Brinkman Returns to 285-pound Title Match with Victory Over Long-time Rival Naig
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Before their high school days, Jared Brinkman and Matt Naig developed a nice rivalry as youth wrestlers.
Truth be told, the rivalry wasn’t so pleasant for Brinkman.
“When we were little he always beat up on me,” Brinkman said of Naig, a senior at Sibley-Ocheyedan. “He was just a stud.”
The final and most important matchup between the two long-time rivals belonged to Brinkman.
A takedown 20 seconds into sudden victory gave top-ranked Brinkman (37-1) a 3-1 win over No. 4 Naig in the Class 1A 285-pound semifinals at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday
“It’s a great matchup between us, we kind of know what we are both going to do and I was just able to do a little bit more,” Brinkman said. “I think my wrestling has come a long way since we were kids.”
The win was the eighth straight state-meet victory for Brinkman, who won the 285-pound title last season.
It sends the senior into Saturday’s state title match where he will face second-ranked Kyler Schott (50-1) of North Linn.
That eight-match winning streak started with a third-period pin of Naig in the 220-pound fifth place match in 2015.
“They wrestled in the fifth-place match at 220 and if I remember right it was a lot like tonight,” Regina coach Adam Martensen said. “It was one of those end of the period takedowns that was the difference.”
The first match between the two at 285 pounds was even throughout with the only scoring in regulation coming on a pair of escapes.
Brinkman quickly ended things in overtime, countering a Naig shot for the only takedown of the match.
“I knew what he was going to try to do, I knew what he was going to try to do so it was just who made less mistakes,” Brinkman said. “He kind of took a half shot and I just saw my opening and took it.”
The semifinal win came after Brinkman needed a total of 2:33 to record a pair of pins in his first two matches at state.
Prior to Friday’s semifinal win all six of Brinkman’s postseason wins had come by first-period fall.
“I don’t want the easy way,” Brinkman said. “He’s a great wrestler, it was a fun match and it’s going to be one to remember.”
Brinkman will attempt to become the first two-time state champion in Regina history on Saturday.
Schott has pinned his way to the 285-pound finals, including a semifinal pin of Jesup’s Brian Sadler in 4:23 on Friday.
“We have had some really good matches and he is a stud so I’m going to have to wrestle my best,” Brinkman said. “I know he is going to come out and do what he does, we both know what the other one can do so it’s just whoever can execute it.”
Brinkman handed Schott his only loss of the season with a third-period pin at a dual meet back on December 15.
“We saw him at Regina and it was a good close match, Schott is a really good competitor,” Martensen said. “He is quick and he has a lot of good technique that we have to watch out for. I think it will be another close one.”
Class 1A State Meet
Team scores (Top 10; Area Teams) – 1. Lisbon 80; 2. Sibley-Ocheyedan 57; 3. Don Bosco 48; 4. Underwood 47.5; 5. North Linn 45.5; 6. Lake Mills 43; 7. Wapsie Valley 42; 8. Pleasantville 41; 8. Southeast Warren/Melcher Dallas 41; 10. Dike New-Hartford 40; 23. Regina 26.
160 – Dalton Nelson (North Butler) major dec. Ryan Schott (Regina) 9-0
170 – Tanner Sloan (Alburnett) tech. fall Nick Milder (Regina) 18-2
285 – Jared Brinkman (Regina) pinned Mitchell Smith (Saint Ansgar) 1:13
285 – Jared Brinkman (Regina) dec. Matt Naig (Sibley-Ocheyedan) 3-1 SV-1
Second Round Consolation
160 – Nathan Haynes (Missouri Valley) pinned Ryan Schott (Regina) 5:54
170 – Dakota Vance (Rockford) pinned Nick Milder (Regina) :24