1.) Joey Busse- Humboldt- SR
2.) Wade Mitchell- Woodbury Central- JR
3.) Blake Thomsen- Underwood- JR
4.) Collin Lewis- North Scott- SR
5.) Will Esmoil- West Liberty- JR
6.) Chase Luensman- Monticello- SR
* Joey Busse finished a HS wrestling career in which he qualified for state as a FR and SO, placed 6th as a JR and went undefeated, won state and was named the Best of the Best at 145 as a Senior. What a nice trajectory this kid’s career had.
* Wade Mitchell is a JR who has now performed as followed at the state tournament: 5th, 2nd and 1st. He only had one loss this season, which was against a nationally ranked out of state kid. He had great wins over Logan Rathjen, Eric Owens, Ryne Mohrfield, Michael Egan and Spencer Griffin. This guy should be beaming brightly on everyone’s radar by now.
* Excluding the match that Blake Thomsen lost at state, in which he was winning, but DQ’d for an illegal slam (always an unpleasant situation for everyone from both sides), Blake Thomsen did not lose a match to an Iowan. His last loss prior to that coming in was in the 2nd week of competition. Blake has stepped it up a level this year. He is at the level that everyone who has followed him always believed and hoped he could get to. He is right there…with everyone. He has now placed 5th, 3rd and 3rd at state. He had some HUGE wins this year, including wins over 3A state champ, Collin Lewis, Jack West, Wyatt Appleseth, Quinn Corcoran, Duke Kyle, Tyler Murphy, Max Wettengel and Michael Egan.
* Collin Lewis had qualified for state every year leading to his SR season and every year, he was beaten out in the Blood Round. This year he finally put it together in Des Moines and won it. Something he was always capable of. Throughout his career prior to his SR season state tourney, he won 4 matches vs. state champs, 16 matches vs. state place-winners and 30+ matches vs. state qualifiers. The sense of relief he presumably felt after achieving a couple of his primary goals at state this year had to have weighed more than a brontosaurus. He has, what I consider to be one of the top 2 cradles in the state, with the other elite cradler being Lance Runyon.
* Will Esmoil is now a 3 time state qualifier. He placed 3rd as a Freshman, didn’t place last year (despite having a huge year that included a win over the guy who won his bracket), and placed 2nd this year, falling just short to Joey Busse by a score of 4-3. He was a thorn in Chase Luensman’s side the past two years.
* Speaking of Chase Luensman, he placed 3rd in 2A. He ended up being a 4 time state qualifier who placed 5th, 4th and 3rd. This kid is legit…was able to go with anyone.
* IN THE HUNT: Spencer Griffin from Emmetsburg qualified for state 3 times and placed 4th and 2nd his JR and SR seasons. His 2 losses were to Wade Mitchell and Joey Busse…both guys won state in 1A and 2A. He had nice wins this year over Max Wettengel, Ryne Mohrfield, Brady Hahn and Eric Owens.
Eric Owens from Ankeny Centennial finished his career in which he placed 6th at state as a Sophomore and 2nd at state this year as a SR. His biggest win this year was probably his come from behind win over #1 ranked Deville Dentis in the semis at state. He also beat placers, Logan Adamson from Bettendorf, Andrew Rohret from Clear Creek Amana, Tyler Murphy from Hempstead and Colby Tool from PCM. He always had a tendency to drop a loss here and there that’d make you scratch your head, but he put it together when he had to and did so and has a lot to be proud of as a result.
Caleb Corbin is a Sophomore from WDM Valley who placed 3rd this year and 4th last year as a Freshman. Deville Dentis is a SR from DM East who battled injury all season long. He placed 6th at state as a Sophomore, 2nd as a JR and 4th this year as a SR. He only had a week or two of competition before state…so his season was cut short, to say the least. He has one of the most wickedly executed “cow-catchers” that I have ever seen. He was winning his semifinal match until the last 30 seconds or so. He will be wrestling at Iowa Lakes CC next year.