Domination: An Inside Look at Iowa Wrestling

2022-’23 Iowa Wrestling Schedule

The University of Iowa released the entire 2022-2023 Wrestling schedule. The Hawks will wrestle in legendary Carver-Hawkeye Arena eight times. Iowa will also compete in the inaugural Soldier Salute in Coralville.

The season kicks off with a home dual meet on Sunday, November 13 against Cal Baptist at 1 PM. The Hawks will then hit the road for an east coast road trip with a dual at Army on Friday November 18 followed up by two duals in Albany, NY the following day.

Jacob Warner, Tony Cassioppi, and Real Woods will compete at the NWCA All Star Classic in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, November 22.

Iowa returns home on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend with a home dual against Penn on November 26. You always mark your calendar for the Iowa-Iowa State dual meet. The Hawks will host the Cyclones on Sunday, December 4. Iowa will then head to Chattanooga for a Saturday, December 10 dual meet.

After the Christmas break Iowa will compete in the Soldier Salute in Coralville, Iowa on December 29-30. This will provide a great opportunity to see the entire roster compete in person. I am looking forward to a new tradition starting with this tournament.

Iowa then heads into the Big Ten schedule that is always tough. I am sure the entire wrestling world will take notice when Iowa wrestles at Penn State on Friday, January 27.

The Hawks wrap up the regular season with a home dual meet against rival Oklahoma State on Sunday, February 19. Good chance this will be Senior Day and the last opportunity to see some great wrestlers compete in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the last time in the Black and Gold.

Big Tens are hosted by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 4-5. The Big Show, the NCAA Wrestling Championships will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 16-18.

I have said for years that Iowa Wrestling is my entertainment. I plan on being very entertained by the Hawks this season. The home schedule will provide some great matchups to see in person.  I can’t wait.

 

2022-2023 Iowa Wrestling Schedule

Sunday, November 13 – Cal Baptist (1PM)

Thursday, November 17 – at Army (West Point, NY)

Friday, November 18 – at Arm Bar at the Armory: Sacred Heart & Buffalo (Albany, NY)

Tuesday, November 22 at NWCA All Star Classic (Austin, TX)

Saturday, November 26 – Penn

Sunday, December 4 – Iowa State

Saturday, December 10 – at Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)

December 29-30 – at Soldier Salute (Coralville, Iowa)

Friday, January 6 – Illinois

Sunday, January 8 – at Purdue

Friday, January 13 – Northwestern

Friday, January 20 – Nebraska

Sunday, January 22 – at Wisconsin

Friday, January 27 – at Penn State

Friday, February 3 – at Minnesota

Friday, February 10 – Michigan

Sunday, February 19 – Oklahoma State

Sat/Sun March 4-5 at Big Tens (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Thurs-Sat March 16-18 – at NCAA National Tournament (Tulsa, OK)

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

HWC practice Saturday before Michigan FB game

The Hawkeye Wrestling Club will have practice open to the public at 8:30 AM on Saturday, October 1 . Doors to the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex in Carver-Hawkeye Arena will open at 8:00. In the past Iowa wrestlers will be working out on their own during these HWC practices. Official practice for D-I college wrestling begins on Monday, October 10.The bleachers will be pulled out and I am expecting a packed house.

Iowa football will face #4 Michigan with a 11:05 AM kickoff. There will be a buzz of excitement in Iowa City on Saturday. I expect a full house in the wrestling room that will be filled with Iowa Wrestling fans anxious for the season to start. Attending a workout in the Iowa Wrestling room is a Hawkeye fan game day tradition for decades.

Iowa and Michigan battle on the mat and on the recruiting trail for wrestling. I am hoping for the room to be filled Saturday.

Be sure and check out how construction is coming along for the new facility that I named: “The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world!”

There will only be one more opportunity to see a workout like this and that will be Homecoming Saturday on October 29. As an Iowa Wrestling fan you want to be in the Iowa Wrestling room Saturday morning. It will be a great day to be an Iowa Hawkeye.

