#3 Noah Fye (New Hampton) vs #8 Brady Fritz (East Marshall)
Both wrestlers have had great freshman seasons but have taken a recent loss in the last couple of weeks. With #5 Jon Hellman likely looming in the finals for the winner this match becomes very important and the winner likely punches his ticket to state.
#9 Philip Ihde (Decorah) vs Liam Conroy (Mt Vernon)
Ihde has had a great freshman season and 7 of his 8 in state losses have been to the top 5 guys with the other being to a 3A wrestler. Conroy is not ranked but has quietly had a very good season and we have been keeping our eye on him. He will give Ihde a good match and with #2 Millage likely waiting in the finals this is probably a must win as they probably won’t get a chance for a wrestle back.
#3 Connor Cleveland (New Hampton) vs #7 Nick Meling (East Marshall)
East Marshall and New Hampton are meeting up again in the early weights for another battle of ranked wrestlers. Meling is very tough and has had a great season but will have his hands full with Cleveland who was the state runner up last year. The winner likely gets a matchup with #4 Holschlag in the finals.
Nathan Thoms (Camanche) vs #9 Duncan McCain (Mid-Prairie)
Thoms has been a little inconsistent at times this year but has some really good wins and looked great at sectionals this weekend. McCain started the year red hot but has taken a couple of losses in recent weeks. These 2 split matches during the regular season with McCain picking up the sudden victory win on 1/13 but Thoms avenging that loss with a 4-2 win at the River Valley Conference Tournament.
#6 Brennon Ryan (Oelwein) vs #7 Dalton Husmann (Monticello)
Ryan has a bunch of good wins this year and has been wrestling very well since dropping down to this weight class. Husmann has flown a bit under the radar around the state but enters with a 33-4 record. Ryan did win the only head to head meeting between these 2 handily but I expect this match to be closer. #4 Brandon Mayer likely awaits the winner in the district finals.
#1 Brady Jennings (Osage) vs #7 Nick Hyland (Vinton-Shellsburg)
Hyland has had a very solid season and won the sectional tournament last weekend. His reward is a match with the #1 ranked wrestler in the state. Jennings was upset at sectionals by Max Forsyth of Charles City.
Alec Fjelstul (Decorah) vs #4 Andrew Turner (Wahlert Catholic)
Fjelstul started the year in the rankings before taking a couple of early losses to good wrestlers. He has been unable to quite get back into the top 10 but was close and is very tough. He faces #4 Turner who has yet to lose to a 2A wrestler and has been very good all year. Fjelstul should give him a stiff test in this one. #5 Jake Juhl likely awaits the winner in the district final.
#10 Trevor Nelson (Solon) vs #8 Bailey Chyma (South Tama)
Both of these guys have earned their rankings this year while picking up over 35 wins against some good competition. I expect this to be a very close match between 2 very strong and evenly matched wrestlers.
Ron Marshall (PCM Monroe) vs #6 Tucker Morrison (Columbus Community)
The Sophomore Morrison has been ranked all year and has had a great season before losing to another ranked wrestler at sectionals. Marshall has had a very solid year as well and comes in with a 30-4 record. Morrison is looking for revenge against Marshall, who is the guy who knocked him off at districts last season.
Chase Hager (Davenport Assumption) vs Cameron Tolander (Mid-Prairie)
While neither of these guys were ranked in our last set of rankings they have both spent time ranked at some point this year and are capable of making a run onto the podium in Des Moines. With #4 Sanchez as a likely opponent in the finals this match could be a must win for a shot at state.
#10 Aaron Maloy (Charles City) vs Jace Hadachek (Union Laporte City)
Both of these wrestlers have spent time in the rankings this year and Maloy hung onto the 10 spot in the last set of rankings. I look for this to be a very good matchup between 2 pretty evenly matched wrestlers. #9 Caleb Ring likely awaits the winner in the finals.
#10 Chandler Holmes (Algona) vs #5 Gavin Dinsdale (Webster City)
Holmes has had a solid senior season and made his way into the rankings late in the year. He will have his hands full with Dinsdale who has moved his way up the rankings and recently beat previous #1 Pena. Dinsdale will be hungry as he missed out on the state tournament last year after a great season but being in the same district as both state finalists. Holmes will have to be at his best to knock off Dinsdale but he is capable. Now #2 ranked Pena is the likely finals opponent for the winner.