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My breakdown of the state wrestling tourney draws of area grapplers
February 17, 2014 - Andy Heintz
Wells Fargo Arena will be my home away from home from Wednesday through Saturday this upcoming week.
I will be covering West Marshall in the state team duals all day Wednesday and then will be holding down my spot on press row Thursday-Saturday at the individual state wrestling tournament.
Here is a breakdown of the 10 area wrestlers involved in the tournament and what to expect from them based on the draws they were given.
Derek Mann, Marshalltown
The Bobcats’ lone qualifier has a tough first-round draw. Mann (32-7) will face second-ranked Brady Letney (46-3) of Pleasant Valley in the opening round.
The winner of that match will face the winner between fifth-ranked Mitchell Otto (42-3) of Sioux City East and Cedar Falls’ Drew Langel (23-22). Wrestlers are eliminated if they lose twice on Thursday. Mann will be in the 3A quarterfinals at 170 pounds if he can upset Letney but can remain in the tournament on Friday if he scores at least one win on the tournament’s first day.
Tyler Lutes, South Hardin-BCLUW
The Storm senior received one of the toughest draws at 170 pounds. The eighth-ranked Lutes (42-2) will face third-ranked Dalton Folkerts of Albia in the opening round Thursday and then could potentially face fourth-ranked Brent Lammers of West Delaware in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Folkerts (54-4) is ranked third but comes into the tournament as a district runner-up after losing to top-ranked Adam Drain of Mediapolis. Lammers (39-4) will be heavily favored against unranked Grant Lehmann of Hampton-Dumont.
Zach Underhill, East Marshall/GMG
Ballard’s Nathan Macki will be Underhill’s first-round opponent at 126. Macki (19-8) is ranked No. 7 but comes into the state meet as the district runner-up. The winner of that match faces either third-ranked Darrian Schwenke (48-1) of Atlantic or Brice Everson of Camanche.
Kolton Smith, South Tama County
Smith joins Lutes in the 170-pound bracket and will face No. 2 Trevor Frain of Creston in the opening round Thursday. Smith (21-7), who qualified for the state tournament last year, or Frain (49-3) will meet either Clear Lake’s Jacob Bair (34-9) or Sioux Center’s Mitchell Sandbutte (35-7) or Sioux Center. The winners meet Friday while the losers meet in an elimination wrestleback on Thursday.
Dalton Vest, South Tama County
In his first state tournament, Vest (24-10) will meet fifth-ranked Christian Brobst (43-2) of Sioux City Heelan in his opening-round match at 195 pounds Thursday. No matter what happens in Round 1, Vest will get a ranked opponent in his second match. No. 9 Matt McMillan (39-9) of Independence and No. 7 Seth Maitlen of Creston meet in the other match to determine Vest’s second opponent.
Clay Meinders, AGWSR
Meinders is one of two area wrestlers who have realistic chances to win a state title based on the rankings alone. The Cougar junior comes into Thursday ranked fourth at 1A 220 and is 38-1 on the season. Meinders drew ninth-ranked Tucker Fowler (36-8) of Sigourney-Keota in the opening round. Third-ranked Travis VanderStreek of Central Lyon also is in Meinders’ side of the bracket and would be his quarterfinal opponent if both wrestlers open with victories. VanderStreek (41-4) faces Wilton’s Logan Reddick (38-10) on Thursday.
A potential semifinal opponent for Meinders on Friday could be second-ranked Vinnie Harvey of Fort Dodge St. Edmond. Harvey comes into the tournament with a record of 33-0.
Dale Hilleman, West Marshall
The other wrestler with a realistic chance to win a state title is third-ranked Hilleman, who comes into the state tournament with a 44-3 record. Hilleman drew Pocahontas Area’s Tyler Hubrich (38-11) in the opening round at 170 and then will likely face either seventh-ranked Ryan Hageman of South Winneshiek or sixth-ranked Payton Housman of Oakland Riverside in Thursday’s quarterfinal. Hageman comes into the tournament with a 42-3 record, while Housman is 45-5 overall.
The other two wrestlers who could get Hilleman in Friday’s semifinals are No. 4 Koy Snider (41-6) of Wilton and No. 8 Gavin Gremmel (27-0) of Clarinda Academy.
Jared Johnson, West Marshall
Johnson’s first two matches at 152 may be the most favorable of any other area grappler. Johnson (43-9) will not face a ranked wrestler in either of his first two matches. His first opponent is Wapsie Valley’s Brandon Ackerman (33-9). North Butler’s Cody Nelson (34-4) or Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn’s Dakota Drenth (40-4) will be Johnson’s second opponent either in the quarterfinals Friday or the consolation wrestleback Thursday.
Ross Randall, West Marshall
Randall’s first two matches at the state tournament could be against ranked foes at 106. Randall’s first-round opponent is ninth-ranked Ben Moyer (37-11) of Alburnett. An upset win could propel him to Friday’s quarterfinal against seventh-ranked Logan Johnson of Aplington-Parkersburg.
Johnson (34-8) meets Emmetsburg’s Tanner Lundgren (27-16) in Thursday’s opening round.
Cooper White, West Marshall
Tenth-ranked White (37-11) drew the top-ranked wrestler in his 126-pound bracket as he will face Wilton’s Brady Ruden (47-1) in the first round Thursday. Another ranked wrestler – ninth-ranked Jared Coyle of Maquoketa Valley – could be White’s quarterfinal opponent. Coyle (45-5) meets Lamoni’s Michael Olson (33-16) in the opening round.
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