The Big Ten portion of the schedule has been released. I will keep you up to date when the full schedule is released.

 

Upcoming dates for Iowa Wrestling:

Monday, October 10 – First day of wrestling practice

October 29 – Home football game (Northwestern) *Homecoming

 

Big Ten schedule:

Friday, January 6 – Illinois

Sunday, January 8 – at Purdue

Friday, January 13 – Northwestern

Friday, January 20 – Nebraska

Sunday, January 22 – at Wisconsin

Friday, January 27 – at Penn State

Friday, February 3 – at Minnesota

Friday, February 10 – Michigan

Sat/Sun March 4-5 at Big Tens (Michigan)

Thurs-Sat March 16-18 – at NCAA National Tournament (Tulsa, OK)

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Iowa Wrestling fundraiser for Shelter House

Wrestling fans, here is a great fundraiser that I want to promote. You can put a bid on an online auction for six different opportunities to have dinner with an Iowa Wrestling star or coach. All proceeds go to support Shelter House, the only Iowa City area homeless shelter.

 

From Shelter House:https://shelterhouseiowa.org/

There is a terrific opportunity that starts at Noon on Friday. Not one, not two, but five members of the Hawkeye wrestling team are each offering dinner for four with all proceeds benefiting Shelter House, the Iowa City area’s only homeless shelter and housing services provider. But it gets better: Head Coach Tom Brands is offering the same.

There are six dinners available for auction, one with each: Coach Tom Brands, Spencer Lee, Tony Cassioppi, Jacob Warner, Max Murin, and Real Woods. So when was the last time YOU had dinner with a three-time NATIONAL CHAMPION? What about a conversation with an ALL-AMERICAN? Or sat down with Iowa Wrestling’s MVP? 

Now you can do any of those things by bidding during Take Down Homelessness. Bidding opens at Noon this Friday, September 23 and closes at 11:59 pm on Friday, September 30. You can preview the auction here, bit.ly/takedownhomelessness, and spread the word!

 

You can also make a separate donation on the above website to Shelter House.

The Iowa wrestlers participating in the auction have already spent time at Shelter House on projects that have went real well. I ask that you do your part as an Iowa Wrestling fan and get the word out on this fundraiser for a great cause.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Big Ten schedule released

The Big Ten released conference schedules for the upcoming wrestling season. The Hawks will host four Big Ten duals starting with Illinois on Friday, January 6. Iowa will also host Northwestern, Nebraska, and Michigan. 

The Hawks will be on the road against Purdue, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Minnesota. As a fan I would like to see more Big Ten duals. Iowa and Ohio State should be competing every year.

You can count on the Iowa-Iowa State dual meet to take place in legendary Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season probably in December.

Iowa will have a strong team led by Spencer Lee who will be looking to capture his fourth NCAA title. Iowa was ranked #2 in the preseason rankings released by InterMat on July 27. 

Full InterMat rankings:

https://intermatwrestle.com/rankings/college/125?

I will keep you posted when the remaining Iowa Wrestling schedule is released. 

 

Iowa Wrestling Big Ten schedule:

Friday, January 6 – Illinois

Sunday, January 8 – at Purdue

Friday, January 13 – Northwestern

Friday, January 20 – Nebraska

Sunday, January 22 – at Wisconsin

Friday, January 27 – at Penn State

Friday, February 3 – at Minnesota

Friday, February 10 – Michigan

Sat/Sun March 4-5 at Big Tens (Michigan)

Thurs-Sat March 16-18 – at NCAA National Tournament (Tulsa, OK)

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Jesuroga and Block to compete at Who’s #1

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruits Nate Jesuroga and Ryder Block will be competing at Who’s #1. The action will take place in Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan this Friday, September 9. The women’s matches begin at 3 PM and the men’s matches begin at 6 PM CST.

