Solons’ West Brothers Both Return to State Title Match
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Drew and Bryce West have seemingly done it all as high school wrestlers.
The twin brothers have combined for three state titles and more than 400 wins during their decorated prep careers.
One goal that has eluded the brothers is ending the season together on the top spot on the podium at the state meet.
They took a big step toward reaching that goal on Friday.
The West brothers won 2A semifinal matches just seconds apart from each other on Friday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines to both return to the state title match for the second straight season.
“It’s nice to have them both in the finals, I know they want to finish both with a win and they are set up to be able to do that,” Solon coach Blake Williams said. “Hopefully they go out and perform and accomplish that goal.”
Drew West (54-1) returned to the state title match for the second straight season with a second-period pin of Denver-Tripoli’s third-ranked Riley Wright in the 126-pound semifinals.
Just seconds later Bryce West (53-1) secured his third consecutive state title match appearance with an 8-3 win over No. 5 Zachary Thompson of Perry
“When Drew was getting the pin I could see because we were in blood time,” Bryce said. “I looked over there and saw he was winning 4-3 and when I looked back he had him on his back.”
The wins by the West brothers were the highlight of the semifinals for Solon as the Spartans split four semifinal matches.
Ninth-ranked Ben Carr was pinned by top-ranked Keaton Geerts of New Hampton in the 138-pound semifinals and fourth-ranked Trevor Nelson dropped a gut-wrenching 6-5 decision to No. 3 Julien Broderson of Davenport Assumption in the 160 pound semifinals.
Solon enters Saturday second in the 2A team standings with 80.5 points, 7.5 behind top-ranked New Hampton.
“That last one at 160 hurt, it was close and it could have gone either way but to get four in the semifinals and five placing overall it’s been alright,” Williams said. “We just have to keep battling and let the team scores take care of themselves.”
The West brothers will try to give the Spartans’ team title hopes a boost while closing out their careers with titles on Saturday.
Bryce West will face eighth-ranked Denver-Tripoli junior Blake Steegge (27-2) in the 120-pound title match and No. 2 Drew West will square off with top-ranked Michael Millage (23-1) of New Hampton at 126.
“Making the finals, it never gets old,” Drew West said. “I’m just excited for my last high school match and I want to perform well.”
The brothers took turns winning titles while their sibling placed third in their first two prep seasons. Drew won a title in 2014 as a freshman and Bryce has won back-to-back titles the past two seasons.
Last year marked the first time the brothers reached the finals in the same year.
This season they hope to finish together with state titles.
“It’s been a goal for us for a long time,” Drew West said. “That’s still a goal of ours.”
Bryce West took control of his semifinal early on Friday with a take down with 50 seconds left in the first period.
He added a two-point near fall as time expired in the first to take a 4-0 lead.
“I really tried to set the pace,” West said. “I got a takedown and got the near fall at the end and built the lead and just tried to keep scoring points.”
Drew West recorded a takedown in each of the first two periods to take a 4-3 lead before putting Wright on his back before time expired in the second period.
When Drew got the pin he celebrated for a moment then quickly checked across the mats to see his brother’s match.
“I glanced over there and saw he was winning but I didn’t know much else,” Drew West said. “I just saw he was winning and that’s a good feeling.”
Class 2A State Meet
Team scores (Top 10; Area Teams) – 1. New Hampton 88; 2. Solon 80.5; 3. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 65.5; 4. Davenport Assumption 64; 5. Ballard 60; 6. Atlantic 45; 7. West Liberty 43; 8. Denver-Tripoli 42; 8. Washington 42; 10. Osage 40.
120 – Bryce West (Solon) pinned Philip Ihde (Decorah) 5:54
126 – Drew West (Solon) pinned Brady Fritz (South Tama) 5:46
138 – Ben Carr (Solon) dec. Austin Rozeboom (Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley) 11-7
152 – John Tuttle (Spirit Lake) injury default Graeson Dall (Solon) :41
160 – Trevor Nelson (Solon) dec. Matt Dahl (MOC-Floyd Valley) 10-8
120 – Bryce West (Solon) dec. Zachary Thompson (Perry) 8-3
126 – Drew West (Solon) pinned Riley Wright (Denver-Tripoli) 4:00
138 – Keaton Geerts (New Hampton) pinned Ben Carr (Solon) 3:15
160 – Julien Broderson (Davenport Assumption) dec. Trevor Nelson 6-5
Second Round Consolation
152 – Cody Feldman (Dyersville Beckman) medical forfeit Graeson Dall (Solon)
170 – Michael Kent (Iowa Falls) dec. Mike Hoyle (Solon) 7-1
220 – Nick Smith (Central DeWitt) dec. Zach Wegmann (Solon) 3-1
285 – Tyler Linderbaum (Solon) dec. Eli Harris (Gilbert) 3-2
Third Round Consolation
285 – Tyler Linderbaum (SOL) dec. Nic Hoefling (Spencer) 2-1
Saturday Championship Matches
120 – Bryce West (53-1) Sr., Solon vs. Blake Steegge (27-2) Jr., Denver-Tripoli
126 – Drew West (54-1) Sr., Solon vs. Michael Millage (23-1) Jr., New Hampton