Greene County's Kale Petersen (right) is the top-ranked wrestler at Class 2A's 132 pounds thanks to a 57-match winning streak. He's one of four Ram athletes performing at the state tournament this week in Des Moines.  PHOTO BY ABBY DAVIS

Top-ranked Robbins, Petersen lead group of four wrestlers at state

By Brandon Hurley
Managing Editor

A pair of former state champions, a three-time qualifier in addition and a first-timer highlight Greene County’s stint at the 2023 Iowa High School wrestling state tournament this week, which began Wednesday.
In all, the Rams will have four wrestlers in action after a successful district tournament Feb. 11 in Webster.
Greene County’s two, top-ranked athletes are the headliners.
Kale Petersen, wrestling at 132 pounds with a perfect 38-0 record, is poised to defend his 2022 state title, seeking his third straight state championship. He enters the state tournament on a 57-match winning streak as one of the state’s top grapplers, regardless of class.  
Greene County all-time wins leader McKinley Robbins (44-0) is perhaps performing at his very peak. He boasts an unblemished record as well, hoping to capture his second state title in his pursuit to become the school’s first four-time state finalist.
If either Petersen or Robbins win a title, they’ll be the first Greene County/Jefferson athlete to win two wrestling championships. If they both win, they’d become the first pair to win golds in the same year.
Greene County junior Gavin Scheuermann captured his third straight trip to the state tournament last Saturday, finishing second at the district tournament and securing a spot in the Class 2A 160 pound bracket.
Sophomore breakout Clint Dennhardt extended his impressive season by securing his first trip to the state tournament at 145 pounds. He sports a 36-5 record.
Class 2A matches got underway at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena due to a change in format. The individual tournament expanded to four days this year, a departure from the three-day, Thursday through Saturday format in winter’s past.
Wednesday’s action included first and second round matches as well as first round consolation matches.


University of Iowa commit Kale Petersen has run through the 2022-23 season with relative ease. The senior workhorse has a fantastic shot at capturing his second third straight title in Des Moines (second with Greene County). The senior faced the winner of Washington’s Caden Greiner (36-7) and Sioux Center’s Kade Bauer (32-9) in the state tournament second round Wednesday. Petersen has not lost a single match since the 2020-2021 season. He’s won two consecutive state titles, winning a championship last year with Greene County as well as his first gold medal with West Fork in 2021. Petersen had little trouble returning to state, securing back-to-back pins in the Webster City district tournament, needing just 29 seconds to pin Hampton-Dumont’s Michael Rowedder in the title match.

Three-time state finalist McKinley Robbins - owner of 160 career wins and just six losses - is on an absolute tear as well. He took aim at his second state title Wednesday afternoon in the Class 2A 138 pound bracket, receiving the top seed and a first round bye. Robbins has reached the state finals in all three of his previous trips to Des Moines, having compiled 10 state tournament victories. Robbins has a legitimate shot at setting a career-best in single season wins (45), which he compiled last winter. His only undefeated season came in 2021 when he railed off 34 consecutive wins en route to his first and only state title.
The senior pinned both of his opponents at the district tournament in Webster City Feb. 11, easily securing his fourth and final trip to state.
If Robbins reaches the state final again on Saturday, it’d be the fourth different weight bracket he’s run through in Des Moines. He reached the state title at 106 pounds as a freshman, 126 pounds as sophomore and 132 pounds as junior.

Brent Dennhardt, a sophomore standout, received the 12th seed in the 145 pound bracket. The underclassman is 36-5 overall thanks to a breakout season, and will face-off against West Marshall’s Caden Vellinga (20-7), the 21st see. The first round winner will take on Davenport Assumption’s Michael Macias in the quarterfinals. Macias drew the fifth seed thanks to his 24-1 overall record and No. 3 overall ranking by Hupke Wrestling productions.

Gavin Scheuermann is seeded 11th at 160 pounds. The junior - ranked fifth by Hupke Wrestling - is making his third straight tournament appearance thanks to a 19-3 record. Scheuermann’s best performance at state came during last year’s state tournament where he won his first round consolation match. He squared off against Columbus’s Cole Storm, seeded 22nd thanks to a 29-12 record. The first round victor will face-off against Carter Straw of Independence. Straw is seeded sixth with a 38-8 record.

Thursday features Class 2A quarterfinal matches as well as the second and third round of consolation.


• 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 (1st and 2nd round)
• 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 (quarterfinals & conso)
• 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 (semifinals & conso)
• State Finals - 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18

• Class 2A 132 pounds: Kale Petersen  
         - Kale Petersen is a defending state champion and is poised to win a title again this year. He’s 38-0 and committed to Iowa

• Class 2A 138 pounds: McKinley Robbins
        - Could become Greene County’s first-ever four-time state finalist. Won the state title in 2021. He is 44-0 this year and hopes to become the school’s first two-time champion.

• Class 2A 145 pounds: Brent Dennhardt
        - Breakout star as a sophomore, first trip to state with a 36-5 record.  

• Class 2A 160 pounds: Gavin Scheuermann
        - Third straight trip to state. Looks to build on winning a consolation match last winter


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