Inside the Rivalry: Chronicles of some of the Greatest Rivalries in Iowa High School Wrestling

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament

The Barn

The upcoming series of articles, "Beyond the Rivalry: Chronicles of some ofthe Greatest Rivals in Iowa High School Wrestling" will cover some of the best Iowa High School Wrestling Rivalries/matches that we have seen since high school wrestling was implemented in Iowa decades ago. Better yet, the majority of the stories will be told in the words of the wrestlers themselves. The wrestlers will get the chance to discuss, in detail, their thought process when they were in the middle of multiple battles with someone that they would ultimately end up linked with via wrestling history forever. In these segments, you will not only learn about some of the memorable rivalries that have taken place over the years, but you will also get the chance to get to know the wrestlers themselves a little better and what their thoughts were regarding their rival.

A rivalry is defined as a competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field. The emotional investment spent may vary, pending on the nature of the competitive activity in which the rivalry is or has taken place. With that said, let's start with these sets of rivalries:

You've got these 4 rivalries:

Larry vs. Magic

Lebron vs. Durant

Michael Jordan vs. Isiah Thomas

Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain

And these 4 rivalries:

Alex Thomsen vs. Brody Teske

Ike Light vs. Dan Gabrielson

Joe Reiter vs. Nick Lee

Kyle Pedretti vs. JJ Krutsinger

What's the difference between the first set and the last set of four rivalries? The way I perceive it, the athletes in the top set of four play a less grueling and physically demanding sport and get paid millions to do it. The bottom four  participate(d) in the greatest sport in the world and instead of being paid millions to do it, they are the ones who pay the sport by using their own blood, sweat and tears as currency as a means to accomplish their goals. To boot, most of them generally continue to pay afterwards by means of their free time by advocating for the sport in their own way. The bottom four are all motivated primarily by heart...and a good rivalry in wrestling will take control of your heart and put it into overdrive and sometimes proceed to lead it to a bumpy, winding road. You have rivalries everywhere, in multiple facets of life, but nothing compares to a good wrestling rivalry between two wrestlers who match up perfectly for whatever reason.

In this series, I will start off by writing various information about the year the match(es) of emphasis took place. I will follow by writing a loose biography of the the wrestlers being discussed and what their status was in the wrestling world at the time. The segments will be concluded with the best part, real-life, currently written excerpts written by the wrestlers themselves in which they will share how the rivalry unraveled from their perspective.

The first rivalry I cover will revolve around one match that took place at the state tournament in 2008 between a couple of kids named Nate Herda and Marshall Koethe. These two met several times, but most of it will be centered around the last match they wrestled when they were Seniors in high school. They were 1A guys. Both of these guys won state the year before and this match was a heavily anticipated match up. Koethe was from Akron Westfield until his Senior season, in which due to off the mat issues, he transferred to Twin River Valley. Herda was from Central Lyon. A program that was very solid at the time and had a wrestling fanbase that was at it's peak of excitement due to the success their wrestlers were achieving. To make this rivalry more intriguing, these wrestlers were both from the Northwest part of the state and were both making statements as to how tough the wrestling is in that region.

Stay tuned and make sure to keep following The Predicament in the next few days so you do not miss out on the first segment of the series: Marshall Koethe (Akron Westfield/Twin River Valley) vs. Nate Herda (Central Lyon) Coming soon!

Also, if you know or think of any rivalries that you would like to read an article about, I would love to hear from you. Please send your requests to my email address,