(Des Moines) -- The road to the 2020 High School State Wrestling Tournament makes the final stops this weekend at 24 different locations. Thousands of wrestlers hit the mats during wrestling season, but by the end of tomorrow, that number will be down to 672.
There is no high school event better than state wrestling, at least that I've attended and we are less than a week away from the greatest spectacle in high school sports, but first, we've got to get through districts.
Area teams will be in Atlantic, Underwood, Johnston, Pleasantville and MVAOCOU. Last week, I gave you 5,500+ words on sectional wrestling (which literally took me an entire day to write), so it should have been obvious that I would crank out something similar for district wrestling. Let's' get to it.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 7 AT JOHNSTON
Class 3A does postseason differently, and perhaps the way everyone will do it next year. There are no sectionals in 3A. Only districts. First and second qualify for state.
Teams: AL, TJ, Des Moines Lincoln, Des Moines North/Hoover, Des Moines Roosevelt, Johnston, Lewis Central, Norwalk
There are no ranked wrestlers in this district. AL's Connor Hytrek is 14-10 on the season and has a legitimate shot to qualify for state, but the favorite will likely be Johnston's Owen Helgeson, who has just one loss on the season. It will be interesting to see if Ava McNeal (Lewis Central) is in this bracket. Trenton Harper (Norwalk) could also be a player in this weight.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 8 Aime Mukiza (DM North-Hoover)
Mukiza comes into the district tournament with a record of 23-5 and has a win over Ashton Busch (DM Lincoln) as well as a win over Alex Williamson (Johnston).
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 10 Donovan Card (Norwalk)
Card has had a great freshman season, going 24-7 with a Little Hawkeye Conference title to his name. This is going to be a name we're going to hear a lot over the next few years, but he has not wrestled anyone else in this bracket. The wildcard is Tanner Wink, who has not wrestled lately but was a state qualifier last season.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 5 Grant Harbour (Norwalk) 3A No. 7 Thomas Edwards (Johnston)
This is a sneaky good bracket, at least at the top. Edwards is 22-3 on the season and his three losses are good ones. Harbour and Edwards have not wrestled this season. Taber Dominguez (Lewis Central) and Aiden Keller (Abraham Lincoln) are also going to be in this bracket.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 8 Keaton Moret (Norwalk)
Moret is 26-4 on the season. He hasn't wrestled anybody else in this tournament, which is starting to become a theme. Keep an eye on Lewis Central's Brian Paul, who had a strong showing at the Hawkeye Ten Wrestling Tournament and is continuing to improve as the season goes on.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 6 James Edwards (Johnston); 3A No. 8 Leo Blawou (DM Lincoln)
Another talented weight class. Edwards and Blawou have not wrestled each other this season, so it's tough to gauge who will come out on top, assuming they get past Mason Allen (CBTJ), Jude Ryan (AL) and Nick Wolf (Lewis Central)
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 7 Tanner Higgins (Lewis Central)
I think Lewis Central has a chance to get multiple wrestlers through to Des Moines, but Higgins is the safest bet. Higgins has been pretty dominant this season and enters districts at 41-7. I like his chances to get to state, and probably medal, too.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No.6 Ethan Vetterick (Norwalk)
Vetterick is 26-2 on the season and will be the favorite to win this district. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jake Lear (Lewis Central) be in contention for the other transfer position.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 1 Caleb Helgeson (Johnston)
Helgeson has only wrestled 17 matches this season, but they've all been victories. Norwalk's Caden Schmidt is my guess for the other qualifier. He's currently 13-5 on the season.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A No. 2 Mickey Griffith (DM Lincoln)
Griffith's only two losses of the season a pair of two-point decisions to Logan Neils (Ankeny Centennial). He's a legit championship threat. Also, keep an eye out for Nick Marker (Norwalk) who is currently 19-6 on the season and has recently made the bump down to 170.
This is incredibly wide-open. Lewis Central's Logan Katzer will likely be in this bracket, but I'd be lying if I said I know much about this bracket outside of Katzer.
I'm expecting AL's River Petry to be in this bracket and he's had a good year so far. It will be interesting to see if he can conclude it with a trip to state. Norwalk's Tristen Duncan will likely be a contender, too.
This bracket is going to be pretty light and I have no idea who will be in it, but I feel confident saying Gabriel Daniels (AL) will be in this bracket. He might even be the favorite.
