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Happel and Siebrecht lead Lisbon to State title

Led by state champions Cael Happel and Cooper Siebrecht, the Lisbon Lions brought home the 1A state title. Lisbon won the team title with 127.5 points to second place Don Bosco with 121 and Denver with 86 points.  This marked the 16th state tile in the history of Lisbon Wrestling leaving the Lions one shy of a tie with Waterloo West with 17 titles as the most successful program in Iowa High School wrestling history.

This title also pushed Lisbon coach Brand Smith into sole first place for most state titles won at 12.  Coach Smith was tied with legendary Waterloo West coach Bob Siddens at 11 titles.  I do not think Coach Smith is done winning titles just yet.  If anything, I believe his coaching is getting better with every passing year.  I am hoping that the coaching staff with a great collection of former Lisbon wrestlers that competed for Coach Smith as a Lion keep doing what they are doing.  

Cael Happel had another amazing state tournament.  In the finals at 120 lbs., Happel was dominating in scoring a 27-12 tech fall in 4:45 over Daniel Meeker of Wapello.  In his four matches at state, Happel had two pins and two tech falls to score an impressive 29 team points out of a possible 30.  Happel, a sophomore, has now a state title in each of his first two seasons and  is on track to become the fourth four-time state champion in the history of Lisbon Wrestling.

Cooper Siebrecht capped off a great career by winning a state tile at 145 lbs.  Siebrecht defeated Wade Mitchell of Woodbury Central 4-3 in the finals.  Siebrecht signed a National Letter of Intent to wrestle at Minnesota State (Mankato) next season.

Cobe Siebrecht, a junior, was a State runner-up at 126 lbs. after placing second at 106 last year.  It is rare for a wrestler to move up three weight classes in a year and perform the way that Siebrecht did this season.  Senior Bryce Werderman capped of his career as a runner-up at 170.  Werderman lost a close 6-5 decision in the finals.  

Lisbon got some much needed points in the consolations on Saturday morning from two seniors.  Kaden Kilburg responded from a close 3-0 loss in the semifinals to score a pin and major decision for huge team points to place third at 152 lbs. Jake Jennett at 195 lbs. had a pin on his way to placing fifth.  Those five bonus points proved to be a lot in a team race decided by 6.5 points.

State Qualifiers Gage McCoy (113), Ryne Mohrfeld (132) and Logan O’Connor (220) did not place, but scored some huge team points. Mohrfeld scored two team points and O’Connor scored four points.  To repeat my line above, that is six huge points in a team race decided by 6.5 points.  The title won was truly a team effort.

The Lisbon seniors left their mark on the history of Lisbon Wrestling.  Best of luck to Cooper Siebrecht, Kaden Kilburg, Bryce Werderman, Jake Jennett, Logan O’Connor and Clay McCoy,

Lisbon will lose 76.5 of their 127.5 points to graduation.  That means the Lions will return only 51 points next season.  I can see Lisbon being no higher than a pre-season #3 behind Don Bosco and Denver for next season.  Lisbon will have two-time defending State champion Cael Happel and two-time Runner-up Cobe Siebrecht to lead the team along with 2016 placewinner Ryne Mohrfeld and State qualifier Gage McCoy.  Lisbon will have a very talented freshman class next season with another Happel and Siebrecht coming up among others.  The Lions will have their work cut out for them to make it a three-peat.  A lot will depend on Lisbon wrestlers of all ages competing in freestyle tournaments, camps, and training between now and next November.  

But With Brad Smith, that coaching staff, and a room full of talent, the Lions will be in the hunt come tournament time next year.  If there has ever been a high school coach better at peaking their team to wrestle their best when it counts at tournament time than Brad Smith, I have never heard of them.  How fitting that Coach Smith has the record for most state title won by a coach.  The next state title won by Lisbon will put them in a tie with Waterloo West as the most successful program in the history of Iowa high school wrestling.   Look for Coach Smith to push for a another title next season.  Which had already began.

