DES MOINES — Area athletes will be heading to the biggest stage in Iowa high school wrestling this week at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Oskaloosa’s Leland Evans (145) makes his return appearance to “The Well” after going 1-2 a year ago. No. 9 Evans (23-8) enters as a ninth seed this year and will go up against No. 8 Josiah Schaetzle (9-1) of Dubuque Hempstead in the first round. After that, Evans will either wrestle No. 1 Dreyzon Phillips (22-3) of Fort Dodge, a state runner-up a year ago, or No. 16 Dalyn Mull (23-15) of Marion.
Pella is sending two to state this year in Ryan Van Donselaar (160) and Kody Huisman (285).
No. 7 Van Donselaar (31-7) will open his first state tournament run against No. 10 Jermaine Sammler (17-11) of Waukee. He will then either face No. 2 Tate Naaktgeboren (9-0) of Linn-Mar or No. 15 Dakota Lau (17-7) of Western Dubuque, Epworth.
No. 6 Huisman (20-8), who didn’t start wrestling until last year, is set to make his second straight state tournament appearance after going 1-2 in 2020. He will open up against No. 11 Callan Grant (27-11) of Sioux City North in the first round. Huisman will then either face No. 3 Ben Reiland (11-3) of Waukee or get a rematch against No. 14 Julius Harris (5-1) of Burlington, who Huisman pinned at districts.
North Mahaska’s Trace Goemaat (285, 33-4) earned a 10-seed while Paul DeJong (120, 26-12) was given the 14th-seed. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Skyler Young (285, 18-11) comes in as the 16th-seed and will go up against No. 1 Carson Petlon (35-0) of West Delaware.
If anyone wins their opening match they automatically advance to Friday while an opening round loss will send them to the consolation bracket with another match on Thursday to advance to Friday.
The State Wrestling Tournament starts on Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena with Class 1A starting at 9 a.m., Class 3A at 1:30 p.m. and Class 2A at 6 p.m.