The 2019-20 season returns 18 state champions for a previous year (17 won titles in 2019), and all told this group has produced 24 state titles combined when factoring in the last three state championships. Obviously carrying the lion’s share of that 24 total is the Adam Allard (West Sioux) and Cael Happel (Lisbon). The senior duo are looking to write their name into the history books by winning their fourth title this February.

Other multi-time state champions include Cullan Schriever (Mason City) and Matthew Lewis (Centerville). Due to an unfortunate injury, Schriever’s four-time hopes were derailed last winter after he suffered a broken ankle in January followed by a shoulder injury at the state tournament.

Lewis, on the other hand, is hoping to Iowa’s elite list of four-time state champions, but first he will need to join the likes of Allard and Happel by winning title number three this season.

Nine other upperclassmen return who won state titles in 2019. Senior Cody Fisher (Woodward-Granger) has an opportunity to be a four-time state finalist should he compete on Saturday night in Wells Fargo.

Fellow seniors Carson Taylor (Fort Dodge), Eli Loyd (Pleasant Valley), Gabe Christenson (Southeast Polk), Jack Thomsen (Union), and Wade Mitchell (Woodbury Central) are all favorites to repeat in 2020 based on IAwrestle preseason rankings.
Three other returning state champions return with two years of eligibility remaining. Drake Ayala (Fort Dodge), Caleb Rathjen (Ankeny), and Aidan Noonan (Cascade) all won their first titles as sophomores. Both Ayala and Rathjen are ranked #1 in our preseason poll, while Noonan is ranked second behind four-time hopeful Allard.

That leaves us with the five returning wrestlers who won titles as freshmen. Obviously by winning a title last season these wrestlers are very much alive to end their careers as four-time state champions. That means everyone is keeping a close eye on Trever Anderson (Ankeny), Carter Fousek (Crestwood), Hayden Taylor (Solon), Marcel Lopez (New London), and Robert Avila (Lisbon) as they all try and repeat as sophomores.

Returning State Champions

Class of 2020:
Cael Happel – Lisbon (3x)
Adam Allard – West Sixou (3x)
Cullan Schriever – Mason City (2x)
Carson Taylor – Fort Dodge
Eli Loyd – Pleasant Valley
Gabe Christenson – Southeast Polk
Jack Thomsen – Union
Cody Fisher – Woodward-Granger
Wade Mitchell – Woodbury Central
Treyton Cacek – GT-RA

Class of 2021:
Matthew Lewis – Centerville (2x)
Drake Ayala – Fort Dodge
Caleb Rathjen – Ankeny
Aiden Noonan – Cascade

Class of 2022:
Trever Anderson – Ankeny
Carter Fousek – Crestwood
Hayden Taylor – Solon
Marcel Lopez – New London
Robert Avila – Lisbon

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

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