Jesuroga, ranked #2 in the country will face #1 ranked Jax Forrest at 120 lbs. Forrest is from North Carolina and recently moved to Pennsylvania to attend Bishop McCort High School. Jesuroga is out of powerhouse Southeast Polk HS in Pleasant Hill, Iowa.

Jesuroga was a Cadet World Bronze medalist at 51 kg in 2021 and Forrest was a Cadet World Silver medalist at 55 kg in 2022. Jesuroga won a Junior Freestyle national title at 120 lbs. this summer by going 7-0 with seven tech falls. 

At 138 lbs. #1 ranked Ryder Block of Waverly-Shell Rock HS (Iowa) will face #2 ranked Nasir Bailey of Park Forest, Illinois.  Bailey, a North Carolina commit, won a 2021 Junior Freestyle title at 132 lbs. Block stormed through the competition this summer in winning a Junior Freestyle title at 138 lbs. After the impressive showing in Fargo Block shot up the rankings to #1.

Jesuroga and Block are in the outstanding Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023 and just began their senior year of high school.

All of the competition for Who’s #1 will be streamed on FloWrestling in their premium service. 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Notes from HWC practice

It was great to be back in the Iowa Wrestling room for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club practice on Saturday. This time of year is always filled with anticipation for the upcoming season. There were a lot of new faces in the room beginning their journey as an Iowa wrestler.

To start with I have to comment on the new facility. When you see the beginning stages of construction it gives you an idea of how big the new facility will be. I coined the phrase: “The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world!” I am confident it will be just that when it is hopefully opened a year from now. That will add another dimension to Iowa Wrestling and I believe to the entire sport.  

This was a HWC workout with Iowa wrestlers working out on their own. The official first day of practice for D-I wrestling is Monday, October 10. I was able to talk to some great wrestling people and take in as much of the wrestling that I could. I certainly did not see everyone so just because I do not comment does not mean they were not there.

It is always different seeing the transition for a wrestler going from being a Hawk to a member of the HWC. It didn’t seem right with Alex Marinelli being on the airdyne. Kaleb Young was wrestling with a current Hawk and Pat Lugo was working out as well.

What stood out to me was how big Brad Hill and Kolby Franklin are. That is two big dudes that are just true freshmen. Hill looks too big for 197 already. I see him at Hwt. It works out perfect for Hill, Franklin, and Easton Fleshman, all true freshmen, to train with seniors Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi in their redshirt year. 

Speaking of which I did see Warner and Cassioppi working out. Cassioppi looks like he is possibly even lighter than last year. It is hard to believe that Warner is a senior already. I am sure we are all looking for a huge year out of Warner and Cassioppi this season.

I spoke briefly with Larry Lee, Spencer’s dad. He said that Spencer is doing great with his recovery and looking forward to the season. A video from this summer showed Spencer Lee doing weighted pull ups. He looks much bigger and will be a large 125 lbs. wrestler. A healthy and beefed up Spencer Lee is a scary thought for all except Iowa Wrestling fans who cannot wait.

I saw Cullan Schriever and Brody Teske in the room. I see that as a battle for who gets the top spot at 133. An early season match between these two at an open tournament would be the best you could hope for to decide the starting lineup at 133 to begin the season.

The word on the street is that Real Woods is the real deal. Even better than what some were expecting. That is high praise coming from the Iowa Wrestling room. Woods was in some great flurries with Austin DeSanto. If Woods can hang with DeSanto in early September for conditioning to go along with his skills, count me in as impressed and excited about the upcoming season. With that in mind I see Woods being tough to beat for anyone at 141 this season. 

Max Murin was battling as always. You can always count on a top effort for Murin who is entering his senior season.

The biggest question mark for the lineup is at 157. Bretli Reyna, Caleb Rathjen, and Cobe Siebrecht will be in the hunt. You have to add in true freshman Aiden Riggins into the mix as well. All four are looking tough. This will be a battle that may go right up until Big Tens to see who gets the top sport. Early season open tournaments will be a great help in seeing what the pecking order is at this weight.