Thank you to the wrestlers and coaches for the great entertainment this season in the form of Lisbon Wrestling.  As I stated in an earlier blog, the connection of the people of Lisbon and their wrestling program is a slice of Americana.  The wrestling program is a reflection of the tough, hard-nosed people of Lisbon, Iowa USA that work hard every day and never quit at anything they do.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  It is an understatement to say that is is great to have Lisbon on top of the wrestling world again, where we belong.

Our coach has the record for the most titles won in Iowa high school wrestling history. Now let’s get the record of most team titles won.

Go get team title #17.

Go Lions!

 

113 – Gage McCoy (29-22) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Wyatt Dale (Central Decatur, Leon) 44-11 won by fall over Gage McCoy (Lisbon) 29-22 (Fall 1:36)
  • Cons. Round 1 – Daltin Roest (Manson Northwest Webster) 40-11 won by fall over Gage McCoy (Lisbon) 29-22 (Fall 2:26)

120 – Cael Happel (52-2) placed 1st and scored 29.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Cael Happel (Lisbon) 52-2 won by tech fall over Uvaldo Camarillo (Postville) 41-8 (TF-1.5 4:00 (19-4))
  • Quarterfinal – Cael Happel (Lisbon) 52-2 won by fall over Casey Baker (Interstate 35,Truro) 50-6 (Fall 3:51)
  • Semifinal – Cael Happel (Lisbon) 52-2 won by fall over Cael Frost (Don Bosco-Gilbertville) 38-13 (Fall 4:27)
  • 1st Place Match – Cael Happel (Lisbon) 52-2 won by tech fall over Daniel Meeker (Wapello) 44-5 (TF-1.5 4:45 (27-12))

126 – Cobe Siebrecht (51-2) placed 2nd and scored 20.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Cobe Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-2 won by major decision over Danny Nordquist (Panorama-Panora) 42-12 (MD 13-2)
  • Quarterfinal – Cobe Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-2 won by major decision over Nolan Noonan (Casade) 54-8 (MD 15-2)
  • Semifinal – Cobe Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-2 won by decision over Jacob Mcbride (Newman Catholic) 47-2 (Dec 10-3)
  • 1st Place Match – Alex Thomsen (Underwood) 51-1 won by major decision over Cobe Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-2 (MD 18-6)

132 – Ryne Mohrfeld (42-15) place is unknown and scored 2.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Brady Henderson (North Linn-Troy Mills) 33-5 won by decision over Ryne Mohrfeld (Lisbon) 42-15 (Dec 3-2)
  • Cons. Round 1 – Ryne Mohrfeld (Lisbon) 42-15 won by major decision over Zach Hammes (Pekin) 23-8 (MD 10-2)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Logan James (Underwood) 50-5 won by major decision over Ryne Mohrfeld (Lisbon) 42-15 (MD 16-3)

145 – Cooper Siebrecht (51-5) placed 1st and scored 23.50 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Cooper Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-5 won by tech fall over Bret Hoyman (Emmetsburg) 41-16 (TF-1.5 3:25 (17-1))
  • Quarterfinal – Cooper Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-5 won by decision over Chance Throndson (Riceville) 43-4 (Dec 9-2)
  • Semifinal – Cooper Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-5 won by decision over Garret Thompson (Logan-Magnolia) 54-5 (Dec 7-1)
  • 1st Place Match – Cooper Siebrecht (Lisbon) 51-5 won by decision over Wade Mitchell (Woodbury Central, Moville) 47-9 (Dec 3-2)

152 – Kaden Kilburg (41-10) placed 3rd and scored 20.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Kaden Kilburg (Lisbon) 41-10 won by major decision over Drew Venteicher (Bedford/Lenox) 38-6 (MD 8-0)
  • Quarterfinal – Kaden Kilburg (Lisbon) 41-10 won by fall over Saxon Lyman (Eagle Grove) 43-12 (Fall 0:32)
  • Semifinal – Kaleb Krall (Wapsie Valley, Fairbank) 34-6 won by decision over Kaden Kilburg (Lisbon) 41-10 (Dec 3-0)
  • Cons. Semi – Kaden Kilburg (Lisbon) 41-10 won by fall over Austin Eilers (Lawton-Bronson) 41-6 (Fall 5:00)
  • 3rd Place Match – Kaden Kilburg (Lisbon) 41-10 won by major decision over Skeeter Bostwick (Missouri Valley) 56-5 (MD 8-0)

