.

WEST LIBERTY 44, C.R. XAVIER 36

120 — Osterhaus (CRX) won by forfeit; 126 — Alex Beaver (WL) won by forfeit; 132 — Diego Gonzales (WL) pinned Murray, :58; 138 — Joshua Zeman (WL) tech. fall T. Cook, 17-1; 145 — Stanek (CRX) won by forfeit; 152 — Drake Collins (WL) pinned Helmle, :26; 160 — Shannon (CRX) pinned Lake Newton, 3:52; 170 — Thomas (CRX) pinned Joe Barten, 1:07; 182 — Volk (CRX) pinned Austin Elizalde, 2:20; 195 — Felipe Molina (WL) won by forfeit; 220 — Quintyn Rocha (WL) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Kobe Simon (WL) pinned Murphey, :37; 106 — Colin Cassady (WL) dec. Hoefer, 4-3; 113 — A. Cook (CRX) won by forfeit.

WILLIAMSBURG 41, C.R. XAVIER 26

126 — Kayden Gryp (W) pinned Murray, :37; 132 — Ayden Stratton (W) won by forfeit; 138 — T. Cook (CRX) dec. Isaac Clubb, 5-3; 145 — Stanek (CRX) major dec. Kam Royster, 16-6; 152 — Gable Dayton (W) pinned Rexroth, 4:00; 160 — Shannon (CRX) dec. Riley Holt, 5-2; 170 — Thomas (CRX) major dec. Alexander Marovets, 13-1; 182 — Volk (CRX) pinned Jack Geels, 1:19; 195 — Max Meade (W) won by forfeit; 220 — Cale Fenton (W) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Murphey (CRX) won by forfeit; 106 — Gavin Jensen (W) major dec. Hoefer 12-2; 113 — Tytan Guerrero (W) major dec. A. Cook, 11-2; 120 — Justin Miner (W) dec. Osterhaus, 3-1.

C.R. XAVIER 48, WATERLOO WEST 27

132 — Detravion Dollen (WW) won by forfeit; 138 — Cooper Paxton (WW) dec. T. Cook, 9-3; 145 — Stanek (CRX) pinned Edi Kuduzovic, 1:09; 152 — Helmle (CRX) dec. Bu Reh, 5-2; 160 — Shannon (CRX) won by forfeit; 170 — Justin Adams (CRX) win by forfeit; 182 — Thomas (CRX) win by forfeit; 195 — Volk (CRX) won by forfeit; 220 — Anell Kudic (WW) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Armin Hadziric (WW) pinned Murphey, 1:01; 106 — Hoefer (CRX) won by forfeit; 113 — A. Cook (CRX) won by forfeit; 120 — Osterhaus (CRX) dec. Ashton Brown, 4-0; 126 — Kaden Karns (WW) pinned Murray, :36.

WILLIAMSBURG 66, MARION 9

106 — Jensen (W) won by forfeit; 113 — Guerrero (W) pinned Boucher, 3:29; 120 — Miner (W) won by forfeit; 126 — Gryp (W) dec. Logan, 6-3; 132 — Stratton (W) dec. Dunlavey, 11-8; 138 — Clubb (W) won by forfeit; 145 — Royster (W) pinned Mull, 5:06; 152 — Dayton (W) pinned De Lang, 1:17; 160 — Holt (W) pinned McAllister, 3:02; 170 — Marovets (W) pinned Hangartner, 1:02; 182 — Scott (M) dec. Geels, 7-4; 195 — Meade (W) pinned Broell, :56; 220 — Fenton (W) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Johnson (W) won by forfeit.

WATERLOO WEST 49, MARION 18

120 — Brown (WW) won by forfeit; 126 — Karns (WW) pinned Logan, 3:31; 132 — Dollen (WW) pinned Roney, 5:02; 138 — Paxton (WW) won by forfeit; 145 — Mull (M) pinned Reh, 1:07; 152 — Daniel Gekpoah (WW) major dec. Caden McQuerry, 18-8; 160 — McAllister (M) won by forfeit; 170 — Isaac Taylor (WW) pinned DaeQuan Johnson, 5:36; 182 — Scott (M) won by forfeit; 195 — Drew Hundley (WW) pinned Broell, 3:19; 220 — Kudic (WW) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Hadziric (WW) dec. A. Johnson, 8-3; 106 — Double forfeit; 113 — Double forfeit.

WEST LIBERTY 52, MARION 9

126 — Beaver (WL) pinned Roney, 1:01; 132 — Logan (M) dec. Gonzales, 4-2; 138 — Zeman (WL) tech. fall Dunlavey, 18-3; 145 — Sam Gingerich (WL) major dec. Lance Wood, 9-1; 152 — Collins (WL) pinned De Lang, :53; 160 — Newton (WL) major dec. McAllister, 14-6; 170 — Barten (WL) dec. Hangartner, 8-6; 182 — Scott (M) pinned Elizalde, 5:47; 195 — Molina (WL) pinned Broell, 2:55; 220 — Rocha (WL) won but forfeit; Hwt. — Simon (WL) pinned A. Johnson, :41; 106 — Double forfeit; 113 — Cassady (WL) won by forfeit; 120 — Double forfeit.

ANAMOSA 45, MARION 27

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132 — Logan (M) dec. Wheeler, 2-0; 138 — Dunlavey (M) won by forfeit; 145 — Mull (M) won by forfeit; 152 — McQuerry (M) won by forfeit; 160 — McAllister (M) won by forfeit; 170 — Alex Casey (A) pinned Hangartner, 2:00; 182 — Keating (A) pinned Scott, 3:04; 195 — Brown (A) pinned Broell, 1:32; 220 — Sigler (A) won by forfeit; Hwt. — Andresen (A) won by forfeit; 106 — Scranton (A) won by forfeit; 113 — Kirk (A) dec. Boucher, 7-1; 120 — Double forfeit; 126 — Aa. Casey (A) pinned Roney, 1:12.

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

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