Four wrestlers to represent Greene County at state meet
By SUE RIEDER
Dylan Forkner, Jordan Challen, Tommy Bradshaw and Jeremy Scheuermann will all represent Greene County in the state wrestling tournament starting in Des Moines Thursday (today). All four earned their way by finishing first or second in their weight class at sectionals on Feb. 1, and then going on and finishing first or second at the district competition in Atlantic Feb. 15. This year 226 teams will be bring at least one wrestler to the tournament. The attendance over the last 10 years has exceeded 75,000 for the three day event, and the championship matches held on Saturday night have been sold out for the last 26 consecutive years.
Participants compete in at least two matches at the state meet. When they lose their first match, they go into a consolation bracket and try to work their way back into a placing position. Prior to the finals, once you lose a match, the best that you can finish is third.
Ram’s Tommy Bradshaw was the district champion at 138 pounds. Bradshaw, who is currently ranked ninth in his weight in Class 2A, ran his record to 40-2 when he defeated Trey Stickler of Clarinda 16-5 and then dominated Joey Huntington of Creston/Orient Macksburg 18-5. Tommy’s first opponent at the state meet will be third ranked Bradley Conley (42-6) from Mediapolis. If he wins his first match, he will take on either tenth ranked Elijah Dahl (40-1) of MOC Floyd Valley or Tionte Parks (29-8) of Davenport Assumption. This is Bradshaw’s first state tournament appearance in Iowa, although he did qualify for the Missouri state meet last year.
Eighth ranked Dylan Forkner was the district runner up at 126 pounds. In Atlantic, Forkner pinned William Fargo of Creston/Orient Macksburg in 3:47, and was defeated by third ranked Darrian Schwenke of Atlantic 19-3 in the finals. Schwenke ran his record to 48-1 on the year, while Forkner enters the state tournament 37-4. Dylan will meet Sam Phillips (39-4) from West Delaware in his first match. If he wins, he will meet either Parker Witthuhn (30-7) from Roland-Story or Dylan Beaver (13-7) from Benton Community.
After qualifying last year, Jordan Challen (36-6) returns to the state meet at 132 pounds. At the district tournament, Challen won a 11-6 decision over Tanner Mertz from Red Oak, but lost a 4-3 decision to Alex Schmitz from Carroll Kuemper. Saturday’s match was the third time that Schmitz and Challen had met this year. Jordan won both of the other meetings by one point. Challen then had to wrestle Spencer Wray from Creston/ Orient Macksburg, and won that match 15-0 to be the runner up at 132. Jordan will meet Brock Jennings (34-10) from Osage in his first match. If he wins, he will take on first ranked Oscar Ramirez (40-1) of Estherville Lincoln Central or Kade Steuhm (24-3) from Solon.
Tenth ranked Jeremy Scheuermann placed eighth at last year’s state meet. Jeremy was the runner up at the Atlantic district. He won a 10-2 decision over Gavin Leith of Creston, but lost 4-3 to Seth Stetzel from Perry. Scheuermann did not have to wrestle again for second place as Leith won the consolation match and Jeremy had already defeated him. Scheuermann (41-5) will face Tanner Hild (31-6) from Webster City in his first match. If he wins that match, he will meet either first ranked Drew Buster (46-3) of Mediapolis or fifth ranked Bret Tomoson (45-3) from Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
Other Rams who participated in the district meet, but did not qualify for the state tournament were Jacob Challen who lost to 5th ranked Blake Luna 12-3 and lost to Gisaveri Niyibizi of Perry 6-5. Challen finished his high school career with an impressive 105-37 record. Tray Binkley lost a 11-9 decision to Cain Johanns of Clarinda and pinned Nathan Becker of Kuemper Catholic in 1:41. Unfortunately Adam Baker beat Johanns in the finals, and Binkley did not have an opportunity to wrestle back since Johanns had already won over him. Heavyweight Rene Guzman lost to 10th ranked Dakota Chalfee from Clarinda 4-1 and got pinned by Perry’s Joe Olvera.
“We’re very happy to have four kids going to the state tournament. They have worked really hard,” said coach Mark Sawhill. “I like our first round draws, but you never know how the kids will adjust to the excitement of being there. You have to bring your “A” game when you wrestle at state because everyone there is good.”
Class 2A wrestling starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday. This is the twenty-fifth consecutive season that the Jefferson based wrestling program has had one or more wrestlers compete at the state meet.