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West Delaware wrestler Logan Peyton is a portrait of his family’s perseverance
Boys’ state wrestling notes: ‘You never know what the day’s gonna bring, so you always have that one rock solid and that's family’
DES MOINES — Mitch Peyton powered through the 1997 Iowa high school boys’ state wrestling tournament field, finally reaching his gleaming, gold-draped destination.
The former West Delaware standout 160-pounder and current Hawks assistant wrestling coach basked in that top-of-the-podium moment — and on that stirring Saturday night, winning indeed meant everything.
“Growing up, for me, a lot of my identity was (based) on results,” said Peyton, who’s helped his family navigate through a spate of ill-timed injuries and recent health scares. “One of the things we’ve talked about a lot at our house — and wrestling’s been a huge blessing to me this way, but we’ve talked a lot about just how you perform, not the result. Because I truly feel that if you go out and wrestle the best you can and represent yourself, your school, and your family the best you can, the reality is that’s all you can really ask of yourself.”
Case in point: His son, Jadyn, daughter, Nora, and son, Logan.
- Jadyn Peyton placed third in the 2021 state meet at 152 pounds, but tore his ACL in football last season, which made wrestling at his typical high level difficult.
- Nora Peyton, a freshman at West Delaware, began having seizures at a Labor Day volleyball tournament and the family’s working with doctors to figure out how best to manage them.
- Logan Peyton, Jadyn’s younger brother, contracted mononucleosis around Thanksgiving, forcing him to miss significant time on the mat. Then he was stricken with tonsillitis two weeks ago, dominated the district tournament, and advanced to the state quarterfinals at 160 before narrowly losing to top-seeded Dawson Bond of Red Oak, 3-1, in sudden victory.
Logan, a senior, carved through the consolation bracket, racking up four consecutive wins to place at state for the third straight season.
“It's kind of been a little bit of everything this season, but it’s just totally been a family affair,” Logan Peyton said. “I mean, you never know what the day’s gonna bring, so you always have that one rock solid and that's family. So it's one thing in life that you’re always gonna have and I’m very thankful for that.”
So is his dad. After Logan, the No. 9 seed at 160, cemented his third-place finish by beating fourth-seeded Max Gast of Osage, 5-0, early Saturday afternoon, he pumped his fist as his arm was raised.
Mitch Peyton beamed and clapped before the father and son shared a long embrace that embodied their family’s love, faith and grit — and represented much more than winning on the mat.
“It’s all about perspective, I think,” Mitch Peyton said. “We’ve just tried to keep it about perform the way you’re capable of, do your best and God will do the rest. And it’s working. The kids are in a good spot.”
Carter Straw stirs up 5th-place finish
A loss in the semifinals didn’t faze Independence 160-pounder Carter Straw.
He’d already made the conscious decision to move up from 145 before districts in hopes of placing at state, which he did on Saturday afternoon, winning his fifth-place match by medical default.
“The thought process was the last few years I’ve made it to state, but I don’t want to just make it to state this year, I want to place,” said Straw, who weighed in at 154. “It kind of sucks coming to state and not placing.”
So there was nothing “light” about finally ascending the medal stand in his senior season.
“I had to toughen up a little bit, start eating, and here I am on the podium,” Straw said. “Not just making it, I’m on the podium. A lot of pride in that.”
Cody Fox takes 6th
East Buchanan standout junior heavyweight Cody Fox finished sixth after pinning his way to the 1A semifinals.
Fox, a four-star Iowa football recruit, wrestled through severe pain that stemmed from a torn meniscus and bone bruise to place at state for the second straight season.