170 – Bryce Werderman (48-6) placed 2nd and scored 18.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Bryce Werderman (Lisbon) 48-6 won in tie breaker – 1 over Brandon Trees (North Butler-Clarksville) 48-4 (TB-1 2-1)
  • Quarterfinal – Bryce Werderman (Lisbon) 48-6 won by decision over Nathan Haynes (Missouri Valley) 57-4 (Dec 10-4)
  • Semifinal – Bryce Werderman (Lisbon) 48-6 won by decision over Thomas Even (Don Bosco-Gilbertville) 27-9 (Dec 3-1)
  • 1st Place Match – Gabe Pauley (AHSTW) 56-0 won by decision over Bryce Werderman (Lisbon) 48-6 (Dec 6-5)

195 – Jake Jennett (42-14) placed 5th and scored 11.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Jake Jennett (Lisbon) 42-14 won by decision over Wes Geisler (Hudson) 45-4 (Dec 4-3)
  • Quarterfinal – Hunter DeJong (Sibley-Ocheyedan) 47-1 won by decision over Jake Jennett (Lisbon) 42-14 (Dec 9-3)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Jake Jennett (Lisbon) 42-14 won by fall over Gavyn Fischer (AHSTW) 51-11 (Fall 2:29)
  • Cons. Round 3 – Jake Jennett (Lisbon) 42-14 won by decision over Brock Meyer (Sumner-Fredericksburg) 42-9 (Dec 3-2)
  • Cons. Semi – Gabe Irons (Lake Mills) 53-4 won by fall over Jake Jennett (Lisbon) 42-14 (Fall 0:26)
  • 5th Place Match – Jake Jennett (Lisbon) 42-14 won by decision over Wes Geisler (Hudson) 45-4 (Dec 6-5)

 

220 – Logan O`Connor (44-11) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Logan O`Connor (Lisbon) 44-11 won by fall over Trenton Dirks (Westwood, Sloan) 18-4 (Fall 4:37)
  • Quarterfinal – Cam Fulcher (Hudson) 32-2 won by decision over Logan O`Connor (Lisbon) 44-11 (Dec 7-6)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Chaz Clark (Pleasantville) 44-5 won by decision over Logan O`Connor (Lisbon) 44-11 (Dec 5-1)

Iowa recruits Cassioppi and Brands roll to state titles

The Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018 had a great weekend competing at state.   Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL) closed out his dominating season with a very impressive run to the 3A Hwt Illinois state tile. Cassioppi was 4-0 for the tournament with four first period pins.  TrackWresstling had a video clip of Cassioppi from Friday that I released on Facebook and Twitter.  That clip shows just  how quick, explosive, and dominating Cassioppi truly is.  This was Cassioppi’s second straight title at Hwt in 3A.

Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS) won his third straight title by winning the 3A 160 lbs. title.  Brands recorded a tech fall, a decision, and fall before winning by a 22-7 tech fall in the finals.  Brands showed that he is a takedown machine with his aggressive style.

Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA placed third at 152 lbs. in 2A.  Kelly dropped a 4-1 decision to defending and eventual two-time state champion Isaac Judge of South Tama in the semifinals.  Kelly responded with two pins to place third.

It is now freestyle time for our incoming recruits.  Cassioppi is the defending Junior National champion in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.  I will be following our recruits throughout freestyle season that concludes with Junior Nationals in Fargo, ND in July.

Cassioppi, Brands, and Kelly are the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.

