#1 Southeast Polk vs #8 Western Dubuque, Epworth
Top seeded Southeast Polk will open their tournament up against Western Dubuque, Epworth in a dual that will feature a combined 15 ranked wrestlers. The Rams have their sights set on winning both the dual and traditional team titles this weekend, and they certainly have the talent to do so. There will be a potential of three head-to-head meetings with a ranked wrestler occurring at 113, 160, and 220 pounds all of which will favor Southeast Polk. The best matchup on paper looks like #1 Cade DeVos vs #3 Ryker Kurimsk at 160 pounds. The Rams hold the advantage in number of ranked wrestlers and their bonus potential will be too much to overcome.
113 – #5 Devin Harmison (Southeast Polk) vs #8 Dawson Biermann (Western Dubuque)
160 – #1 Cade DeVos (Southeast Polk) vs #3 Ryker Kurimski (Western Dubuque)
220 – #5 Kalob Runyon (Southeast Polk) vs #9 Jason Simon-Ressler (Western Dubuque)
Southeast Polk – 9
Western Dubuque, Epworth- 6
#4 Fort Dodge vs #5 Waukee
A rematch of last year’s state finals in round one? Sure, color us interested. Last season this matchup held all the drama as Waukee was competing in their first ever state duals appearance, against a Fort Dodge that was considered one of the best high school teams in the state (all sports) by the Des Moines Register. This year the dual is the #4 vs #5 matchup and should still provide plenty of action. A total of 11 ranked wrestlers compete for the two squads, with a projected three head-to-head meetings. The first key one being #4 Carson Taylor vs #8 Nick Miller and the other being #2 Drevon Ross vs #3 Cody Anderson. Taylor leads his season series against Miller 2-0 with his last win coming in the team’s dual meeting, and Ross won the head-to-head over Anderson, 10-8 during the dual meeting. I am picking Waukee with the minor upset, so if the Warriors manage to steal either of the key matches it should only increase their chances.
I should also note that Fort Dodge won the regular season meeting 33-25.
120 – #4 Carson Taylor (Fort Dodge) vs #8 Nick Miller (Waukee)
138 – #2 Drevon Ross (Fort Dodge) vs #3 Cody Anderson (Waukee)
Fort Dodge – 5
Waukee – 6
#2 Waverly-Shell Rock vs #7 Valley, West Des Moines
Class 3A features two teams that rate as a top 50 team in the nation (InterMat) and given their depth as a tournament team it’s no surprise that like Southeast Polk, Waverly-Shell Rock is also a strong dual team. Their first round dual is against Valley, West Des Moines, a team they defeated earlier this season 41-22 at the Battle of Waterloo. Not much has changed since when the teams met in December, which is why picking Waverly-Shell Rock seems like the best bet. The key match will be the heavyweight bout between #2 Andrew Snyder and #6 Beau Lombardi. Despite holding the edge in the rankings, Lombardi won 3-0 over Snyder at the Battle of Waterloo.
285: #2 Andrew Snyder (Waverly-Shell Rock) vs #6 Beau Lombardi (Valley, West Des Moines)
Waverly-Shell Rock – 10
Valley, West Des Moines– 4
#3 Ankeny Centennial vs #6 Bettendorf
Looking at our final first round 3A dual between #3 Ankeny Centennial and #6 Bettendorf there will be ten ranked wrestlers, and two ranked head-to-heads will highlight the individual matchups. Bettendorf is coming off a strong District tournament where they managed to send a class high 12 wrestlers to the state tournament, but they are expected to be facing an uphill battle against this Ankeny Centennial squad. The Jaguars have definitely earned their seed having beat Fort Dodge, Western Dubuque, and Valley, West Des Moines who all qualified.
170 – #2 Logan Neils (Ankeny Centennial) vs #4 Will Jefferson (Bettendorf)
195 – #5 Kane Schmidt (Bettendorf) vs#10 Ethan Frazier (Ankeny Centennial)
Ankeny Centennial – 5
Bettendorf – 5
#1 Southeast Polk vs #5 Waukee
Looking forward to the potential semifinal matchups we should see the Rams continue their tournament against a tough Waukee team. Despite the Warriors holding the advantage in three of the ranked meetings, Southeast Polk’s depth in their lineup will likely push them through to the finals. Of the three matches that Waukee features a higher ranked wrestler, the Southeast Polk wrestler was the victor in two of the matches when these two teams met for the regular season dual (Harmison won 8-3 and Marchand won 11-3).
113 – #4 Thurman Christensen ‘(Waukee) vs #5 Devin Harmison (Southeast Polk)
120 #8 Nick Miller (Waukee) vs#10 Joel Jesuroga (Southeast Polk)
138 – #3 Cody Anderson (Waukee) vs #5 Nathan Marchand (Southeast Polk)
#2 Waverly-Shell Rock vs #3 Ankeny Centennial
The other semifinal should see a similar story. Both teams have talent in spades, but in the end Waverly’s lineup is just too solid top to bottom for just about any team in the state to contend with. There is one interesting potential match that could occur at 132 pounds between #1 Ben Monroe and #6 Evan Yant. It’s not out of the question for these two to be wrestling against one another this Saturday night in the finals.
132 – #1 Ben Monroe (Ankeny Centennial) vs #6 Evan Yant (Waverly-Shell Rock)
#1 Southeast Polk vs #2 Waverly-Shell Rock
And now we have reached the main event. This matchup will feature a combined 22 state qualifiers, 19 ranked wrestlers, and perhaps more importantly the potential for five matchups between top five wrestlers. Two of those matches take place between a #1 and #2 ranked wrestler. To put it plainly this is a dual that packs a lot of punch on paper. It the table setter for what is expected to be four days of these two teams battling it out for the dual and traditional team titles.
If I am forced to pick a winner I would have to side with Southeast Polk for more than just the fact that they enter as the top seed. The Rams will likely be featured in five of the seven ranked meetings, and considering that is half the dual I view that as a pretty strong indicator at how the dual will turn out. If Waverly is going to win this dual they are going to need to flip one of those ranked meetings, likely in the upperweights.
113 – #3 Bailey Roybal (Waverly-Shell Rock) vs #5 Devin Harmison (Southeast Polk)
126 – #4 Dylan Albrecht (Waverly-Shell Rock) vs #5 Carter Martinson (Southeast Polk)
138 – #5 Nathan Marchand (Southeast Polk) vs #7 Ian Heise (Waverly-Shell Rock)
152 – #1 Lance Runyon (Southeast Polk) vs #3 Bryson Hervel (Waverly-Shell Rock)
160 – #1 Cade DeVos (Southeast Polk) vs #2 Jacob Hermann (Waverly-Shell Rock)
195 – #1 Gabe Christenson (Southeast Polk) vs #2 Brayden Wolf (Waverly-Shell Rock)
220 – #5 Kalob Runyon (Southeast Polk) vs #8 Lucas Walker (Waverly-Shell Rock)