2018 Class 2A Weight by Weight State Tournament Preview

BY JIM THOMPSON For THE PREDICAMENT

Boone McDermott

106
(Nine ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half: A total of five freshman reside in the top portion of the bracket highlighted by three of the top four ranked wrestlers in the weight class.  The winner of the huge 1st round match of #2 Matthew Lewis of Centerville vs. Keaton Zeimet of Central DeWitt will be the favorite to make the finals.  4th ranked Averee Abben of Osage takes on 8th ranked Benjamin Schmitz of Kuemper Catholic in another 1st round match where the winner could make a run to the semis.  10th ranked Mason Hill of Cherokee also sits in the lower upper half.

Bottom Half: Four ranked district champs will take on four unranked district runner-up’s in this side of the bracket.  Top ranked Jarod Kadel of Columbus Jct made the finals a season ago and had a big win over #2 Lewis last weekend at districts.  Both 5th ranked Colby Liillegard of Bondurant Farrar and 9th ranked Sam Nelson of Clear Lake have wrestled extremely well down the stretch.  One must make the semifinals and will likely give the favored Kadel a good match in a potential semifinal bout.

Finalist Predications: Jim Thompson – Matthew Lewis (Centerville) vs. Jarod Kadel (Columbus Jct) Wyatt Schultz – Keaton Zeimet (Central DeWitt) vs. Kadel

113
(Seven ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half:  Returning State Champ Grayson Kesterson sits on top of the bracket and will take on a familiar foe in the 1st round.  Kesterson squeaked out a 4-3 decision over 7th ranked Ryan Clark in the WaMaC conference final 2 weeks ago.  3rd ranked Andrew Flora of ADM is the lone ranked wrestler in the lower quad. Flora has just one loss on the season and placed 4th a season ago at 106 pounds.  Both Joe Sullivan of Osage and Grifen Molle of West Burlington have spent time in the rankings this year and will meet in another 1st round bout in this portion of the bracket.

Bottom Half: The bottom half is highlighted by the big 1st round bout between #2 Kain Luensman of Monticello and #4 Brock Beck of Grinnell.  The winner could face unranked Kyzer Engen of Decorah who has looked solid all year for the Vikings.  Two talented freshman appear headed to collide in a quarterfinal bout in the lower part of the bottom half.  5th ranked freshman Nathaniel Genobana of Centerville and 10th ranked freshman Remington Hanson of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows have just five losses between them on the season.

Finalist Predications: JT – Grayson Kesterson (Williamsburg) vs. Kain Luensman (Monticello) WS – Kesterson vs. Luensman

120
(All ten ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half: 6th ranked freshman Jack Gaukel of Sgt Bluff Luton has come on strong during the 2nd half of the season losing just 1 match to 3rd ranked Drake Doolittle of Webster City.  Gaukel could face 7th ranked Zeb Gnida of Solon in the quarters who he defeated at the Herb Irgens Invitational.  Another impressive freshman Carson Babcock of NHTV will have his hands full in an opening bout in the lower half of the top when he takes on 2nd ranked Kaden Anderlik of Cresco.  Also looming in the top half of the bracket is a finalist of a year ago Drake Doolittle. Barring upset, Anderlik and Doolittle should meet in the quarterfinals in what would be an excellent match.

Bottom Half:  There are three returning state placers in the upper half of the bottom. OA-BCIG standout Kurtis Krager placed 6th a season ago and heads into state ranked 8th.  He will have his hands full in an opening bout with Washington’s Walker Ikerd.  The semifinal spot is up for grabs in this portion of the bracket with both 5th ranked Caleb Fuessley of CPU and 9th ranked Bryce Hatten of Winterset certainly in the mix.  In the lower bottom, Top ranked Aden Reeves of Albia will be gunning for his 2nd state title.  In his way in the quarterfinal round will likely be Union’s 4th ranked Jack Thomsen.  Thomsen knocked off 2nd ranked Anderlik at districts last weekend and has looked extremely good down the stretch run.  But it certainly can be argued that no one has been more dominant in Class 2A than Albia’s Aden Reeves.

