OAKLAND – Return trips.
That’s what a number of wrestlers from the two area schools at the Iowa Class 1A sectional at Oakland – AHSTW and Riverside – will likely have goals of achieving as they, along with a bunch of ranked wrestlers, look to continue their post-season runs.
Underwood looks to be the class of the bunch with five ranked wrestlers and a No. 5 state ranking in hand, per The Predicament’s latest Class 1A standings. But give AHSTW or Riverside an opening and ... well, it’s like they always say.
Joining AHSTW and Riverside will be Council Bluffs St. Albert, Missouri Valley, Tri-Center, Underwood and West Central Valley
Note: The top two wrestlers in each weight class move on to the Class 1A district meet Feb. 13 at Underwood. Records are per TrackWrestling.com per the latest known meet for each wrestler:
106: Missouri Valley freshman Eli Becerra is ranked second and will be the top seed. Locally, expect AHSTW to send in Clayton Johnson (8-8) and Riverside Dalton Smith (18-12).
113: Riverside senior John Schroder (30-5) is a two-time state qualifier and, with a No. 8 state ranking in hand, looks to have the No. 1 seed locked up. His most recent accomplishment was winning the John J. Harris Invitational and taking third at the ACGC Charger Invitational. AHSTW could be represented by Eli Collins (14-11).
120: Like fellow Riverside teammate Schroder, junior Jace Rose is a two-time state qualifier, placing fourth a year ago after losing a heartbreaking semifinal match and a tight third-place matchup. On the heels of recent championships at the John J. Harris and Charger invitationals, Rose is ranked fourth by the Predicament, and will face his toughest challenge by Underwood freshman Blake Allen.
126: Third-ranked Stevie Barnes of Underwood, who placed fourth a year ago at state, will be the top seed. There likely will not be any local competitors at this weight class.
132: Second-ranked Gable Porter of Underwood, a state champion last year at 106, is part of a tough slate of lightweights for the Eagles and will surely be the No. 1 seed. AHSTW junior Hayden Fischer (18-6), who has battled injuries this year, was ranked by IA Wrestle, the other ratings service for Iowa high school wrestling, and qualified for state a year ago. For Riverside, it’ll likely be freshman Kaeden Pleas (9-17).
138: No. 5-ranked Westin Allen of Underwood will be yet another Eagle No. 1 seed. Riverside junior Nolan Moore (20-7), who qualified for state last year, is ranked 10th by IA Wrestle here and could snare the second seed. AHSTW sophomore Dayden Moerti (8-15) will get the call here.
145: This is one of several wide-open classes with nobody ranked, although don’t be surprised to see Moore move up to this weight class. AHSTW freshman Isaac Stamp is 6-12 and will probably be looking for experience to build on for the future.
152: Another wide-open class with non ranked wrestlers. AHSTW sophomore Aidan Martin is 18-11. Riverside will probably not have an entry here.
160: AHSTW has a choice here. Junior Garrison Gettler is 28-5 while junior Denver Pauley (26-5), a state qualifier a year ago, was ranked earlier in the season and could be in line for one of the top two seeds.
170: Third-ranked Cael McLaren of Council Bluffs St. Albert won the Hawkeye Ten Conference championship and is leading a resurgence of the Falcon wrestling program. He is also a returning state qualifier and will be the top seed. Missouri Valley’s Gage Clausen, ranked 11th by IA Wrestle, figures to be his toughest competition. Rhett Bentley (11-4) and Ethan Reicks (19-13) are the top two choices for Riverside, although one of them could also be slotted at 160.
182: Tri-Center’s Brecken Freeberg will probably have the No. 1 seed. AHSTW’s Kolby Weis (8-9) and Riverside’s Austin Kremkowski will likely represent the local area here.
195: It’ll be a wide-open weight class with AHSTW’s Nate Jorgensen (5-20) and Riverside’s Brok Comstock (10-12) being the area’s likely representatives here.
220: Riverside’s Ed Vicek (27-9) will look to wrap up his senior season with a strong finish, and his bid for a state tournament could begin with a top-3 seed. AHSTW’s Quintin Martin is 21-12 and may find himself in the mix for a seed in the upper half as well. Underwood will have another No. 1 seed with Chris Gardner ranked ninth.
285: A couple of strong condenders locally, as AHSTW could send Jaicob Madsen (14-9) and Riveside Nathan Messerschmidt (19-12) into action here. Missouri Valley’s Connor Murray, a 2020 state qualifier, is ranked ninth and will be the No. 1 seed.