Patrick Kennedy looks like a lean wolf coming out of a long Yellowstone winter and it is early September. Kennedy certainly looks the part in the room. I am one of many fans that cannot wait to see him in action this season. 

I was able to meet incoming recruit Gabe Arnold and his dad Phil. Gabe is bigger than I was expecting. That is one strong wrestler with a great future. Gabe moved to Iowa and will be a senior at City High in Iowa City this season. With Arnold and Ben Kueter on the same high school team I am sure Hawk fans will be watching.

I had a good visit with Cory Connell who is a teacher and head wrestling coach at City High (Iowa City). He had great things to say about Gabe Arnold and Ben Kueter and is excited about the upcoming season. I have known Cory since he was knee high growing up in the Iowa Wrestling room. I followed every step of his career as a wrestler and now as a coach.

I was able to briefly talk to Dan Gable, who I call The Living Legend. Gable looks tough and ornery just watching a wrestling practice.

I was fortunate enough to see one of my mentors in wrestling for the first time in many years, Keith Mourlam. After being an NCAA Runner-Up for the Hawks he was an assistant coach and then head coach of the HWC. 

I am always grateful for the hours that man spent teaching me about wrestling. I was just a student in the Iowa Wrestling room to watch practice. He would make a point to make sure that I was keeping up with what was going on. I never knew why he spent so much time teaching me but I am forever grateful that he did. Doubtful that I would have an Iowa Wrestling blog today without the influence of Keith Mourlam.

After years in Virginia that included being head coach at Virginia Tech, Keith has now moved back home to Webster City, Iowa. I hope to see Keith in the room at every football Saturday practice and at the home dual meets.

The HWC will have practice at 9 AM this coming Saturday before the Iowa-Iowa State football game.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

HWC practice before Iowa State football game

The Hawkeye Wrestling Club will have practice open to the public at 9 AM on Saturday, September 10. Doors to the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex in Carver-Hawkeye Arena will open at 8:30.  The bleachers will be pulled out and I am expecting a full house.  In the past Iowa wrestlers will be working out on their own during these HWC practices. Official practice for D-I college wrestling begins on Monday, October 10.

The Iowa-Iowa State football game has a 3 PM kickoff. This will allow fans to come into town for the wrestling practice and be able to get home in time for the game. I guarantee you Iowa City will be buzzing with excitement for the Iowa-Iowa State game. This will be an environment that fans will want to be a part of if nothing else for the HWC practice.

You cannot help but notice the construction under way at Carver for the new stand alone wrestling facility that I named “The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world.” Seeing the construction site in person really lets you know how big the new facility will be.

I have not heard if the Iowa Women’s team will be working out. I did not see anyone from the women’s program last Saturday at the HWC practice. I know that would make for a full room but it would be great for fans like me that want to see members of the new program for the first time.

Maybe the coaching staff and wrestlers for the new women’s program could show up to meet fans. They could sign autographs, take pictures and talk to fans. Facebook and Twitter would take those pictures out to the world. I am sure there are some young wrestlers, boosters, and fans out there that would like to meet them. What a great opportunity to promote the new program that is the first women’s wrestling program in a Power 5 Conference. Just me thinking out loud as fan.

The anticipation for the upcoming season is in the air. If you are a fan I recommend attending a workout like this. 

The schedule has not been released yet for the upcoming season but should be soon. I will keep you up to date.

 

Upcoming dates for Iowa Wrestling:

Saturday, September 17 – Home football game (Nevada)

Saturday, October 1 – Home football game (Michigan)

Monday, October 10 – First day of practice

October 29 – Home football game (Northwestern) *Homecoming

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

HWC practice Saturday before football game

The Hawkeye Wrestling Club will have practice at 8:30 AM on Saturday, September 3. The doors of the Iowa Wrestling room in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex in Carver-Hawkeye Arena will open at 8 AM.  In the past Iowa wrestlers would be working out on their own at this time. Iowa football will have their season and home opener Saturday when they face South Dakota State with an 11 AM kickoff.