 

Anthony Cassioppi 3A Hwt Illinois State Tournament

1st Round: Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 41-0 won by fall over Ulises Apantenco (Aurora (East)) 27-10 (Fall 1:18)

Quarterfinal – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 42-0 won by fall over Devin O`Rourke (Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East)) 27-4 (Fall 1:37)

Semifinal – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 43-0 won by fall over Isiah Ziegler (Carpentersville (Dundee-Crown)) 42-6 (Fall 0:49)

1st Place Match – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 44-0 won by fall over Jeff Griffin (Flossmoor (Homewood-F.)) 41-2 (Fall 1:45)

 

Nelson Brands 3A 160 Iowa State Tournament

1st Round Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 52-1 won by tech fall over Brett Mower (Glenwood) 37-14 (TF-1.5 3:42 (22-7))

Quarterfinal – Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 53-1 won by decision over Zane Mulder (Dallas Center-Grimes) 41-2 (Dec 9-5)

Semifinal – Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 54-1 won by fall over Levi Egli (Fort Dodge) 27-8 (Fall 2:38)

1st Place Match – Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 55-1 won by tech fall over Wilfred Kadohou (Iowa City, City High) 39-8 (TF-1.5 3:15 (22-7))

 

Joe Kelly 2A 152 Iowa State Tournament

Champ. Round 1 – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 49-5 won by fall over Zack Bevans (Solon) 31-11 (Fall 2:52

Quarterfinal – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 50-5 won by decision over Skyler Noftsger (Ballard) 35-4 (Dec 1-0)

Semifinals – Isaac Judge (South Tama County) 47-2 won by decision over Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 50-6 (Dec 4-1)

Cons. Semi – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 52-6 won by fall over Zack Bevans (Solon) 34-13 (Fall 1:15)

3rd Place Match – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 52-6 won by fall over Skyler Noftsger (Ballard) 37-5 (Fall 2:20)

 

Iowa Wrestling recruits at State: Feb 15-17

It is State tournament time for the incoming Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.  Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL) will be at the Illinois High School State Tournament in Champaign, IL on February 15-17.  Cassioppi enters State ranked number one at Hwt in 3A with a 40-0 record.

First Round: Anthony Cassioppi (40-0) vs. Ulises Apantenco Aurora East (27-9)

Illinois State Tournament schedule for 3A

Thursday, February 15

1st Round: 5 pm

Friday, February 16

Quarterfinals: 1:30 pm

Semifinals Championship Round (1A-2A-3A): 7 pm

Saturday, February 17

Grand March followed by Championship matches (1A-2A-3A) on 3 mats: 5:30 pm

 

Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS) enters State ranked number one at 160 lbs in 3A with a 51-1 record.  The Iowa State Wrestling Tournament will be held in the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA on February 15-17.

First Round: Nelson Brands ICW (51-1) vs. Brett Mower Glenwood (36-13)

Iowa High School State Tournament schedule for 3A

Thursday, February 15

1st Round: 1:30 – 4:30

Friday, February 16

Quarterfinals: 9 am – 1 pm

Semifinals: 7:30 pm – 8:40 pm

Saturday, February 17

Finals: 6 pm

 

Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA enters the State tournament ranked third in 2A at 152 lbs with a 48-5 record.

First Round: Joe Kelly W Liberty (48-5) vs Zack Bevans Solon (31-10)

Iowa High School State Tournament schedule for 2A

Thursday, February 15

1st Round: 9 am – 12 pm

Friday, February 16

Quarterfinals: 9 am – 1 pm

Semifinals: 2:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Saturday, February 17

Finals: 6 pm

 

I will post results at:

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IowaWrestlingFan/

and on Twiiter at https://twitter.com/iawrestlingfan

 

“The Bull” has arrived

Alex “Bull” Marinelli of the Iowa Hawkeyes has arrived at 165 lbs. Indeed.  Let’s back up a quick second.  I wrote a blog in the fall of 2016 when Marinelli had just arrived on campus as a true freshman as the biggest recruit to date in the Tom Brands era.  I stated in that blog that Marinelli was as good as any true freshman that I had seen in the Iowa room since Lincoln McIlravy in 1993.  I wrote another blog about Marinelli this past fall when I stated that as a redshirt freshman, Marinelli set the tone for the entire Iowa Wrestling program in practice, including the Hawk Club members.  I also talked about how Marinelli had some “Old School” to him for attitude.  This guy goes hard all of the time.

