By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
Area Qualifiers/First Round Opponent
120 – No. 1 Bryce West (50-1) Sr. Solon vs. Jack West (27-9) Fr. Winterset
126 – No. 2 Drew West (51-1) Sr. Solon vs. Lucas Carter (22-16) Jr. Harlan
138 – No. 9 Ben Carr (38-8) Sr. Solon vs. Dawson Riemenschneider (28-21) Jr. East Marshall; Quinn Murphy (36-13) Sr. Clear Creek Amana vs. No. 2 Skyler Noftsger (42-4) Soph. Ballard
152 – No. 7 Graeson Dall (35-5) Sr. Solon vs. Jaden Kampen (38-8) Sr. Humboldt
160 – No. 4 Trevor Nelson (39-6) Sr. Solon vs. Isaiah Mitchell (26-9) Sr. Decorah
170 – Mike Hoyle (37-16) Soph. Solon vs. Jarron Trausch (43-5) Soph. PCM
220 – Zach Wegmann (40-18) Jr. Solon vs. No. 3 Caleb Ring (38-1) Sr. Osage
285 – No. 4 Tyler Linderbaum (49-8) Jr. Solon vs. No. 5 Elijah Van’t Hof (37-3) Sr. Sioux Center
Returning State Champions
Current Weight/Wrestler/2016 Championship Weight
120 – Bryce West, Sr., Solon (1A 120)*
138 – Keeton Geerts, Sr., New Hampton (132)
145 – Ryan Leisure, Sr. Clear Lake (138)*
182 – Chase Shiltz, Sr., Creston/Orient-Macksburg (170)*
*-Denotes 2-time champion
145 – Ryan Leisure (35-0), Sr., Clear Lake
182 – Chase Shiltz (52-0), Sr., Creston/Orient-Macksburg
285 – Spencer Trenary (13-0), Soph., Clarion-Goldfield
Who to Watch
Trevor Nelson just missed a state title last season finishing runner-up at 160 pounds.
The Solon senior gets one final crack at the elusive state crown this season.
Fourth-ranked Nelson (39-6) wouldn’t face a ranked opponent until the semifinals where he would likely face third-ranked Julien Broderson (39-2) of Davenport Assumption.
Second-ranked Ryan Gorman of New Hampton is the highest ranked wrestler in the bracket after top-ranked Luke Hagemann of Dyersville Beckman failed to qualify and is on the opposite side of the bracket from Nelson.
A second consecutive strong state meet performance from Nelson would also be a huge boost to Solon in the 2A team race where New Hampton and Assumption figure to be some of the Spartans top competition.
Weight Class to Watch
Solon’s second-ranked Drew West and top-ranked Michael Millage of New Hampton are on a collision course for a highly-anticipated showdown in the 126-pound title match.
Millage won the Class 2A 106-pound title as a freshman in 2015 and was runner-up at 120 pounds last season.
West won the 1A 106-pound title in 2014, was third at 113 pounds in 2015 and runner-up at 126 last year losing only to unbeaten Alex Thomsen of Underwood along the way.
Adding intrigue to the possible title one vs. two title matchup is that both New Hampton and Solon figure to be in the mix for the 2A team title where every point figures to be critical.
While 126 pounds could help determine the team champ, the heavyweight bracket should be entertaining as well.
Fourth-ranked Solon junior Tyler Linderbaum (49-8) has his work cut out for him in his state meet debut with four of the top five ranked wrestlers in the bottom half of the 285-pound bracket.
Don’t Miss This
2A is the only class with three different wrestlers going for a state title trifecta.
Solon senior Bryce West joins Clear Lake senior Ryan Leisure (145) and Creston/Orient-Macksburg senior Chase Shiltz (182) as 2A wrestler attempt to end their careers with three consecutive state titles.
West will try to close out his career with a third consecutive 120-pound title.
West won back-to-back titles at 120 pounds in Class 1A the past two seasons going 105-0 in the process.
This season West seeks to add a Class 2A title to his resume.
West is 50-1 this season with his only loss coming to 3A two-time undefeated state champion Brody Teske of Fort Dodge.
District Champions (State qualifiers)
Solon (8); Ballard (8); New Hampton (6); Creston/Orient-Macksburg (6); South Tama (6); Davenport Assumption (6); Spirit Lake (6); Clarion-Goldfield (5).
2016 Top 5 Finishers
1. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 90.5; 2. Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 82.5; 3. Albia 78; 4. Glenwood 75; 5. ADM 74.
Last 5 Team Champs
2016 – Creston/Orient-Macksburg
2015 – Mediapolis
2014 – Davenport Assumption
2013 – West Delaware
2012 – Denver-Tripoli
What to Watch In the Team Race
Last year seven teams scored between 72.5 and 90.5 points with 10 points separating second and seventh place.
There could be just as many teams in the thick of what is expected to be a balanced 2A team race this season.
Solon, New Hampton, Davenport Assumption, Atlantic and defending 2A champion Creston/Orient-Macksburg should all figure into the team mix.
Solon has a 2A-best eight qualifiers and half of those are ranked in the top four in their respective weight classes.
Key weights could be 160 and 126 where Solon and New Hampton each have wrestlers ranked in the top four and could meet in the title match at both weights.