Your Prep Sports
Class 3A, District 7
When: Saturday, Noon
Where: Cedar Rapids Prairie
Teams: Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Washington, Clear Creek Amana, Linn-Mar, Marion, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Rapids Xavier
Ranked Teams: No. 7 Linn-Mar
What to Watch
A young Clear Creek Amana has a roster filled with wrestlers hungry to earn a first ever trip to the state tournament.
The challenge for the Clippers on Saturday will be navigating a challenging District 7 field filled with 18 ranked wrestlers including five current in the top five at their respective weights.
Clear Creek Amana qualified two wrestlers for the state meet a year ago and despite a strong field would like to build on that number this season.
The Clippers are led by a strong group of youngsters that includes freshman Ryker Jones and Jack Stevens, sophomore Caden Baxter and junior Jayden Massey.
All four of those wrestlers land in a district bracket that features a ranked opponent with Jones and Baxter each looking at the second-ranked wrestler in Class 3A at their weight.
Jones (14-5) is in a 132-pound bracket that features second-ranked Linn-Mar senior Bryce Parker while Baxter (15-3) is paired with second-ranked Christian Stanek of Cedar Rapids Xavier at 145.
At 120 pounds Junior Jayden Massey (12-11) has eighth-ranked Linn-Mar freshman Kane Naaktgeboren to contend with.
Who to Watch
Clear Creek Amana freshman Jack Stevens (19-3) has gotten his career off to a stellar start and a trip to the state meet would be the perfect capper to a strong debut campaign.
Stevens enters the postseason having won 10 of his last 12 matches with the only losses coming to 2A sixth-ranked Carson Less of West Delaware and 1A fifth-ranked Bryce Thompson of Highland.
The freshman enters a 113-pound bracket that featured sixth-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie senior Hunter Kalous who is a returning state qualifier.
Stevens has shown the ability to wrestle at a high level this season and should be in the hunt for a top-two finish at state meet spot on Saturday.
Weight Class to Watch
With 13 weight classes featuring at least one ranked wrestler and four weights with two wrestlers in the top 10 there won’t be a shortage of fun matchups to watch out for.
If you are watching Clear Creek Amana keep an eye on Baxter at 145 pounds.
The sophomore has won 10 of 11 matches in 2021 with the lone loss coming to fourth-ranked Nick Hageman of Dyersville Beckman.
Baxter would have his hands full in a potential matchup with unbeaten Stanek (32-0) who has 21 wins via fall this season but is fully capable of claiming a top two spots and advancing to the state meet.
106: No. 3 Blake Gioimo (Cedar Rapids Prairie) Soph.
No. 9 Cael Long (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) Sr.
113: No. 6 Hunter Kalous (Cedar Rapids Prairie) Sr.
120: No. 8 Kane Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) Fr.
126: No. 10 Brayden Parke (Linn-Mar) Jr.
132: No. 2 Bryce Parke (Linn-Mar) Sr.
138: No. 10 Grant Kress (Linn-Mar) Fr.
145: No. 2 Christian Stanek (CR Xavier) Jr.
152: No. 8 Abass Kemokai (Linn-Mar) Sr.
No. 10 Divion Ocheltree (CR Kennedy) Sr.
160: No. 1 Tate Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) Soph.
No. 8 Caelen Shannon (CR Xavier) Sr.
170: No. 4 Ivan Thomas (CR Xavier) Sr.
182: No. 8 Ryan Volk (CR Xavier) Sr.
220: No. 6 Cael Knox (CR Kennedy) Sr.
No. 7 Luke Gaffney (Linn-Mar) Jr.
285: No. 8 Tate Sykora-Matthess (CR Washington) Jr.
No. 10 Gavin Bascom (CR Kennedy) Sr.