Ranked Wrestlers: 3A #5 Maddux Borcherding-Johnson (Norwalk)
Borcherding-Johnson will be the hands-down favorite. The battle for the other spot will likely be between Dylan Koch (Lewis Central), Keelan Bailey (AL) and Kyle Snowgren (Lincoln)
For the 1A & 2A Districts, I will give you a guess of how many state qualifiers I think each school will have. Unfortunately, it's much tougher to predict for 3A because the brackets are not set yet. I do think LC gets multiple wrestlers through, but not sure how many. I also would not be surprised to see TJ or AL have some sort of presence in Des Moines next weekend.
DISTRICT 3 AT MVAOUCOU
The fine folks at Maple Valley-Anton-Otho-Charter Oak-Ute are fortunate enough to host this tournament and it should be a dandy. As we get to 1A/2A districts, please remember that the first and second-place finishers from districts qualify for state. The district semifinals are already set and were determined by results from sectionals.
Semifinals: Jacob Downey (Logan-Magnolia) 25-12 vs. Wyatt Skuodas (Hinton) 32-4; Landon Hansen (West Monona) 16-12 and Ryder Koele (Woodbury Central) 38-14
I have a hunch this one will come down to wrestlebacks. Downey and Skuodas have not wrestled this season. Downey pinned Hansen at sectionals while Koele beat Skuodas by major decision. That's where the past results end. Good luck predicting this one. Koele will likely be the favorite, though and the Downey/Skuodas semifinal could be the biggest match of this bracket.
Semifinals: Sean Thompson (Logan-Magnolia) 40-4 vs. Colton Choquette (Westwood) 20-18; Andrew Bowman (Missouri Valley) 20-18 vs. Kevin King (South Central Calhoun) 41-4
I think it's safe to say Thompson and King will be the favorites to qualify out of this district thanks to their impressive records and sectional championships, but crazy things can, and sometimes do, happen at districts.
Semifinals: Hagen Heistand (Logan-Magnolia) 32-1 vs. Brackett Locke (Woodbury Central) 31-21; Connor Attkisson (Tri-Center) 35-8 vs. Aiden Christiansen (Hinton) 34-5
My favorite part about districts is how intense the semifinals can be. This weight class is the perfect example. I'd be stunned if Heistand doesn't qualify for state. The bigger question is who he will be joined by. Atkisson and Christiansen have not wrestled each other this season, because that would make previewing this too easy.
Semifinals: 1A No. 3 Beau Klingensmith (Woodbury Central) 47-3 vs. Zavier Trovato (Missouri Valley) 29-18; 1A No. 7 Wyatt Reisz (Logan-Magnolia) vs. Jayden Lahmann (Westwood) 15-10
Another fun weight class! Klingensmith was a state finalist last season and Reisz has an extremely bright future but has not been challenged much this year. This weekend could be a great challenge for him and a sign of what to expect in Des Moines. The potential of this match has me excited.
Semifinals: Brady Thompson (Logan-Magnolia) 35-12 vs. Matt Peters (Lawton-Bronson) 30-16; Sam Kyle (Missouri Valley) 13-3 vs. 1A No. 9 Nate Thomsen (East Sac County)
Thomsen and Thompson (that sounds like a law firm) have not wrestled this season. Thompson did beat Kyle at sectionals last week and Thomsen beat Peters. Those are the only meetings of the season.
Semifinals: Gavin Maguire (Logan-Magnolia) 27-4 vs. Hunter Hanner (Westwood) 33-7; Kaden Broer (West Monona) 32-14 vs. 1A No. 7 Jordan Khommanyvong (South Central Calhoun) 32-3
Khommanyvong pinned Hanner at sectionals but has not faced Broer or Maguire. Maguire pinned Broer last week but has not wrestled Hanner. There doesn't seem to be many repeat matchups in this district.
Semifinals: 1A No. 10 Bryce Hudnut (Logan-Magnolia) 38-9 vs. Logan Sewell (Hinton) 29-8; Eric McIlnay (Missouri Valley) 35-12 vs. Max McGill (Woodbury Central) 35-13
Hudnut has continued to improve during his career and has gone from a near .500 wrestler to the cusp of the state tournament. He beat McIlnay at sectionals and backed it up with another win at regional duals but has not wrestled McGill or Sewell. McGill pinned Sewell in 50 seconds at sectionals but has not wrestled McIlnay. McIlnay and Sewell have not wrestled either.
Semifinals: 1A No. 1 Briar Reisz (Logan-Magnolia) 32-1 vs. Kyle Brighton (Hinton) 29-11; Gage Clausen (Missouri Valley) 17-10 vs. 1A No. 8 Nate Monahan (Woodbury Central) 45-7.
Reisz, a two-time state runner-up, is hungry for a shot at redemption. He's defeated Clausen twice in the last week but has not wrestled Monahan or Brighton this season. Monahan beat Brighton at sectionals.
