DES MOINES — The first day is always full of nerves. You get potentially two matches to get one win and advance to Friday. For Oskaloosa’s Leland Evans (145) and Pella’s Kody Huisman (285) and Ryan Van Donselaar (160), all three made it through the first barricade and live to wrestle another day.
No. 9 Evans’ (24-9) day started against No. 8 Josiah Schaetzle (10-1) of Dubuque Hempstead. The Oskaloosa senior wasted little time scoring a single-leg takedown right off the whistle and would go to work. Schaetzle would score a very late escape as time was expiring in the first period.
Evans started the second period down and Schaetzle was able to get him on his back for a two-point nearfall to put him in front 3-2. Evans would try to replicate that as he started the third on top but Schaetzle fended off Evans’ attempts to eventually get a reversal and two-point nearfall to grab the win.
Evans would bounce back nicely in his first consolation match against No. 16 Dalyn Mull (23-17) of Marion. Evans scored a pair of takedowns in the first period to go ahead 4-1. The second period was full of action as the two exchanged takedowns with Mull evening garnering a two-point nearfall to take an 8-7 lead. Evans was able to squeeze out of the situation for a reversal before knocking down Mull and getting on top of him for the fall to advance to Friday for a second straight year.
No. 7 Van Donselaar (32-8) opened up against No. 10 Jermaine Sammler (18-11) of Waukee. Sammler did all of his damage late in periods. After going back and forth, Sammler scored a takedown right as time was expiring in the first.
Van Donselaar started the second on top and was riding out Sammler before a very late escape was awarded to him to push his lead to 3-0 heading into the third. Van Donselaar would take his shots in the third but Sammler would hold him off for the 3-0 win and push Van Donselaar to the consolation bracket.
Needing a win to advance, Van Donselaar was locked in for his match against No. 15 Dakota Lau (17-9) of Western Dubuque, Epworth. Van Donselaar avoided a single-leg takedown from Lau and was able to turn it into a takedown of his own before riding it out for the rest of the first period.
Van Donselaar would start the second down but a quick escape and takedown put him in the driver’s seat at 5-0 before getting another takedown in the third period on his way to a 7-0 decision and ticket to Friday’s consolation rounds.
No. 6 Huisman (21-8) did not waste any time in his first match of the 2021 tournament. The usual methodical Huisman picked up No. 11 Callan Grant (27-11) of Sioux City North and deposited him on the mat before getting on top and claiming the fall in just 18 seconds.
Huisman advances to Friday’s quarterfinals where he will face No. 3 Ben Reiland (12-3) of Waukee for a spot in the Class 3A heavyweight semifinals.
Class 3A quarterfinals and consolation rounds begin on Friday at 9 a.m. while semifinals start later on Friday at 7:30 p.m.