I thought about those past blogs as we all watched Bull Marinelli earn his nickname by executing a 6-point bearhug to defeat previously undefeated, number one ranked, and defending national champion Vincenzo Joseph in front of a hostile Penn State crowd of over 15,000.  I believe that when Marinelli’s career is complete, we will look back at that move and match as the defining moment when the rest of the country knew what those close to Iowa Wrestling have known all along.  Alex “Bull” Marinelli is one tough hombre that will not back down to any wrestler, in any situation, and is always attacking.  And that, ladies and gentleman, is the mere definition of Iowa Wrestling.

Iowa Assistant Wrestling Coach Ryan Morningstar:

Alex Marinelli appeals to the sport.  He works at it every day.  He is not afraid of anything.  Marinelli loves the challenge and brings that to the mat every time out.

Marinelli has ran through the regular season in the rugged Big Ten and he now has the gauntlet of the Big Ten tournament to prepare for after this Sunday’s dual against Iowa State.  How tough is the Big Ten at 165? FloWrestling.com has six of the top eight wrestlers and nine of the top eighteen wrestlers in the country ranked that are from the Big Ten.  That is impressive. As of Saturday’s match, Marinelli was ranked fourth with Joseph of Penn State at one and two-time NCAA champion Isaiah Martinez at number two.  The quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament will be absolutely loaded.  Even with all of that high caliber competition, I just do not see how you could bet against Marinelli.

With a background of coming out of the nationally ranked St. Paris Graham program in Ohio, Marinelli’s teammates gave him the nickname of Bull.  St. Paris Graham has produced David Taylor, the Schlatters, and Jordans.  That is quite a list.  Alex Marinelli was born to be an Iowa Hawkeye and he is in the perfect place for his career.  I am definitely looking forward to seeing Marinelli’s career over the next three plus years.  I saw something in him right away in the practice room, but I had to wait to see him in a come from behind, pressure situation in competition to state the following to the public.  Alex Marinelli reminds me of Royce Alger.  I am very, very cautious about throwing that compliment out, but after the Penn State dual, it is time.  Marinelli has the physical strength, attitude, and aggression in competition and in the room that made Alger the legend that he became.  Time will tell how far Marinelli’s skillset will take him.  I would say he is off to a damned good start.

Let’s get ‘em in the middle.

 

2018 Season matches:

165 #9 Richie Lewis (Rutgers) W‐D 6‐4 SV1

Brendan Burnham (Maryland) W‐Pin 2:41

Midlands‐1st place     

Johnny Blankenship (Nebraska) W‐Pin 6:04

Jonathan Viruet (Brown) W‐D 3‐2

#14 Richie Lewis (Rutgers) W‐D 3‐2

Jon Schleifer (Princeton) W‐D 3‐1 SV1

Austin Hiles (Michigan State) W‐TF 24‐5

#8 Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State) W‐D 5‐2

#13 Te’Shan Campbell (Ohio State) W‐D 4‐1

#8 Logan Massa (Michigan) W‐D 3‐2

#8 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) W‐D 5‐1

Michael Sepke (Northwestern) W‐TF 23‐8

#1 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) W‐D 9‐6

 

Iowa Wrestling recruits in action Feb 10: RESULTS

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits rolled through their qualifying tournaments for State on Saturday.  The three recruits were 6-0 with four first period pins and two tech falls. Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL) (Hwt) recorded two first periods pins.  Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS) (160) had a fall and tech fall.  Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA (152) also had a fall and tech fall.

The Iowa and Illinois state wrestling tournament are this upcoming week of February 15-17.

Cassioppi, Brands, and Kelly are the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.