Semifinals: Jack Nelson (Woodbine) 25-10 vs. Teegan Tschampel (Hinton) 33-8; Devin Monahan (West Monona) 29-19 vs. 1A No. 6 Blake McAlister (South Central Calhoun) 42-3
McAlister is likely to be the favorite in this district, but the other spot is a crapshoot. Nelson beat Monahan at sectionals and could be the first Woodbine state qualifier since Joey Wolf a few years ago.
Semifinals: 1A No. 5 Bryson Freeberg (Tri-Center) 33-2 vs. Levi Sleezer (Alta-Aurelia) 26-10; Kolby Scott (MVAOCOU) 32-9 vs. Sterling Rodman (East Sac County) 28-13
Freeberg has his sights set on medaling at state again and pinned Scott in 49 seconds at sectionals. He has yet to wrestle Sleezer or Rodman this season. Rodman pinned Sleezer last week but has yet to wrestle Scott.
Semifinals: 1A No. 7 Nick Haynes (Missouri Valley) 32-2 vs. Alex DeRoos (Alta-Aurelia) 28-6; Sendeska Kalskett (West Monona) 28-14 vs. 1A No. 6 Jackson DeWald (Westwood)
A really good wrestler is going to have to buy a ticket to get into state wrestling. Dewald beat Haynes earlier this season by a one-point decision. He also has a pin over and major-decision Kalskett, who Haynes pinned at sectionals last week. DeRoos has been ranked at times this season, but lost to DeWald by seven points at sectionals and has not wrestled Haynes. This one will be fun.
Semifinals: 1A No. 7 Darius Gashe (West Monona) 18-3 vs. Derek Anderson (Hinton) 31-5; Gaven Heim (Tri-Center) 35-9 vs. 1A No. 10 Ty Dennison (Woodbury Central) 28-14
Gashe was a state qualifier last season and wrestled well in sparse action this season. Dennison has a win by fall over Gashe earlier this season and he beat Anderson by three points last weekend but hasn't wrestled Heim. Gashe pinned Heim at sectionals. Heim and Anderson have not wrestled each other.
Semifinals: 1A No. 5 Rex Johnsen (Logan-Magnolia) 41-5 vs. Logan Smith (Akron-Westfield) 21-12; Megaeska Kalskett (West Monona) 30-8 vs. Brian King (South Central Calhoun) 40-8
I like Johnsen's chances to get to Des Moines, but I think the other semifinal is really intriguing. Kalskett and King have not wrestled this season, so it's tough to gauge how this one will go.
Semifinals: 1A No. 5 Barret Pitt (Logan-Magnolia) 41-2 vs. Warren Smith (Woodbury Central) 20-23; Connor Murray (Missouri Valley) 20-6 vs. Kipp Corbin (East Sac County) 24-7
Pitt is coming off an impressive week where he beat Murray at sectionals, beat 1A No. 2 Ryley Snell (I35) in a regional dual semifinal and then beat Murray again in a regional dual final. He's a former state medalist and I think he has a chance to get back and do some damage. I also think the basketball/wrestling standout that is Connor Murray has a shot of joining him. Five of Murray's six losses have come to Pitt and he has a win over Corbin by fall earlier this season.
HOW MANY WRESTLERS WILL EACH SCHOOL GET TO STATE?
I'm sure you would love for me to blatantly say which individuals I picked to qualify, but I refuse to do that. The last thing I want to do is be somebody's bulletin board material. Here's my guess. Logan-Magnolia 9, Woodbury Central 5, South Central Calhoun 4, Tri-Center 2, Hinton 2, Missouri Valley 2, Westwood 1, MVAOCOU 1, West Monona 1, East Sac County 1.
DISTRICT 4 AT PLEASANTVILLE
Semifinals: Drew Ehlen (Mount Ayr) 35-2 vs. Devon Luing (Pleasantville) 27-12; Dalton Ervin (Moravia) 27-9 vs. Noah Strohmeyer (Colfax-Mingo) 27-8
Ehlen has had a great high school debut and will look to join his brother Trae at the state tournament next week. Ehlen pinned Ervin at sectionals last week but has not wrestled Luing or Strohmeyer. Strohmeyer pinned Luing but has not wrestled Ervin this season.
Semifinals: Ryan Steinlage (I35) 29-8 vs. Curtis Gilem (Baxter) 10-21; Jarrett Webb (Mount Ayr) 23-16 vs. Kale Munson (Ogden) 30-6
Munson and Steinlage were the sectional champions and they both did so with pins but have not wrestled each other. Steinlage beat Webb while Munson beat Gilem. Munson and Webb have not wrestled, nor have Webb and Gilem.
