A first or second-place finish Saturday at the Class 2A District 1 tournament in Adel will send a grappler to the biggest prep mat stage there is: The Iowa State Wrestling Tournament.
Perry and Woodward-Granger both competed Feb. 6 in the Sectional 2 meet in Woodward. Each weight bracket champion will face off in a four-man district bracket against the runner-up from the Sectional 1 meet in Knoxville, with the Woodward second-place finisher opening against the Knoxville tourney champ.
Winners reach the finals, with the loser of the finals still temporarily still alive. The semifinal losers also meet, with that winner moving into the wrestle-back against the loser of the finals. If the finals loser had previously defeated the consolation semi winner, the former will advance on a ‘prior.’ If the two wrestle-back grapplers have yet to meet, they will battle it out, the winner moving on to Des Moines.
The lone Perry grappler in competition will be junior 120-pounder Cole Nelson (35-6), who will be seeking a third consecutive trip to Wells Fargo Arena. Nelson, ranked eighth, is 109-29 in his career. He reached state at 106 pounds as a freshman, then placed sixth at 113 last spring.
He opens against fourth-ranked Rylie Anderson (30-1) of Bondurant-Farrar. Top-ranked McKinley Robbins (27-0) of Greene County faces Saydel’s Kolton Kelley (22-7) in the other half of the bracket.
Of the seven W-G grapplers moving on, only 170-pounder Jon McKeever (37-6) was a sectional champ. He battles B-F’s Porter Smith (27-11) in one semifinal, with ninth-rated Dylan Meiners (29-3) of North Polk opening against Noble Hoyt (13-12) of Greene County.
At 106 pounds W-G’s Alex Saxton (29-17) squares off with No. 7 Cody Hay (30-2), with Jake Alexander (21-8) of ADM to face Remington Fey (22-21) of PCM.
Ranked ninth at 113, W-G’s Peyton Nixon (33-5) has drawn fifth-rated Dalton Rowe (24-2) of B-F. The winner meets the victor of the semi between VM/E frosh Payton Harger (29-8) and Knoxville’s Marco Alejo (20-8).
Riese Graham (30-10) faces Reese Broer (21-19) of Ballard and Ben Smith (31-7) of ADM meets Luke Spaur (23-5) of Knoxville in the 132-pound bracket, with Dustin Harney (38-7) of W-G dueling Gabriel Christensen (34-6) of Ballard while Greene County’s Nathan Black (26-4) has drawn North Polk’s Sean Golwitzer (6-7) at 160 pounds.
W-G 195-pounder Devan Brown (29-7) and fifth-rated Mason Askelsen (26-0) of Ballard are one semifinal, with No. 10 Joe Larimore (32-2) of Gilbert to battle Bennett Durham (20-11) of Saydel.
Also competing will be heavyweight Alex Evans (25-8), who starts against Cole Sanger (22-9) of North Polk. The opposing semifinal pits Greene County’s Sawyer Schiltz (22-9) against PCM’s Kinser Sloan.
Wrestling begins at 12 p.m.