In the battle of the future of Iowa wrestling vs the battle of future UNI wrestling, the Hawkeyes were the victor yesterday at the 41st Dapper Dan wrestling classic. The “Rose Bowl” of high school wrestling saw Iowa place two on Team USA in four-time state champion Max Thomsen of Union and three-time state champion Fredy Stroker of Bettendorf. Team USA rolled over Team Pennsylvania 31-14 with both Iowa wrestlers falling to their Pennsylvania counterparts.
The biggest bright spot for Iowa was Team Pennsylvania’s Mike Kemerer, a future Iowa Hawkeye, who picked up a 6-3 win over Iowa native Thomsen in what was a rematch of the Super 32 finals from last fall. In the previous meeting Kemerer was able to defeat Thomsen 9-3 which was Kemerer’s second Super 32 title. For Thomsen this was a match of redemption, with Kemerer being the only wrestler to defeat Thomsen in the past year in folkstyle. Following a 39-0 season as a junior, Thomsen went on to win a NHSCA Junior national title in Virginia. Thomsen failed to place at the Fargo national tournament in freestyle, but in his return to folkstyle he made it all the way to the Super 32 finals. Kemerer was able to win this match in a similar fashion to their previous meeting, by being aggressive on his feet and racking up a few takedowns for the 6-3 final.
In one of the last bouts of the night Iowa star and Minnesota recruit Fredy Stroker took on Vincenzo Joseph for their third meeting within the last year. In the prior two meetings Joesph came out on top winning in both freestyle at Fargo and then a folkstyle match at Flowrestling’s Who’s #1 Event. Stroker was fulfilling a lifelong dream by wrestling in the Dapper Dan classic, as he grew up fantasizing being among the competitors growing up in Pennsylvania. Joseph was able to come out on top once again taking the meeting 14-4 as Stroker bumped up to 152 to face Joseph for this meeting – Stroker is ranked #2 at 145 by InterMat.
The good news for fans is that the top ranked battles aren’t over for these guys. In less than a month Kemerer will look to take on Stroker at AGON V: Iowa Against The World with Kemerer being a part of team Iowa and Stroker representing the World. For Kemerer it will be his fourth top five ranked 145 opponent in less than 30 days as he defeated the #4 and 5 ranked wrestlers on the way to his PA state title, and defeated #3 ranked Thomsen yesterday.