 

  • Champ. Round 1 – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 40-0 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Quarterfinal – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 40-0 won by medical forfeit over Anand Batbaatar (Lincolnshire (Stevenson)) 32-11 (M. For.)
  • Semifinal – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 40-0 won by fall over Charlie Schmidt (Libertyville) 35-5 (Fall 1:47)
  • 1st Place Match – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 40-0 won by fall over Jose Ramos (Mt. Prospect (Prospect)) 37-5 (Fall 1:26)

 

  • Quarterfinal – Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 51-1 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Semifinal – Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 51-1 won by fall over Garrett Boecker (Mount Pleasant) 17-32 (Fall 0:11)
  • 1st Place Match – Nelson Brands (Iowa City, West) 51-1 won by tech fall over WILFRED KADOHOU (Iowa City, City High) 36-7 (TF-1.5 4:30 (29-8))

 

  • Semifinal – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 48-5 won by fall over joe deckert (Assumption, Davenport) 26-25 (Fall 0:54)
  • 1st Place Match – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 48-5 won by tech fall over Caleb LaLonde (West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville) 41-9 (TF-1.5 5:28 (20-5))

 

 

Iowa Wrestling recruits in action: February 9-10

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits will be competing in tournaments to qualify for their State tournament this weekend.   Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL) will be at Sectionals in Barrington on Friday and Saturday, February 9-10. The top four wrestlers at each weight qualify for State. 

Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS) will be at the 3A Districts in Mount Pleasant on Saturday.  Joe Kelly of West Liberty will be competing at the 2A Districts at Fairfield.  The top two at each weight qualifies for State.

The Iowa and Illinois state tournament will be held next weekend on February 15-17.

I will have a follow-up blog for results.

Cassioppi, Brands, and Kelly are the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.  

A slice of Americana in Lisbon, Iowa USA

I made my way into town Saturday for Sectionals.  I always thought that Sectionals in Lisbon, Iowa USA was a great slice of Americana.  Seeing the bridge from the Baxter era to the present Smith era with another generation of Lisbon Wrestling keeps the community together, educates those that are new to Lisbon or remind some that may have forgotten, and above all, it’s tradition.  Lisbon is a wrestling school, town and community.  That is what we are known for.

As I surveyed the crowd Saturday, it was easy to spot my dad, Francis Conner, sitting at the top of the Lisbon crowd with (T-Bird) Terry Jamison and (Trucker) John Decious, both classmates of my brother Dan Conner in 1980.  Lifelong nicknames make remembering people’s real first name a challenge at times.  My dad would turn down 50-yard line tickets to the Super Bowl if it meant missing a single Lisbon wrestling junior high or high school event.  A true Lisbon Wrestling fan 365 days a year.  Dad keeps me up to date all year long on weights and who will be wrestling where in the lineup and who’s coming up for the future.  To me, a fan like that is the definition of sport.  I just do not think you can top the pride felt in a small town.  To me, it is special in a small town.  

I cannot speak for other communities because I have never been from anywhere else.  In Lisbon, there are no generation-based gaps for friends.  My parents are in their late 70’s and are safe and looked out for in any crowd around they are in in large part because of Lisbon people that went to school with one of their kids are in the crowd to look out for them.  When you know someone in Lisbon, you know all of the generations of their family.  We are all in the same town and on this day, and every day, we all support the same Lisbon wrestling program.  Does me proud to say this paragraph of thoughts.

It was easy to spot Doug Lord, Jim Bennett, and John Bennett in the front row of the Lisbon wrestling crowd, as always.  These guys go back to the first state titles for Lisbon in the Baxter era in 1973 and 1974 and still keep a very close eye on Lisbon wrestling.  They never left Lisbon Wrestling.  Hopefully the current Lisbon wrestlers of all ages learn from that and support the program as a fan when they are out of school.  I really hope that torch is passed down to another generation.