Official practice for Iowa Wrestling will begin in October.

Stopping by the Iowa Wrestling room on a football game day is a tradition for a lot of fans. I am sure there will be fans come into town just to take in a wrestling practice without attending the game.

Last season Iowa Wrestling shattered records with over 14,000 pre-season ticket sales in early November. Only at Iowa.

I am also looking forward to seeing the development being made on the new wrestling facility that I named “The greatest wrestling training facility…in the world.”

I have not heard if the new Iowa Women’s wrestling team will be working out. This is the first year for the program and official competition begins next season.

There is a lot to be excited about for the upcoming season. The anticipation of the upcoming season is in the air.

Iowa Wrestling fans like me have been waiting for this Saturday for quite some time.

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

 

Kueter wins U20 World title

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruit Ben Kueter (Iowa City, IA/City High HS) captured the Gold at the U20 World Freestyle Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Kueter was impressive in winning a World title at 97kg/213 lbs. in his first appearance on a World team.

Kueter won by a 10-0 tech fall and 8-1 decision in the qualifying rounds.The semifinals match for Kueter is one that you need to see. Khutchua of Georgia got off to a quick 8-0 lead on a takedown and turns. Kueter stormed back to make it 9-8. The match ended with Kueter winning a shootout 17-14. As a fan you can’t ask for anything more than this match.  This kid has Iowa Hawkeye written all over him.

A link to the U20 World semifinal thriller:

https://www.flowrestling.org/events/7215593-2022-u20-world-championships/videos?playing=7947632

In the finals today Kueter gave up an early takedown. He then got a takedown and a turn before getting the pin in 1:40 and a world title. Gotta love an Iowa kid running an arm bar for a pin in the World finals.  I have to think Dan Gable will approve.

Kueter will return home in time to begin his senior year of high school and to play football where he is an absolute standout linebacker.  

Kueter committed to both Iowa Wrestling and Football last September. I have mentioned several times in this blog that Kueter was the best athlete for an Iowa Wrestling recruit that I have ever known.  And I have known a few over the years.  I was saying that before his senior year and a World title under his belt. Ben Kueter has no limits in what he can accomplish in both football and wrestling at the University of Iowa and beyond.

Kueter is a member of the University of Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023. I have already called this class the best in the history of Iowa Wrestling. As a fan you have to be excited about the present and future of Iowa Wrestling.

Congratulations to Ben Kueter for bringing a World title home to our great country and state.

 

97 kg – Ben Kueter (Iowa City, Iowa/Sebolt Wrestling Academy) – GOLD

WIN Dmitri Duscov (Moldova), 10-0

WIN Niraj Niraj (India), 8-1

WIN Luka Khutchua (Georgia), 17-14

WIN Rifat Gidak (Turkey), fall 1:40

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!

Kueter to compete in U20 World Championships

Incoming Iowa Wrestling recruit Ben Kueter (Iowa City, Iowa/City HS) will compete for Team USA at 97kg/213 lbs. at the U20 World Freestyle Championships on August 15-16. The action will take place at the Arena Armeets Sofia in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Kueter recently won Gold at the Pan American Championships in Oaxtepec, Mexico. This will be the first World Championships for Kueter representing Team USA.

Kueter committed to both Iowa Wrestling and Football last September. He is in the record breaking Iowa Wrestling Recruiting Class of 2023 that I have already called the best recruiting class in the history of Iowa Wrestling. 

The sky’s the limit for this wrestler. I am looking forward to seeing how Kueter measures up against the best in the world. He looks to be more than ready to make a run at a World title. I like our chances.

 

Monday, August 15

Qualification Rounds – 3 AM 

Semifinals – 10 AM

Tuesday, August 16

Finals – 10 AM

*****All times listed are CST.

 

FloWrestling will have all of the wrestling available on their premium service.

Best of luck to Ben Kueter and all of Team USA. Bring home the Gold.

 

It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!