CEDAR RAPIDS - For the better part of the last decade, Scott Wheeler has been working tirelessly to build the Anamosa Wrestling Club (AWC) into one that can annually compete with the best AAU teams in the state of Iowa.
The results over the last several years have shown that Wheeler, and his dedicated staff of assistants, have been extremely successful in this venture, as the Anamosa high school program is having one of their best campaigns in school history, with many of the current Raiders having spent time with the AWC as youths.
Saturday, Feb. 8, at Cedar Rapids Prairie however, competing at the pressure-filled AAU district tournament with state berths on the line, the AWC did something that the program has probably never been done before.
“We had 10 kids qualify for the state meet,” said Wheeler, as an impressive 17 area youth competed for the program at the loaded tournament.
“We have a great group of hard-working kids who are every close and really support each other. That’s what is most fun to watch. Even after some kids lost, our kids struck around to watch their teammates wrestle. Most teams don’t do that that type of stuff. We have a great team of coaches, parents and kids. I believe this is the most kids we have sent to Des Moines, which is exciting to see.”
The state AAU tournament is set for Feb. 29-March 1, and the AWC will be represented by Austin Scranton, Jackson Burnell, Ayden Antonelli, Hudson Scranton, Wes Wheeler, Andrew Tjaden, Miken Wheeler, Easton Wheeler, Corbin Eganhouse and Corbyn Brodersen.
Austin Scranton claimed the lone championship on the day for the Anamosa team rolling to the crown in the 7th-8th grade 105-pound division.
Scranton opened with pin wins over Eastern Iowa Wrestling Club’s Teague Krob (51-seconds), Benton Community Wrestling Club’s Blayke Heying (1:24) and in the semi-final round pinned Clipper Wrestling Club’s Jackson Stevens (4:04).
In the title tilt Scranton continued to cruise dominating Eastern Iowa Wrestling Club’s Kane Naaktgeboren 13-0 to earn another berth to the state AAU level.
The top-4 in each class at the district meet advance to the state level, and Anamosa had a pair of runner-ups in Burnell and Antonelli.
Burnell opened his tournament with a 1:34 loss against North Linn’s Jacoby Peyton, but bounced back to defeat MWC Elite’s Layne Hearne (7-1) and Eastern Iowa Wrestling Club’s Cael Milder (5-0) to take second at the 3rd-4th grade 150-pound level.
Antonelli was busy on the mat wrestling five times on the day, posting a 4-1 record in the 5th-6th grade 120-pound class that included victories over Solon Spartans’ Lucas Feuerbach (13-0), Gold Medal Wrestling’s Will Sankot (13-2), Delaware County Wrestling Club’s Jack Georgen (8-0) and Hard Drive Wrestling Club’s Barrett Mieras.
Hudson Scranton and Wes Wheeler each scored third-place finishes for the AWC with Wheeler also taking to the mat five times and going 4-1 overall.
Wes Wheeler, wrestling in the 3rd-4th grade 70-pound division, opened his day with a 3-0 setback but rallied to go 4-0 the rest of the way defeating Linn-Mar’s Landon Fourtner (7-0), Clipper Wrestling Club’s Cal Robertson (9-6), Tiger Wrestling Club’s Gabe Olson (29-second pin) and Delaware County Wrestling Club’s Owen Lewin (6-5).
Hudson Scranton also suffered just one loss in four bouts on the day picking ups wins over Spartan Wrestling Club’s Wyatt Strausser (15-0), Alburnett’s Danny Small (1:37 pin) and DC Elite’s Clayton Davis (5-0) in the 5th-6th grade 114-pound third-place bout.
Brodersen came through with a third-place performance in the 3rd-4th grade 94-pound class finishing with a 3-2 mark at the tournament while Tjaden (5th-6th grade 78-pound class), Miken Wheeler (7th-8th grade 110), Easton Wheeler (7th-8th grade 120) and Eganhouse (3rd-4th grade 82) all scored fourth-placed finishes and will wrestle at the state AAU tournament in Des Moines for the AWC.
Also competing at the district tournament for the Raiders were: Rylan Dietiker, Gus LaDue, Austin Coons, Carson Wild, Ronnie Holub, Sean Kirk, Hunter Horak and Tayte Peterschmidt.