Finalist Predications: JT – Drake Doolittle (Webster City) vs. Aden Reeves (Albia) WS –  Doolittle vs. Reeves

126
(All ten ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half:  Top ranked and undefeated Eric Faught of Clear Lake sits at the top of the bracket and is the clear favorite to make the finals from his draw.  6th ranked Hunter Pfantz of West Marshall is a returning placer and will face Faught in a first round bout.  The 3rd and 4th ranked wrestlers are also present in the upper half of the bracket and could face each other in the quarters barring upset.  3rd Phillip Ihde of Decorah is undefeated on the season and 4th ranked Jalen Schropp of Williamsburg has racked up several impressive wins again this season.

Bottom Half:  Sitting on top of the lower part of the bracket is 4x State Qualifier Shea Ruffridge of Pochantas Area.  Ruffridge has finished 4th at state each of the last two seasons and will be the man to beat out to the semifinals in his portion of the bracket. The bottom half of the bracket looks to be up for grabs with yet another trio of returning state placers.  5th ranked Kayden Kauzlarich of Centerville finished 7th in 2017 as a freshman.  9th ranked Kole Hansen placed 5th at 106 in 2016 and 10th rated Carter Weeks of Vinton-Shellsburg placed 5th a year ago at 106.

Finalist Predications: JT –  Eric Faught (Clear Lake) vs. Shea Ruffridge (Pocahontas Area) WS – Faught vs. Ruffridge

132

(Nine ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)
Top Half: The weight class has been very deep all year proven by Chase Luensman of Monticello who is ranked 7th with only three losses after finishing 5th at state last year.  6th ranked Chase McLaren of Atlantic-CAM is now a 3x qualifier and could meet Luensman in the quarterfinals.  McLaren defeated Luensman in early January at Marion.  Another intriguing quarterfinal looms on the bottom side of the top.  Chariton’s Gabe Ruepke is a 3x state medalist and could see 2nd ranked and returning State Champ Matt Robertson of Assumption in the quarters.

Bottom Half: There is plenty of fire power in the bottom portion of the bracket as well.  3rd ranked Gable Sieperda of Central Lyon will be looking to make a 3rd trip to the awards stand this week.  To get out to the semifinals, Sieperda will have to get through a couple returning qualifiers as everyone in the upper quad was at state last year.  5th ranked Brady Fritz of South Tama and top ranked Will Esmoil of West Liberty appear to have the upper hand to make the quarters from the bottom quad.  Fritz has placed at state the last two years and Esmoil finished 3rd last year at 106.

Finalist Predications: JT – Matt Robertson (Davenport Assumption) vs. Will Esmoil (West Liberty) WS –  Chase McLaren (Atlantic-CAM) vs. Gable Sieperda (Central Lyon)

138
(Eight ranked wrestlers are in the Tournament)

Top Half:  5th ranked Coy Ruess of West Liberty has a good draw and could help the Comets bring home a team trophy this week.  He could see 8th ranked Matthew Doyle of Independence in quarters.  However, freshman Colby Tool of Prairie City-Monroe will face Doyle in the 1st round and could easily pull the extremely mild upset.  3x finalist and 2x State Champion Michael Blockhus has looked untouchable all season long and will be heavily favored to make the finals from his draw in the bracket.  3rd ranked Easton Graff of Sgt Bluff Luton could be the quarterfinal opponent for Blockhus.  Graff has a win over top ranked Gable Fox of Class 1A Don Bosco this year.

Bottom Half:  South Tama’s Tanner Probasco is the lone ranked wrestler in the upper quad of the bottom bracket.  Probasco placed 5th in the 2016 tournament at 126 lbs and has yet to taste defeat this season.  In the bottom half quad, Jarrett Miller of Ballard is now a 4x state qualifier and placed 7th a season ago at this weight class.  7th ranked Brennan Tood of Heelan Catholic flew under the radar for most of the year and will be Miller’s first round opponent.

Finalist Predications: JT –  Michael Blockhus (NHTV) vs. Tanner Probasco (South Tama) WS –   Blockhus vs. Probasco

145
(Nine ranked wrestlers are in the Tournament)

Top Half:   Like 132, the 145 lb weight class is loaded with wrestlers that are no strangers to the award’s stand.  On the top half of the bracket alone there are three wrestlers gunning for a 4th trip to the podium.  Top ranked Noah Fye of NHTV, 2nd ranked Tanner Abbas of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, and 6th ranked Ryan Steffen of Cresco each have placed at state dating back to 2015.  5th ranked Mitchel Swank of Creston-OM also lurks in the top half of the bracket here and easily could be the guy to make it out to finals.  Swank placed 5th in the weight last year.

