Team Iowa Selected for Pitt Wrestling Classic

New Hampton’s Michael Blockhus will represent Iowa at the Pitt Wrestling Classic

Team Iowa has been officially selected for the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic with 13 wrestlers representing the great state of Iowa headed east to take on the WPIAL team. Team Iowa has combined for 18 individual state titles in the state of Iowa – 21 total as 160-pound wrestler Josh Ramirez (Dubuque Wahlert) was also a three-time Louisiana state champion.

Leading team Iowa is a pair of three-time state champions in Kyle Biscoglia (Waukee) and Michael Blockhus (New Hampton/Turkey Valley) at 120 and 138 pounds respectively. Members of the team winning two individual state titles include Joel Shapiro (Valley – WDM) and Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty).

Wrestlers for Team Iowa carrying a national ranking include Biscoglia, Drew Bennett (Fort Dodge), Zach Price (Johnston), Blockhus, Ramirez, Ben Sarasin (CR Kennedy), Shapiro, Esmoil, Boone McDermott (Dubuque Wahlert), and Caleb Sanders (Glenwood).

“I’m excited to see what this team is capable of.” IAwrestle owner Ross Bartachek said of the lineup, “This senior class has been one of the strongest to come through our state in some time and I can’t wait to see how they perform at one of the nation’s most prestigious all-star events.”

Team Iowa will be led by Southeast Polk’s Jason Christenson, Valley’s Jeff Dyer, and Fort Dodge’s Troy Bennett.

A GoFundMe has been established for the wrestlers to help cover the cost of transportation, lodging, and meals in Pennsylvania.

The Lineup:

113 Grayson Kesterson Williamsburg
120 Kyle Biscoglia Waukee
126 Drew Bennett Fort Dodge
132 Zach Price Johnston
138 Michael Blockhus New Hampton/TV
145 Ryan Steffen Crestwood
152 Grant Stotts Valley – WDM
160 Josh Ramirez Dubuque Wahlert
170 Ben Sarasin CR Kennedy
182 Joel Shapiro Valley – WDM
195 Bryce Esmoil West Liberty
220 Boone McDermott Dubuque Wahlert
285 Caleb Sanders Glenwood

About the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic:

Pittsburgh, PA – An Iowa All-Star Team is returning to Pittsburgh to compete in the 44th Annual Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at the University of Pittsburgh Fitzgerald Field House.

The Wrestling Classic – known as “The Rose Bowl of Wrestling” – is the most prestigious high school all-star wrestling meet in the United States because it attracts the best high school seniors in the country, Pennsylvania and another guest state all-star team in the two dual meet format. The preliminary meet pits the best wrestlers from Western Pennsylvania, or WPIAL, against the Iowa All-Stars at 4:00 PM.

The feature match showcases the best-of the-best high school wrestlers from across the United States challenging the reigning Pennsylvania state champs at 6:00 PM.

The Iowa All-Star Team is returning to the Classic for the second time in 33 years. In 1985, Classic XI the Iowa All Star team won 7 of the 12 matches defeating the WPIAL 28-13. Chris Geneser from West Des Moines was selected the outstanding wrestler of the Iowa team.

The Wrestling Classic fans have watched many great wrestlers hail from Iowa over the past 43 years, including Joe Gibbons (1981), Tim Krieger (1989), Jeff McGinnis (1993), Tolly Tompson (1991), Eric Juergens (1996), and Trent Paulson (2002).

In Classic XIX, McGinnis entered The Classic with an unblemished record and 4 state titles. The Jeff McGinnis versus Tom Tomeo match was one of the more memorable matches in Classic history being decided by a Tomeo takedown in overtime. McGinnis went on to win a national title for Iowa in 1998.

Three years later in Classic XXII, Juergens put his 4 state titles on the line against Jeremy Hunter. The crowd showed their appreciation for the talent both young men displayed with Hunter prevailing in a hard fought 8-3 victory. Juergens and Hunter both went on to win a national title for their schools, Iowa and Penn State, respectfully.

Pete Bush, Davenport Assumption High School is organizing the Iowa All-Star Team. “The Iowa wrestling community is very excited and honored to compete in this prestigious event showcasing America’s best high school seniors. We have a very strong senior class with many nationally ranked wrestlers. I’m confident our kids will be ready to challenge the best wrestlers from the WPIAL” said Bush.

Bush will be working with Jason Christenson, Head Wrestling Coach at Southeast Polk High School to assemble and prepare the All-Star Team.

Each year, 3,000 enthusiastic spectators watch the country’s future NCAA, World and Olympic champions compete head-to-head while thousands watch remotely via Flowrestling’s live broadcast.

Proceeds from the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic benefit a youth wrestling program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania through the Dapper Dan Youth Sports Leagues.

More information can found at www.wrestlingclassic.com.

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