1.) Trever Anderson- Ankeny (FR)
2.) Aiden Riggins- Waverly- Shell Rock (FR)
3.) Marcel Lopez- New London (FR)
4.) Carter Fousek- Crestwood (FR)
5.) Stevie Barnes- Underwood (FR)
6.) Blaine Frazier- Notre Dame (FR)
* This is a weight where each class could be bracketed the same way, 10 weeks in a row, and you could get different results each time. They all beat each other…exchanged wins and losses. Fousek and Anderson beat each other, Fousek and Riggins beat each other (Riggins with 2-3 wins), Lopez and Frazier beat each other, Frazier and Fousek beat each other, etc. With that said, obviously these guys are pretty evenly matched.
* If Blaine Frazier from Notre Dame would have been the victor in his hard-fought finals match against Fousek, then it is likely that he would have been #1. Frazier won the huge Indee tournament that included some of the state’s best 106 lbers. In fact, it included Frazier, Fousek, and Anderson. Frazier started his career off hot as a firecracker after winning that tourney, which was the 1ST weekend of the year…However, many people didn’t realize that he had a loss coming in to the tournament… to Marcel Lopez a day or two before. And then Frazier beat Lopez at Ft. Madison a week or two later. Then Frazier won again. And then Lopez beat Frazier the last time they met in the SEISC Finals. A very friendly, yet competitive rivalry these two have got going on, for Lopez and Frazier are practice partners at the ultra-successful wrestling club, DC Elite. Notre Dame, which includes West Burlington and Danville is a pretty big 2A school, possibly the largest in terms of their combined enrollment numbers. Sometimes I can’t help, but wonder if we will see them in 3A some day.
* I really enjoy watching Fousek wrestle and he is fun to watch in interviews. He seems very polite/professional, yet very matter of fact and honest. It’ll be interesting to see how much this kid grows. Coming in to the season, he was the Achilles heel for Trever Anderson and Blaine Frazier. Both wrestlers couldn’t seem to get past him…until this year, in which both wrestlers exchanged wins with him. Fousek won the big daddy though and he is on the trail to becoming a 4 timer! This kid has proven himself to be successful at several levels now, including youth, high school and national competition. I expect this to continue.
* One of the most anticipated matches of the tournament was undoubtedly Aiden Riggins vs. Trever Anderson. Many people were very skeptical of Anderson being able to beat Riggins, for Riggins has a well-earned reputation as being one of the guys in that Freshman class who just doesn’t lose. And he was always bigger than Anderson, so they never met up. Sometime before Christmas break, Anderson appeared to have made some huge gains in which he was just destroying everyone…in some cases, really good wrestlers who he would beat worse than Riggins beat the same opponent. Anderson picked up a lot of steam down the stretch and there were people who believed he could do it and there were still the skeptics who didn’t think he stood a chance. Skeptic or believer, I think everyone was surprised on how the match unraveled… I don’t think anyone expected Riggins to be put to his back multiple times in the match, which Anderson did via hitting a variety of neck-wrenches. It’ll be interesting to see how these guys adjust if they meet again, which given their body frames, I suspect they may not. I expect Riggins to eventually outgrow Anderson, but maybe I’m wrong! Riggins is a very seasoned wrestler for only being a Freshman, so I am sure he will bounce back and learn from whatever mistakes he may have made in that match. This could have been the beginning of a very memorable rivalry if one doesn’t outgrow the other.
* Just when I thought Aiden Riggins may be the biggest 106 lber I had ever seen, I got to see Stevie Barnes and the rest of Underwood at the J-Hawk Tournament in Cedar Rapids. Not only was he huge, but he had a fantastic day that day, beating Jaymus Wilson and Ethan Wood-Finley who were both ranked #1 at the time…Wilson in 1A, Wood-Finley in 3A. Barnes had been competing at 113 most of the year until that point. At 106, he was a wrecking ball. This kid is going to be fun to follow the next few years.
* IN THE HUNT: Jace Rhodes (Mason City, FR), Damon Huston (Midland, SO), Keaton Zeimet (Dewitt Central, SO). Rhodes was runner-up as a Freshmen in 3A and only had a partial season due to injury. Every guy who beat him this year was top-notch. Huston placed 3rd and had some big wins, one of them being over Blaine Frazier, Jaymus Wilson, Keaton Zeimet as well as several others… his only losses on the year were to Marcel Lopez in the semis at state and Jaymus Wilson, who he beat 2-3 times after losing to him. Keaton Zeimet basically destroyed everyone other than Damon Huston and Frazier…his only two losses on the year. Zeimet placed 3rd. Next year should be the first year Brandon O’Brien from Linn-Mar grows into 106. He will be a Junior next year. He will be a front-runner next year now that he finally gets to wrestle guys who weigh the same as him.