Semifinals: 1A No. 10 Bryce Shaha (Mount Ayr) 22-2 vs. Dominic Degeneffe (Ogden) 24-19; Jarryn Stephens (East Union) 20-8 vs. Jacob Pierick (Colfax-Mingo) 23-13
Shaha is a former state-medalist and two-time state qualifier. He overcame an early-season knee injury and has been impressive since returning. He beat Stephens by 5-1 decision last week and pinned Degeneffe in his second match of the season. He has not wrestled Pierick this season. Stephens has not wrestled Pierick, who lost to Degeneffe.
Semifinals: Jakson Cobb (Wayne) 25-8 vs. Trevor Nickel (Pleasantville) 13-24; Wil Martin (Moravia) 27-9 vs. Cael Cassady (Martensdale-St. Marys) 34-6
Cassady has two wins over Cobb this season.....one by fall and one by decision. He also pinned Nickel in 21 seconds at districts and Cassady has not wrestled Martin, who lost to Cobb and has not wrestled Nickel.
Semifinals: 1A No. 2 Cole Cassady (Martensdale-St. Marys) 40-1 vs. Nick Steinlage (I35); 1A No. 7 Randy Jimenez (Southeast Warren) 24-3 vs. Hunter Green (Colfax-Mingo) 29-9
This is a really good bracket. Surprisingly, Cassady and Jimenez have not wrestled each other despite the fact they are in the same conference. Cassady pinned Green at sectionals last week. Jimenez beat Steinlage twice this year by fall.
Semifinals: 1A No. 4 Trae Ehlen (Mount Ayr) 36-4 vs. Dominick DiCesare (Martensdale-St. Marys); Chase Baker (I35) 20-15 vs. Cyden Fitch (Colfax-Mingo) 41-2
Another stout bracket. Ehlen pinned Baker at sectionals and beat DiCesare in the POI Finals by a 5-3 decision. He has not wrestled Fitch, who beat DiCesare by 4-0 decision last week.
Semifinals: Jaydon Knight (Mount Ayr) 23-5 vs. Avery McCloud (Ogden) 18-21; Connor Golston (Moravia) 28-6 vs. Kitt Lundy (Pleasantville) 25-8
Knight has had a quietly impressive season and beat Golston by fall in 5:10 last week. Knight has not wrestled Lundy or McCloud this season. Golston and Lundy haven't wrestled this season, either.
Semifinals: Tanner Dierking (Southeast Warren) 34-7 vs. Devin Schall (Martensdale-St. Marys); Reese Dunsbergen (Lynnville-Sully) 11-12 vs. Hunter Stevens (Colfax-Mingo) 27-16
Schall and Dierking split earlier this season at the Pride of Iowa Conference Tournament with both winning by fall. Stevens beat Schall by fall last week but has not wrestled Dierking or Dunsbergen this season.
Semifinals: Chase Darst (I35) 12-21 vs. Jacob Hiemstra (Pleasantville) 17-15; Bradley Metz (Southeast Warren) 29-16 vs. Trystin Ross (Colfax-Mingo) 35-8
Ross was a state qualifier last season and beat Hiemstra at sectionals last while Darst won a wild 11-10 battle with Metz last weekend to avenge a prior loss. Ross also has a pin over Metz but has not wrestled Darst this season.
Semifinals: Brant Looney (East Union) 19-9 vs. Justus Rude (Ogden) 15-12; Curtis Jacobe (I-35) 19-20 vs. Lane Swenson (South Hamilton) 36-3
Looney and Swenson were the sectional champions with wins over Jacobe and Rude respectively. Those were the only meetings between the quartet this season.
Semifinals: Brady Langloss (Wayne) 25-7 vs. Xander Soder (Ogden) 20-18; Logan-Montgomery (Southeast Warren) 8-16 vs. Sean Miklus (Martensdale-St. Marys) 25-14.
Langloss is the odds-on favorite to win this district. He pinned Montgomery in 23 seconds last week but surprisingly has not wrestled Miklus this season. I like Miklus to come out of this bracket, too, but anything can happen at district and this bracket could be full of surprises.
Semifinals: Brock Thompson (I35) 33-6 vs. Alex Swanson (Pleasantville) 8-12; Louis Gonzales (East Union) 5-18 vs. Trevor Thompson (South Hamilton) 33-8
I think it's highly likely that both state qualifiers from this weight class have the last name Thompson. Brock Thompson pinned Gonzales in 29 seconds at sectionals but has not wrestled the other Thompson, who beat Swanson at sectionals last weekend.
