By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
Area Qualifiers/Opening Round Opponents
106 – No. 10 Hans vonRabenau (22-7) Jr. West High vs. Thomas Edwards (27-14) Fr. Johnston
120 – Alex Aguirre (25-16) Sr. West High vs. No. 8 Cam Shaver (30-12) Jr. Cedar Rapids Kennedy
126 – Lance Bormann (33-14) Jr. City High vs. Nathan Betts (31-9) Sr. Western Dubuque
132 – Joey Harney (40-10) Jr. City High vs. No. 1 Jake Watters (40-4) Sr. West Des Moines Dowling
152 – No. 1 Nelson Brands (50-1) Jr. West High vs. Elliot Pohlmeyer (36-13) Jr. Johnston; Wilfred Kadohou (23-21) Jr. City High vs. No. 4 Cayd Lara (41-2) Jr. Fort Dodge
160 – No. 7 Carter Rohweder (42-7) Sr. West High vs. John Behrens (5-1) Sr. North Scott
182 – No. 10 Brock Hunger (37-7) Sr. City High vs. No. 6 Tyrell Gordon (40-4) Jr. Waterloo East
195 – No. 4 Jacob Dykes (44-0) Jr. City High vs. No. 2 Connor Corbin (37-4) Sr. West Des Moines Valley
220 – No. 4 Jordain Buckland (28-2) Sr. City High vs. Sam Wolff (26-21) Jr. Indianola; Guy Snow (39-14) Jr. West High vs. Drake Leek (31-4) Jr. Norwalk.
Returning State Champions
Current Weight/Wrestler/2016 Championship Weight
113 – Kyle Biscoglia, Jr., Waukee (106)
120 – Brody Teske, Jr., Fort Dodge (113)*
138 – Triston Lara, Sr., Fort Dodge (126)
145 – Grant Stotts, Jr., West Des Moines Valley (132)
152 – Nelson Brands, Jr., West High (138)
170 – Marcus Coleman, Sr., Ames (170)*
182 – Max Lyon, Sr., Western Dubuque (182)
220 – Wyatt Wriedt, Sr., North Scott (220)
*-Denotes 2-time champion
106 – Cullan Schriever (25-0), Fr., Mason City
113 – Drew Bennett (38-0), Jr., Fort Dodge
120 – Brody Teske (42-0), Jr., Fort Dodge
145 – Caleb Conway (44-0), Sr., Marion
160 – Joel Shapiro (40-0), Jr., West Des Moines Valley
170 – Marcus Coleman (37-0), Sr., Ames
182 – Max Lyon (45-0), Sr., Western Dubuque
195 – Jacob Dykes (44-0), Jr., City High
Who to Watch
The big stage always seems to bring out the best in Nelson Brands and no stage is bigger than the state tournament.
Ranked No. 1 at 152 pounds, Brands will try to win a second straight state title after winning gold in his first trip to state last season at 138 pounds.
Brands has been dominant this season rolling up a 50-1 record with his only loss coming to Austin O’Connor of St. Rita (Ill.) the third ranked 152-pounder in the nation by Intermat.
He leads the state in takedowns with 454, more than double the total for anyone else in Iowa and only four of his 51 matches this season have gone the entire six minutes.
Brands already owns a pair of wins over the top challenger and possible title match opponent at 152 pounds, Fort Dodge junior Cayd Lara (41-2).
Weight Class to Watch
There are plenty of loaded brackets as always but 113 pounds should produce one of the best semifinals of the tournament in defending champion Kyle Biscoglia of Waukee and unbeaten Fort Dodge junior Drew Bennett.
Bennett has won a pair of one-point decisions over Biscoglia this season, 3-2 in December and 9-8 last month.
Don’t sleep on the big guys at 220 where top-ranked Wyatt Wriedt of North Scott and second-ranked Rocky Lombardi could meet for a third time this season in the title match.
The two have split a pair of one-point, overtime matches this season.
Fifth-ranked City High senior Jordain Buckland is among four of the wrestlers ranked in the top six in the bottom half of the bracket and could get a shot at Wriedt in the quarterfinals.
Don’t Miss This
Fort Dodge Junior Brody Teske will try to keep his career record unblemished as he looks to cap a third consecutive unbeaten season with a state title.
Teske went 43-0 each of the last two seasons earning the 3A 106-pound title in 2015 and earning a second state title at 113 pounds last year.
Ranked the third best 120-pounder in the nation by Intermat, Teske enters the state tournament with a 128-0 career record.
District Champions (State qualifiers)
Johnston (12); Southeast Polk (10); North Scott (10); West Des Moines Valley (10); Dubuque Hempstead (9); Glenwood (8); Cedar Rapids Prairie (7); Waverly-Shell Rock (7).
2016 Top 5 Team Finishers
1. Southeast Polk 141.5; 2. Fort Dodge 131.5; 3. West Des Moines Valley 113.5; 4. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 72; 4. Waverly-Shell Rock 72.
Last 5 Team Champs
2016 – Southeast Polk
2015 – Southeast Polk
2014 – Bettendorf
2013 – Southeast Polk
2012 – Bettendorf
What to Watch
The last five 3A titles have gone to Bettendorf or Southeast Polk with the Rams winning each of the last two.
Southeast Polk appears to be the favorite again but will get plenty of competition mainly from conference rivals West Des Moines Valley and Fort Dodge.
Don’t count out last year’s runner-up Fort Dodge. The Dodgers have more than enough firepower to overtake Southeast Polk.