Three to compete at State Tournament
Fans gathered albeit less than usual due to COVID-19 for District wrestling Saturday to find out who would be moving on to the illustrious Traditional State Wrestling Tournament. The District meet was held at Williamsburg High School.
After an afternoon of wrestling South Tama advanced three of the eight District qualifiers to The Well which started Thursday. Logan Arp (132), Brayden Smith (195) and Rudy Papakee (285) will begin their journey which will hopefully end on Saturday on the podium.
Smith (25-6) finished Saturday at the top of his bracket, taking the Championship title after defeating Marcus Beatty (Independence) 7-4 and Grant Nason (West Marshall) in third period takedown for an 8-6 win.
This will be the second trip to state for Smith. He did not place last year.
Smith will face Mason Askelsen (28-0) of Ballard in his first match Thursday.
Arp (18-6) had arguably one of the toughest brackets for the Trojans as he faced two ranked wrestlers. In his semifinals match he edged out third ranked Kolten Crawford (Union) was a 7-5 win. Arp who was ranked fourth going into Saturday then came up against the top ranked wrestler in Class 2A, Brandon 0’brien (Independence). O’brien pinned Arp (4:56) in the finals match and Arp took second by rule.
This will be the second appearance for Apr at the State Tournament. He took 6th last year.
Arp will face Brady Stille (20-11) of DECO in his first match Thursday.
Papakee (24-9) won his semi finals match over Brady McDonald (Independence) 6-0. In the finals match Papakee was defeated by Grinnell’s Kamrin Steveson. Papakee faced Christian Stoler (Oelwein) for a wrestle back. Papakee won the match 6-1 taking second place and securing his trip to State.
This will be Papakee’s first trip to the state tournament. He will face Jordan Ver Meer (39-2) of West Lyon. Ver Meer is committed to the University of North Dakota.
While three are moving on, it was a different story for the five other district qualifiers.
MaCael Bear (113) lost his first match to Tytan Guerrero of Williamsburg. He finished third after pinning Brody Augspurger of East Marshall. Bear is a freshman so while this year ended in disappointment he will have the next three years to work his way to state.
Amare Chavez (120) lost his first match to Kayden Gryp of Williamsburg. He then faced Carter Kolthoff of Benton and was pinned (4:19) Chavez is also a freshman and will have the next three years to work towards state.
Kyler Smith finished fourth overall. He faced Class 2A number one ranked Isaiah Weber (Independence) in the semis. Smith then lost to Kordell Negrete of East Marshall.
Kalem Schrock qualified for the state tournament last season due to medical forfeit and was unable to wrestle. Schrock lost to Korver Hupke of Independence 2-1 in the semis. He took third after pinning Cooper Smock of Oelwein.
Quite possibly the upset of the day came at the 170 weight class. Vest came in as the lone ranked wrestler in the weight class at eighth in Class 2A. He finished third at state last year but will not be making a return trip this season after getting stuck in his semi finals match by Mitch Johnson of Independence. Vest finished third overall after pinning Curtis Erickson of Vinton.
The three Trojan wrestlers headed to the state tournament will take the mats at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Feb. 18 during the third session of the day that begins at 6 p.m.
Tickets for the state tournament will go on sale to the general public beginning at noon on Feb. 16.