Semifinals: Sam Vonnahme (I35) 15-5 vs. Colton Wilis (South Hamilton) 24-12; Donovan Morales (Mount Ayr) 23-12 vs. 1A No. 3 Blake Haub (Ogden)
Haub will be the favorite to win the district, but flip a coin between the other three. Vonnahme pinned Morales in 45 seconds last weekend but has not wrestled Wills this season. Morales and Wills have not wrestled, either.
Semifinals: 1A No. 2 Ryley Snell (Interstate 35) 30-5 vs. Alan Allsup (Martensdale-St. Marys) 20-14; Chad Kent (Wayne) 20-15 vs. Matthew Kauffman (Pleasantville) 35-4
We'll see how Snell responds from bouncing back from a tough loss to Pitt Tuesday night. Snell has wins by fall over the other three wrestlers in this district. Kaufman beat Kent by fall earlier this season and beat Allsup by fall at sectionals. Allsup beat Kent earlier this season.
HOW MANY WRESTLERS WILL EACH SCHOOL GET TO STATE?
Here's my guess: Mount Ayr 4, Colfax-Mingo 4, I35 4, Southeast Warren 3, Martensdale-St. Marys 3, East Union 2, Ogden 2, Wayne 2, Pleasantville 2, South Hamilton 2
DISTRICT 7 AT UNDERWOOD
Semifinals: 1A No. 1 Gable Porter (Underwood) 29-0 vs. Adyson Lundquist (Southwest Valley) 15-12; Mizael Gomez, Bedford-Lenox 22-18 vs. 1A No. 7 John Schroder (Riverside) 39-16.
If you've yet to see Porter wrestle, no worries, you'll probably see a lot of him in Des Moines. Porter pinned Schroder in 1:06 at sectionals last week and that's impressive because I think Schroder will be on the medal stand next weekend.
Semifinals: 1A No. 9 Elliot Cooney (Nodaway Valley) 39-3 vs. Niles Sollazzo (Underwood) 35-14; 1A No. 6 Jace Rose (Riverside) 36-2 vs. Wesley Ganoe (West Central Valley) 19-14
Rose and Cooney put on a heckuva battle at John J and it would be awesome if they duplicated it, but Ganoe and Sollazzo will not be easy outs. Rose beat Solazzo last week but has not wrestled Ganoe. Cooney has not wrestled Sollazzo, either.
Semifinals: Ben Breheny (Nodaway Valley) 26-15 vs. Hayden Fischer (AHSTW) 25-23; Dawson Muller (ACGC) 15-18 vs. 1A No. 2 Stevie Barnes (Underwood) 51-1
My first thought was: Barnes has wrestled 52 matches? That's a lot. Winning 51 matches is also a lot. Barnes beat Fischer at sectionals but has not wrestled Muller or Breheny. Fischer beat Muller by fall in December and tech-falled him in January. Fischer and Breheny have not wrestled this season. I think Barnes is a safe bet to advance, but guessing who the other qualifier will be is tough.
Semifinals: Seth Danker (ACGC) 28-6 vs. John Helton (St. Albert) 21-16; Justin Garcia (West Central Valley) 27-9 vs. Nick Stephens (Underwood) 37-15
This bracket could be fun. Danker and Stephens were the sectional champions with respective victories over Garcia and Helton. Danker has not wrestled anyone else in this bracket. Stephens has a tech-fall and a major decision over Helton but has not wrestled Garcia. I think Danker is the favorite but guessing who will be the other qualifier is tougher to predict.
Semifinals: Gunnar Larsen (ACGC) 33-6 vs. Joel Sampson (AHSTW) 34-6; Cael Carl (West Central Valley) 14-11 vs. Zane Ziegler (Underwood) 31-16
A really good wrestler is going to have to go to school instead of wrestle on Thursday. Larsen and Ziegler were the sectional champions, so you might think they have the easier path to Des Moines, but Sampson beat Larsen by a four-point decision on January 9th. I have a feeling that this weight will be decided by wrestlebacks.
Weston Pote (West Central Valley) 29-9 vs. Nolan Moore (Riverside) 38-9; Carter Andreasen (ACGC) vs. 1A No. 2 Logan James (Underwood)
This is another really fun bracket. James is back and has wrestled like he never missed a beat. He has recent victories over Moore and Andreasen. Moore beat Andreason earlier this year, but it was by forfeit. Pote beat Andreasen by one point last week while Moore has a 3-0 victory over Pote to his name. This is going to be worth keeping an eye on.