When I was a kid growing up, it was always a standard at wrestling tournaments and duals to have guys from Lisbon standing along the wall watching wrestling all day/night long.  I always think of Neil Stine, a Butteris and Stoneking, Stan Franta, among others, standing along the wall as a kid.  On Saturday a glance along the wall found an array of Lisbon grads from I believe five different decades and they all wrestled. Again, that’s tradition. I’m giving Bird a honorary Lisbon Wrestling Letter.

So a shout out to the Lisbon crowd at Lisbon Sectionals on Saturday and those along the wall seen in the photo of which all but one still lives in Lisbon:

Rudy “Dude” Light, J.J. Butteris, Casey Baxa, Mike “Bird” Parrot, Tim Kortemeyer, Darin Williams, Tom “Boomer” Kortemeyer, Kolbi Kohl, Mitch Montgomery, and Jake Siggins.

The night before Sectionals, my dad and I had a thrill we will never forget at the Iowa – Minnesota dual meet.  Carter Happel of Lisbon came from behind with a last second takedown and pin to defeat a defending All American and highly ranked wrestler.  That was a moment that will never be forgotten.  Ryan Morningstar of Lisbon was in Carter’s corner as a coach.  What an honor to have a Lisbon Boy coaching alongside Tom and Terry Brands for the legendary University of Iowa Wrestling team. Iowa Wrestling legends of the past like Royce Alger of Lisbon and Lisbon coach Brad Smith, both national champs for the Hawks, were honored before the meet and at intermission of the Iowa-Minnesota dual meet.  Lisbon people have a seat at the Iowa Wrestling table in more ways than one.  

Having those types of Lisbon connections in Iowa Wrestling is a huge source of pride.  Something the entire town should take pride in.  When writing about Iowa Wrestling, how shall I say, I do not lack in confidence about what I have to offer.  The foundation of growing up and still being apart of Lisbon, Iowa USA is a big part of that confidence.  

Telling this story makes me think of the song and video of Small Town by John Cougar Mellencamp.

Good luck to the Lions tonight in Regional Duals and for the rest of the tournament season.  Lisbon is two traditional state tiles away from tying Waterloo West as the most successful high school wrestling program in the history of Iowa High School wrestling.  Three to be in sole first place.  Coach (Brad) Smith is tied with the legendary Bob Siddens for first place for the most state titles won by a coach in the history of Iowa High School wrestling.  A title this year would put Coach Smith in sole first place.  I want want both of those records in the history of Iowa High School Wrestling to belong to Lisbon.  Bad.

Lisbon, Iowa USA.  A slice of Americana.

As I say in my Iowa Wrestling blog:  Let’s get ‘em in the middle.   

Get after it Lisbon wrestlers, coaches, and fans.

Go Lions!

 

Iowa Wrestling recruits competing on February 3: Results

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits began their tournament season on Saturday.  Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL) continued his dominating season with two first period pins in 1:34 and 1:44.  Cassioppi will compete in Sectionals in Barrington, IL on February 9-10.

Joe Kelly of West Liberty, IA also had two first period pins in :20 and 1:27 winning Sectionals.  Kelly will be at Districts in Fairfield on February 10.

Nelson Brands of Iowa City, IA (West HS) did not compete on Saturday.  He will compete at Districts in Mount Pleasant on February 10.

Both the Iowa and Illinois State Tournaments are on February 15-17.

Cassioppi, Brands, and Kelly are the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.

 

  • Quarterfinal – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 37-0 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Semifinal – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 37-0 won by fall over George Colbert (DeKalb) 12-23 (Fall 1:34)
  • 1st Place Match – Anthony Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 37-0 won by fall over Aydin Guttridge (Rockford (East)) 32-8 (Fall 1:44)

 

  • Quarterfinal – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 44-5 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Semifinal – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 44-5 won by fall over Joe Allred (Mid-Prairie) 11-26 (Fall 0:20)
  • 1st Place Match – Joe Kelly (West Liberty) 44-5 won by fall over Wilston Wuthrich (Davis County) 30-15 (Fall 1:27)

Notes from the Johnson County I-Club luncheon

The Johnson County I-Club had a wrestling luncheon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena over the noon hour today.  To start with, there was a great crowd.  The overall vibe was great as I expected. Tom Brands spoke first followed by Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta.

