District Wrestling: Eight Wildcats Vie for State Berth

By: Nathan Bloechl — nathanb@977thebolt.com

Clear Lake, Iowa — The Humboldt Wildcat wrestling team, despite their loss at Regional Duals Tuesday, still have a huge opportunity before them Saturday at the IHSAA 2A District 3 wrestling tournament.

Here’s a breakdown of each weight class for Humboldt and the tournament on Saturday.

106: Jacob Mielke, Poky, (36-2) vs. Brock Moore, Forest City, (35-10) and Cole Nelson, Humboldt, (36-11) vs. Jakyb Kapp, Hampton-Dumont (32-11)

  • Will be a very interesting bracket, Mielke defeated Nelson via fall at last Saturday’s sectional tournament. Mielke was a medalist at last year’s State Tournament. My predicition: Mielke and Nelson advance, but it’ll be more competitive between the two this time around.

120: Cresten Craven, Humboldt (34-9) vs. Carl Barkema, Hampton-Dumont (35-12) and Garrett Seaba, CGD (34-10) vs. Joe Sullivan, Osage (43-5) 

  • Craven is wrestling his best down the stretch for Humboldt, winning last week’s sectional and earning a fall Tuesday versus Carlisle. After missing the NCC Tournament, Craven has been a man possessed. Barkema and Seaba are familiar foes. My predicition: Craven and Sullivan advance, but Seaba will looking for revenge after being beaten by Craven last week.

126: Mason Kent, IFA (21-10) vs. Alec Staudt, Charles City (21-15) and Colby Clarken, Humboldt (22-19) vs. Averee Abben, Osage (39-11) 

  • Clarken wrestled his tail off last Saturday to come back and win two straight matches, including his wrestle-back to earn his first ever spot in districts. Abben is currently ranked #10 at 126 according to the Predicament, so it’ll be a tough opener. My predicition: Clarken fights hard but is a year away from really making a lot of noise. Abben and Kent advance to state.

132: Remington Hanson, CGD (27-11) vs. Bronson Forsyth, Charles City (18-21) and Jordan Jenson, Humboldt (23-24) vs. Eric Faught, Clear Lake (32-0) 

  • It’s about as tough a draw as possible for Humboldt sophomore Jordan Jenson. Faught is darn near a unanimous #1 across all major ranking sites and is gunning for gold this year at the Well. Jensen is capable of pulling off an upset, but Faught is as tough as they come. My predicition: Faught and Hanson move on to state.

145: Joey Busse, Humboldt (41-0) vs. Kristian Gunderson, Forest City (36-11) and Keaton Wilson, CGD (25-11) vs. David Cornejo, Hampton-Dumont (28-13) 

  • 2A #1 Joey Busse did not wrestle Tuesday at team duals, but will hopefully be back at full strength this Saturday. He’s seeking his fourth straight trip to the Well and this time, he has gold on his mind. My prediction: Busse and Gunderson qualify for state, as Gunderson wins his wrestle-back.

160: Carson Devine, Algona (33-7) vs. Thomas Gansen, Clear Lake (24-12) and Levi Naeve, Humboldt (24-14) vs. Zach Williams, Osage (43-2) 

  • 2A #4 Zach Williams is the opening draw for the red-hot Levi Naeve and he’ll have his work cut out for him. Devine is no slouch himself after winning at sectionals in Humboldt. Devine is currently ranked #10 at 160. My prediction: Devine and Williams move on to state, but Naeve gives Devine a fight in the wrestle-back. Naeve will make a lot of noise next year.

195:  Joel Osborn, Humboldt (34-7) vs. Ryan Zuspan, Charles City (11-18) and Colby Lienemann, CGD (27-12) vs. Dalton Chipp, Hampton-Dumont (36-2) 

  • Osborn is peaking at the right time for Chad Beaman’s team and looks poised to make his first trip to state as a senior. Osborn was a champion at last week’s sectional defeating Lienemann 4-2. He’ll open with the upstart Zuspan of Charles City. My prediction: Osborn gets it done and clinches his first trip to state. He’ll be joined by #5 Dalton Chipp of Hampton-Dumont.

285: Spencery Trenary, CGD (42-0) vs. Tyler Nielsen, GHV (24-11) and Justin Jones, Humboldt (37-2) vs. Emilio Valenzuela, Hampton-Dumont (33-10) 

  • It’s hard to envision anything but Trenary v. Jones Part III this weekend. Jones’ only two losses this season have come from the Clarion heavyweight who was a state runner-up last year to Atlantic’s Jack McConkey. Valenzuela should give Jones a test, but ultimately Jones should overpower him. My prediction: Jones drops to Trenary again, but both men advance to Wells Fargo Arena next week.

There you have it, a quick look at Humboldt’s grapplers this weekend. If my predictions hold, Humboldt would have five wrestlers at the state tournament: Nelson, Craven, Busse, Osborn and Jones. Obviously I am not a magician and I am not slighting your kid by not including him, just my honest thoughts on what should be a great day of Wildcat wrestling.

Coverage will begin at noon on the Bolt, with myself and wrestling analyst Brad Duffy.