Cale Rowley (ACGC) 29-15 vs. Mitch Lutz (Treynor) 32-12; Braiden Beane (West Central Valley) 19-15 vs. 1A No. 1 Nick Hamilton (Underwood)
Hamilton is wrestling like a dude who's going to win a state title and I don't know that he will be stopped this week. I think the other transfer spot likely boils down to the Lutz/Rowley match and those two have not wrestled each other this season.
Semifinals: Tyler Breheny (Nodaway Valley) 24-22 vs. 1A No. 3 Blake Thomsen (Underwood) 16-2; Jake Cox (Bedford-Lenox) 38-11 vs. 1A No. 7 Jaedan Rasmussen (AHSTW) 34-7
First off, can we take a minute to appreciate how awesome it is to see Thomsen back on the mat. This is not something I expected to see a month ago and I'm glad to say it was a surprise. Thomsen didn't miss a beat last week, cruising to a sectional title. He's highly motivated and looking to make up for lost time. The Cox/Rasmussen semifinal could very likely decide the other state qualifier. Rasmussen pinned Cox in December, but I think it's safe to say both wrestlers are different than they were the first time.
Semifinals: 1A No. 9 Austin Wilson (Nodaway Valley) 38-1 vs. Carson Burhenne (Treynor); 1A No. 10 Denver Pauley (AHSTW) vs. Javyn Bladt (Audubon)
Wilson is one of the area's most improved wrestlers and the numbers back it up. Wilson beat Pauley by decision and pinned Bladt recently, but has not wrestled Burhenne. Pauley pinned Burhenne at sectionals while Burhenne and Bladt have not wrestled this season.
Semifinals: 1A No. 4 Drew Venteicher (Bedford-Lenox) 43-0 vs. Seth Kiesel (AHSTW) 28-12; Cole Plowman (ACGC) 16-24 vs. Cael McLaren (St. Albert) 28-7
Venteicher is another wrestling I'd not be surprised to see wrestling next Saturday night. He has victories this season over Kiesel by major-decision and a 20-second pin over Plowman last week at sectionals. Kiesel pinned Plowman earlier this season but has not wrestled McLaren. McLaren majored Kiesel at sectionals last week. Can he beat him twice in a week? We're going to find out.
Semifinals: Kaden Jacobs (Southwest Valley) 17-11 vs. Logan Young (Treynor) 22-14; Aaron McAlister (Coon Rapids-Bayard) 22-9 vs. Kaiden Hendricks (Riverside) 28-16
This is going to be a fun one and there's no clear favorite. Jacobs, in his first year on the wrestling mat, was a pleasant surprise for the T-Wolves last week with a sectional title with a fall over McAlister in 1:07. However, he has not wrestled Hendricks or Young, but McAlister has a pin over Hendricks and beat Young in sudden-victory on January 30th. I like Jacobs' chances to qualify, but It won't be easy. However, it will be fun to watch.
Semifinals: Sam Olson (Griswold) 19-6 vs. Corey Coleman (Treynor) 28-11; Kale Pevestorf (Coon Rapids-Bayard) 22-13 vs. 1A No. 8 Gavyn Fischer (AHSTW 42-5)
Fischer has a pair of pins over Coleman and a pin over Olson, so his chances to qualify look pretty good, but he has not wrested Pevestorf this season. Coleman beat Olson by 10-4 back in December, but that was a long time ago and anything can happen at districts.
Semifinals: 1A No. 10 Luke Mosinski (Audubon) vs. Leland Barr (AHSTW); Tallen Myers (Southwest Valley) 32-9 vs. Chris Gardner (Underwood) 31-10
This one is going to be fun. Mosinski is certainly the favorite given he has three wins over Myers and a win over Barr. However, he's yet to wrestle Gardner, who was a state qualifier at the expense of Myers, who he beat in a wrestleback. Oh, and Myers avenged that loss to Gardner at Rollin Dyer. Myers also pinned Barr in 54 seconds earlier this year. Can he make sure Southwest Valley has a presence in Des Moines? I think so.
Semifinals: Devin Whipple (Bedford-Lenox) 38-6 vs. 1A No. 10 Brady Canada (AHSTW) 25-2; Gage Buttler (ACGC) 5-3 vs. 1A No. 9 Brock Fox (Treynor)
A really good heavyweight is not going to have to worry about making weight next week and that's sad. Whipple has caught my eye this season and he's only a sophomore, so we're going to be hearing a lot about him in the next few years. He beat Buttler at sectionals but has not wrestled Canada or Fox, who both wrestled sparingly this season. Fox pinned Canada at sectionals last week and he has what I think is the most favorable path to state. If only three could qualify.
HOW MANY WRESTLERS WILL EACH SCHOOL GET TO STATE?