A few notes:  

  1. Team USA will have a week long training camp at the Iowa Wrestling facilities the week of March 28 leading up to the World Cup.  Coach Brands said that the facility will be handed over to our USA Freestyle team for whatever they need to train and prepare for the World Cup.  Brands also mentioned how Iran has a stranglehold on the team title including winning the World Cup two years in a row in Los Angeles.  Now the World Cup is being held in the land of the Hawkeyes and we have one of our own in Thomas Gilman competing.  I like our chances.  
  2. As I labeled it in my blog last year, “The Greatest Wrestling Training Facility… in the World” is a green light.  The project is a go but the timetable has not been set.  That excited the hell out of me.  I was cringing in my seat as Brands talked about the outstanding facilities that Iran and Russia has.  I of course want our facility to be not just be better than theirs, but a LOT better.  The Greatest Wrestling Training Facility…in the World.  It’s gonna happen.
  3. Coach Brands talked about how they are recruiting wrestlers like Spencer Lee and Jacob Warner not only to win NCAA titles, but to win World and Olympic titles as well.  He spoke about how intense Spencer Lee is and the importance of having Warner compete in Russia at the toughest regular season international freestyle  tournament in the world.
  4. We will see Michael Kemerer tonight and I am excited about that.
  5. There will be a reunion for former Iowa Wrestlers at the Minnesota meet tonight.  There are former Iowa greats from all over the country that have come in for tonight’s meet.  Dan Gable, who was at the luncheon, will be apart of the reunion.  Former Iowa legends will be announced at the meet tonight.  What a great idea.
  6. It was good to see Gary Barta back at it.  I had not seen him since his return from a medical leave and he looks the same as always. Barta gave a good speech about how important wrestling is to the University of Iowa.  Barta also shared a story about his days as a football player at North Dakota State.  He then said that we have a very, very good or even great facility.  But if we stand still, we will fall even further behind. A new training facility is needed.  Of course he had me hook, line, and sinker on that one and very excited about this project becoming a reality.
  7. They are still going over the final floor plans of the new facility and the exact location.  Barta talked about how two donors have stepped up in a big way.  The step of fundraising is on the way.  I cannot tell you how much that excites me.  I mentioned in my blog about a new training facility that the biggest obstacle was getting the go ahead from the University of Iowa more so than the fundraising.  It sounds like that the fundraising part of the process is right around the corner.  I am just that confident that the money will get raised and sooner than most think.  I will keep you up to date with any news that I hear.   

I would like to see more of these type of events to promote Iowa Wrestling during the season.  Overall, a great event that was very well done.    

There is a lot to be excited about in Iowa Wrestling.

Iowa – Minnesota at 8 PM tonight in Carver Hawkeye Arena and televised live on BTN.

I am expecting a fired up Iowa Wrestling team tonight and a very exciting meet.

Let’s get ‘em in the middle.

 

Iowa Wrestling recruits competing: February 2 & 3

It is tournament time for the incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits.  Two incoming recruits will be competing on Saturday, February 3.  Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah High School (Roscoe, IL) will be at Regionals in DeKalb, IL.  The top six at each weight will qualify for Sectionals at Barrington.

Joe Kelly of West Liberty, Iowa will be competing in Sectionals at Washington, Iowa with the action beginning at Noon.  The top two at the Washington Sectionals will qualify for Districts on February 10 at Fairfield.

Nelson Brands of Iowa City, Iowa (West HS) will be competing in a home dual meet against C.R. Prairie on Friday, but will not be competing on Saturday.  Brands will compete in the 3A District at Mount Pleasant on February 10.

I will have a follow-up blog for results.

The Iowa and Illinois High School State Tournaments are both February 15-17.

Cassioppi, Brands, and Kelly are the Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2018.