State tournament reached, but goals remain for Perry duo

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Perry sophomore Cole Nelson, ranked sixth at 113 pounds, won his bracket at Saturday's district tourney to earn a repeat trip to the State Wrestling Tournament.

Perry senior Erick Funez (32-15 at 138 pounds) and sixth-ranked sophomore Cole Nelson (35-6 at 113) will be aiming to crown a pair of solid campaigns with spots on the podium at the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament.

Session II will kick off the 2A tourney at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. First round and first round consolations will be held at that time.

Those winning their first match, or winning in the consolation Thursday, will return for Session 4 at 9 a.m. Friday, with Session 6 holding the 2A semifinals and third-round consolation matches at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Consolation semifinals and finals are held Saturday at 10 a.m. in Session 7, with the championships to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Funez will be making his first appearance on the big stage. He has been placed in a strong mini-bracket (each weight begins with four four-man brackets) and opens against Hampton-Dumont-CAL sophomore Carl Barkema.

The opposite side of the bracket pits top-ranked Williamsburg senior Jalen Schropp (50-0) against Bishop Heelan senior Nick McGowan (37-15).

Nelson is returning to the venue where he finished 1-2 at 106 pounds last year. Now up a weight class, he will start his podium quest against Albia sophomore Dawson Bennett (19-9).

The opposing bracket has fourth-ranked Spirit Lake Park sophomore Jonathan Burnette (35-5) facing off against West Liberty junior Alex Beaver (29-7).

Perry 138-pounder Erick Funez is shown on his way to victory earlier this season. Funez won a wrestle-back match at the district tourney Saturday to earn a spot in the State Wrestling Tournament.

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