Here's my guess, please don't yell at me for them: Underwood 7, AHSTW 6, Riverside 3, Nodaway Valley 2, ACGC 2, Southwest Valley 2, Treynor 2, St. Albert 1, Bedford-Lenox 1, Coon Rapids-Bayard 1, Audubon 1
DISTRICT 2 AT ATLANTIC
Semifinals: 2A No. 2 McKinley Robbins (Greene County) 32-1 vs. Sammy Schmitz (Harlan); Easton O'Brien (Atlantic-CAM) 38-14 vs. Brandon Erp (Red Oak) 37-19
Get used to hearing Robbins' name, wrestling fans. You're going to hear it a lot over the next four years. He's been an absolute beast this season and will be fun to watch. O'Brien has six victories over Erp this season, but you know what they say? It's hard to beat an opponent seven times. O'Brien has not wrestled Schmitz, though, and lost to Robbins last week. Erp pinned Schmitz at sectionals.
Semifinal: 2A No. 10 Aybren Moore (Atlantic-CAM) 35-4 vs. Luke Freund (Harlan) 25-14; Brenner Gallagher (Greene County) 32-12 vs. Chase Sandholm (Red Oak) 35-17
Moore is the high school wrestling equivalent of Perry Ellis. He's been in Atlantic-CAM's lineup for so long that you ask yourself "How the heck is he still in school?". He's had a great senior year and is determined to finish it in Des Moines. He has three victories over Sandholm, a win over Freund and one over Gallagher, too. Sandholm has two tight wins over Freund but has not wrestled Gallager, who has not wrestled Freund.
Semifinals: 2A No. 5 Benjamin Schmitz (Kuemper Catholic) 37-3 vs. Johnathon Erp (Red Oak) 34-14; Ethan Follmann (Atlantic-CAM) 37-15) vs. Luke Musich (Harlan) 29-10
Two really good wrestlers from the Hawkeye Ten will have to settle for watching their friends wrestle at state. This might be the weight class I'm the most excited about. Schmitz has three gritty wins over Follmnn and a win over Musich but lost to Erp in a thrilling Hawkeye Ten semifinal. Erp and Follman split their meetings this season with Erp winning the most recent battle. Musich and Erp have also wrestled twice in the past two weeks and split with Erp winning by fall at Hawkeye Ten and Musich winning by one point at sectionals. Musich beat Follmann in a wild 14-9 match earlier this season. Have I used the word fun yet?
Semifinals: Joe Weaver (Atlantic-CAM) 39-11 vs. Ethan Lemon (Harlan) 33-8; Keegan Jensen (Winterset) 33-8 vs. Dawson Bond (Red Oak)
Two really good wrestlers from this bracket will have to follow me on Twitter to know what's going on at state (@TrevMaeder 96, btw). Weaver and Bond were the sectional champs with respective wins over Jensen and Lemon. Weaver and Bond put on a fun match in the John J finals, which Weaver won. They followed that up with a thrilling Hawkeye Ten semifinal that Bond won in overtime. Weaver also pinned Bond in December, but that seems like forever ago. Weaver and Lemon split this year with Weaver winning by fall in early January and Lemon beating Weaver 9-6 at Hawkeye Ten. Bond's only match with Lemon came last week, where he beat him by 8-3 decision. Neither Bond nor Lemon has wrestled Jensen. These semifinals will be what the kids call "lit'.
Semifinals: 2A No. 4 Bryce Hatten (Winterset) 14-0 vs. Abby McIntyre (Glenwood) 4-3; Garon Wurster (Creston-OM) 38-10 vs. Kale Downey (Clarinda) 32-17
One of the semifinals will pit a state runner-up against a state champion. Hatten was a state finalist last year, while McIntyre was the girls champion at 132 this year. Hatten was sidelined for a lengthy period of time but has returned in time for districts with his sights set on getting to the finals again. Wurster has been wrestling well. He put up a good fight against Hatten last week, losing 3-0. He pinned Downey at Hawkeye 10 but has not wrestled McIntyre. Downey has two wins over McIntyre in the last two weeks.
Semifinals: 2A No. 3 Kruise Kiburz (Winterset) 39-2 vs. Michael Mayer (Clarinda); 2A No. 9 Shea Parkis (Kuemper Catholic) 40-3 vs. Tate Mayberry (Glenwood) 23-12
Winterset is pretty testy from about 126 to 170. Kiburz has been dominant this year and beat Parkis by 13-6 decision last week. He has not wrestled Mayer or Mayberry this season. Parkis pinned Mayer at Hawkeye Ten and has two pins over Mayberry, who beat Mayer last week.