Bottom Half:  9th ranked Joey Busse of Humboldt is the lone ranked wrestler in the upper quad.  Saydel’s Klayton Keller spent plenty of time in the rankings this year and it certainly would be no upset if Keller goes out to at least the semifinals.  On the bottom portion here, 4th ranked Austin Rozeboom of BHRV will look to become the 4th 4x placer out of this outstanding group of wrestlers.  Rozeboom has finished 7th-4th-7th to this point at state.

Finalist Predications: JT – Tanner Abbas (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) vs. Austin Rozeboom (BHRV) WS – Noah Fye (NHTV) vs. Joey Busse (Humboldt)

152
(All ten ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half: 5th ranked Mitchel Mangold of West Delaware placed 3rd last year at 145 and will certainly be in the hunt for a spot in the finals this year.  In his way in the quarterfinals could be Camanche’s 6th ranked Baylor Crigger.  Crigger was hurt in the post season last year and is making his state debut.  ADM’s 7th Nolan Harsh is making his 3rd state meet appearance and could face 4th ranked Kyler Reick of Spirit Lake Park in the other quarterfinal here.  Reick is also making his 3rd trip to state.

Bottom Half:  A beauty of a quarterfinal match is brewing in the upper bottom half.  Both 2nd ranked Skyler Noftsger of Ballard and 3rd rated Joe Kelly of West Liberty have made the state finals in the past.  They should meet in an epic quarterfinal bout.  The winner will likely face top ranked and returning 152 lb Champion Isaac Judge of South Tama in the semifinals.  Judge dropped a couple matches the first weekend of the season to top 3A foes but has been on top of his game ever since.

Finalist Predications: JT –  Mitchel Mangold (West Delaware) vs. Isaac Judge (South Tama) WS – Baylor Crigger (Camanche) vs. Judge


160
(Eight ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half: The winner of the top 2a match of the 1st round will likely make it out to the finals from their draw in this bracket.  2nd ranked Wes Cummings of PCM faces 3rd ranked Luke Hageman of Beckman Catholic in a first round barn burner.  6th ranked Zach Williams of Osage is the lone ranked wrestler in the bottom portion of the bracket.  South Central Calhoun’s Brody Goodman is the only other wrestler in the group with previous state tournament experience.

 

Bottom Half:  Top ranked Josh Ramirez of Wahlert Catholic comes to Iowa from Louisiana where he was a 3x State Champ.  7th ranked Colter Bye of Cresco could be the opponent for Ramirez’ in the quarterfinals.  The favorite in the bottom quad of the bracket is 4x state qualifier Tate Battani of Ballard.  8th ranked Cale Reicks of NHTV will be looking to score the upset in the quarters against Battani and earn valuable team points for his team in the process.

Finalist Predications: JT – Luke Hageman (Beckman Catholic) vs. Josh Ramirez (Wahlert Catholic) WS –   Wes Cummings (Prairie City-Monroe) vs. Ramirez

170
(Eight ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half:  170 overall looks to be another wide open for the taking weight class. 6th ranked Tyler Zeiman of Cherokee will be favored to make the quarterfinals where he should face top ranked Kolton Bartow of Wahlert Catholic.  Bartow finished 3rd at 160 last season and has no losses this year to 2A wrestlers.  Another solid first round bout will be 4th ranked Noah Glaser of NHTV vs. #5 Tristan Hansmeier of Waukon.  Glaser beat Hansmeier 6-3 at the NEIC Conference tourney 3 weeks ago.  The winner will likely go on to make it out to the semifinals barring upset.

Bottom Half: A very solid group of wrestlers are in the top half of the bottom bracket here.  3rd ranked Tristin Westphal-Edwards of Washington will face returning qualifier Lincoln Coakley of Estherville in a good first round match.  Paul Ryan of Mount Vernon will be the slight favorite to see the winner in the quarterfinals.  Shenandoah’s Kyle Owens has also spent time in the rankings and will not be an easy out for Ryan in the 1st round.  2nd ranked Lucas Roland of Prairie City-Monroe is the favorite to make the semis from his draw in the bottom of the bracket.  Roland has placed 5th as a sophomore and 7th as a freshman at the state meet.