Semifinals: 2A No. 3 Jack West (Winterset) 36-2 vs. Tyler Boldra (Glenwood) 13-23; 2A No. 10 Emry Colby (Panorama) vs. Colton Hauschild (Southwest Iowa) 29-8
Look! Another stout wrestler from Winterset. West had a one-point win over Colby at John J and a five-point victory at sectionals. West has not wrestled Boldra or Hauschild this season. Colby holds a decision victory over Hauschild this season but has not wrestled Boldra, who lost to Hauschild last week.
Semifinals: 2A No. 8 Tyler Brown (Winterset) 38-5 vs. Dalton Book (Glenwood) 23-11; 2A No. 4 Wyatt Appleseth (Panorama) 36-0 vs. Mason Griffith (Harlan) 3-6
Appleseth has been darn near unstoppable this year but Brown kept it close last week, losing by only two points. Appleseth has not wrestled Book or Griffith. Neither has Brown. Book pinned Griffith last week.
Semifinals: 2A No. 2 Justin McCunn (Red Oak) 47-3 vs. Will Hansen (Greene County) 28-12; Brady Barringer (Winterset) 35-9 vs. Zane Bendorf (Harlan) 25-14
McCunn will certainly be the favorite to qualify and there's going to be a lot of sad people in Red Oak if he somehow doesn't. The battle for the other spot is up for grabs. Barringer has wins over Hansen and Bendorf in the last week while Hansen and Bendorf have not wrestled this season.
Semifinals: Hayden Green (Creston-OM) 32-19 vs. Bruce Lukehart (Red Oak) 40-13; Payton Fewson (Atlantic-CAM) 15-17 vs. 2A No. 10 Carter Bendorf (Harlan) 31-6
Bendorf recently moved down from 182, so Lukehart is the only qualifier he's wrestled and he's beat him in twice. Lukehart has two wins apiece over Green and Fewson. I like his chances to get to Des Moines, just like Justin McCunn predicted back in November (he seriously did).
Semifinals: 2A No. 2 Jackson Kinsella (Creston-OM) 48-1 vs. Jakob Childs (Clarinda) 40-12; Riley Hoven (Winterset) 29-14 vs. Mitch Mayberry (Glenwood) 22-9
Kinsella holds wins all challengers, so he's the favorite, but the other three are pretty even. Childs and Mayberry have wrestled twice with both wrestlers nabbing a win by pin. Childs beat Hoven by 4-0 decision at John J., but Hoven and Mayberry have not wrestled.
Ranked Wrestlers: 2A No. 5 Sam Chapman (Creston-OM) 42-8 vs. Sully Woods (Glenwood) 17-17; Devin McKay (Atlantic-CAM) 28-23 vs. Carter Maynes (Red Oak) 34-3
I have a hunch that this bracket will come down to Chapman vs. Maynes, but the throw can be unforgiving sometimes and you never know. Maynes and Chapman have wins over Woods but Maynes has not wrestled McKay, who Chapman beat at sectionals last week. Chapman and Maynes have met twice this season. Maynes pinned Chapman in December and Chapman majored Maynes at John J. Could we see part three?
Semifinals: Cal Wanninger (Kuemper Catholic) 34-10 vs. Jesse Schwery (Harlan) 30-7; 2A No. 5 Crew Howard (Clarinda) 33-0 vs. Sawyer Schiltz (Greene County) 26-11
Howard is a wrestler that I would not want to face. He's been so physical and dominant. He owns victories over Schwery and Wanninger but has not wrestled Schiltz this season. Wanninger beat Schiltz at sectionals by decision, but has two losses to Schwery this season. Schwery and Schiltz have not wrestled.
Semifinals: 2A No. 1 Kaden Sutton (ADM) 34-1 vs. Jeremiah Davis (Harlan) 9-12; 2A No. 6 Cale Roller (Atlantic-CAM) 43-5 vs. Noah Clark (Glenwood) 17-12
I don't think it's any secret to say Sutton and Roller will be the heavy favorites to come out of this weight class. The duo met last week with Sutton getting an 8-0 victory. They'll likely clash again barring a colossal upset from either Davis or Clark.
HOW MANY WRESTLERS WILL EACH SCHOOL GET TO STATE?
Here's my guess. Again, this is just a guess: Red Oak 5, Winterset 5, Atlantic-CAM 4, Creston-OM 3, Harlan 2, Greene County 2, Kuemper Catholic 2, Panorama 2, Glenwood 1, ADM 1, Clarinda 1
You'll be able to hear the finals from Atlantic on KMA 960 tomorrow afternoon.