Finalist Predications: JT – Kolton Bartow (Wahlert Catholic) vs. Lucas Roland (Prairie City-Monroe) WS –  Bartow vs. Tristin Westphal-Edwards (Washington)

182
(All ten ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half:  2nd ranked Kyler Fisher of Southeast Valley lost his only match of the season at districts to fellow returning finalist Ben Lee of Ballard.  He could get tested in the quarters by 5th ranked Mike Hoyle of Solon who comes to state very battle tested.  On the bottom side of top half, 6th ranked Thomas Bentley is the lone returning state place winner.  7th ranked Jarron Trausch of Prairie City-Monroe is making his 3rd state appearance and will face Bentley in the quarters if the rankings hold true here.

Bottom Half: 3rd ranked Ben Lee of Ballard should see 4th ranked Luke Jenness of Sheldon-SO in the quarters in the top portion here.  Jenness placed 7th at this weight last year and did not meet Lee who placed 2nd in the same bracket.  Returning State Champ Julien Broderson of Davenport Assumption headlines the bottom portion of the bracket.  Broderson has had just one match go the distance all season long.

 

Finalist Predications: JT –  Kyler Fisher (Southeast Valley) vs. Julien Broderson (Davenport Assumption) WS – Fisher vs. Broderson

195
(Eight ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half:  The bracket opens up with a first round bout between a pair of returning place winners when 5th ranked Nick Smith of Central DeWitt takes on unranked Caleb Olson of Webster City.  Smith placed 7th at 220 last year and Olson took 8th at 195.  2nd ranked Nick Foss of Harlan will be the winner’s likely quarterfinal opponent.  Foss has been extremely dominant in Western Iowa all season long.  Top ranked Bryce Esmoil of West Liberty is the only ranked wrestler in the bottom quad here.  Esmoil seeks to become a 2x State Champion this week to go along with his 3rd place and 7th place finishes at state.  The potential semifinal bout between Foss and Esmoil should be worth watching.

Bottom Half:  Returning finalist Cody Fisher of Woodward Granger should see his way out to the semifinals from his draw in the bracket.  There he could see 6th ranked Harrison Goebel of West Delaware.  Goebel could see 7th ranked Josh Hulub of Williamsburg in the quarters who he defeated at the WaMaC conference tournament.

Finalist Predications: JT –  Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) vs. Cody Fisher (Woodward Granger) WS -  Esmoil vs. Harrison Goebel (West Delaware)

220
(Seven ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half:  2nd ranked and returning State Champ Jordan Baumler of North Fayette Valley got a solid draw and should find his way out to the semifinals.  On the other half of the top, a battle in the quarterfinals between 3rd ranked Tyler Anderson of OA-BCIG and 4th Areon Day of NHTV appears imminent.  Day has come close more than once in knocking off Baumler this year which could provide for a solid semifinal.

Bottom half:  7th ranked Hunter Crawford of Independence is the lone ranked wrestler in the upper quad.  If he capitalizes on his good draw, he should see top ranked Boone McDermott of Wahlert Catholic in the semifinals.  Few wrestlers have been as dominant as McDermott this season.  McDermott finished 3rd a season ago at 182 and is the heavy favorite to win a state title this week.

Finalist Predications: JT – Jordan Baumler (North Fayette Valley) vs. Boone McDermott (Wahlert Catholic) WS - Baumler vs. McDermott

285
(Eight ranked wrestlers made the State Tournament)

Top Half: A highly anticipated match should occur in the quarterfinals in the top half of the bracket when 2nd ranked John McConkey of Atlantic-CAM takes on top ranked Cooper Lawson of Webster City.  McConkey was the runner-up in 2017 while Lawson was the runner-up at 285 in 2016.  Lawson hasn’t lost since the finals in 2016 and had his season cut short last year due to injury.  In the bottom quad, 7th ranked Blake Bradley of Wahlert Catholic wrestlers 9th ranked Jacob Knudson in a first round bout that could be huge for Wahlert’s team trophy goals.  The winner should go out to make the semifinals.

Bottom Half:   The winner of the first round bout between 6th ranked Brendon Lunsford of Fairfield and Spencer Trenary of CGD should have the upper hand at making the semifinals for the upper quad here.  3rd ranked Tyler Linderbaum of Solon placed 5th last year here and comes into state without a loss.  He will be the favorite to make the semifinals here, but it’s heavyweight and 8th ranked Kobe Clayborne of Bishop Heelan will look to pull the upset in the quarterfinals.

Finalist Predications: JT – Cooper Lawson (Webster City) vs. Spencer Trenary (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) WS – John McConkey (Atlantic-CAM) vs. Tyler Linderbaum (Solon)