Fredy Stroker (right) is a two-time JJ Classic finalist and one of the nation's top sophomores (Photo/David Peterson)
The annual Keith Young Invitational held in Cedar Falls, Iowa serves as an excellent season opening event for high school wrestling in the Hawkeye State. This year, half of the 16 teams in the field are ranked in the top ten of their respective classification per The Predicament. Additionally, there are six wrestlers in the field ranked number one in their respective state tournament weight classes, with the 132 and 145 pound weight classes featuring two top ranked wrestlers. In all, 58 participants in the field are state ranked.
Leading the way from a team standpoint is defending Class 3A state champion Bettendorf, a program that opens the season ranked No. 30 nationally. The other two Iowa state tournament champions are also in this field: Denver-Tripoli and Don Bosco. They are joined by additional preseason ranked teams in Waverly-Shell Rock, Pleasant Valley, North Scott, Dowling Catholic, and Charles City.
The showcase individual match of the tournament is likely at 145 pounds, where No. 7 Brandon Sorensen (Denver-Tripoli) and Alex Hernandez (Bettendorf) are the likely finalists. Three-time state champion Sorensen was champion at the Preseason Nationals and earned his third Fargo freestyle All-American honor this summer at the Junior Nationals. Hernandez is a three-time state placer, having finished fourth, fifth, and third at the state tournament. Three other ranked wrestlers are projected to compete in the weight class: Harrison Farrell (Dowling Catholic), Corey Abernathy (Waverly-Shell Rock), and Alex Mitchell (Charles City).
The other weight with two top ranked wrestlers is at 132 pounds, where Logan Ryan (Bettendorf) and Dylan Rhoads (Don Bosco) lead the way. Both wrestlers placed fifth at state last year, while that was a second state placement for Ryan who was also a runner-up at the Preseason Nationals in early November. Four other state ranked wrestlers are projected to compete in this weight class: Bryce Steiert (Waverly Shell-Rock), J.D. Ruzicka (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), Tad Chapin (Denver-Tripoli), and Christian Foote (Pleasant Valley).
Kaz Onoo (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)Like the 132-pound weight class, the 113-pound class also has six state ranked wrestlers, which is joint most in the tournament. That group is led by state placer Kaz Onoo (Mason City), who also finished fourth in freestyle at the Junior Nationals this summer. Other ranked wrestlers here include Clayton Eicher (West Des Moines Valley), Jonah Eide (Dowling Catholic), Johnny Etherington (Charles City), Alex Lemus (Iowa City High), and Logan Rodriguez (Cedar Rapids Kennedy).
Other than three-time state champion Sorensen, the only other nationally ranked wrestler in the field is Freddy Stroker (Bettendorf), who is ranked No. 20 at 126 pounds. Stroker is ranked No. 1 in Iowa's Class 3A at the weight class, and four other state ranked wrestlers join him in this field. They are Charlie Jones (Waterloo Columbus), last year a state champion in Class 1A, Jonathon Eide (Dowling Catholic), Justin Reiher (Waverly-Shell Rock), and Michael Mancivaris (Cedar Rapids Jefferson).
Additional top ranked wrestlers in the state among the field are Tanner Rowheder (Dowling Catholic) at 106 pounds and Jake Hogan (Don Bosco) at 160. Four ranked wrestlers will be among the challenge pack for Rohweder at 106: Jacob Schwarm (Bettendorf), Brenden Baker (Cedar Rapids Jefferson), Jack Koethe (West Des Moines Valley), and Jordan Schmitz (Don Bosco). The three ranked challengers at 160 for Hogan are Bret McKinney (North Scott), Andrew Bartel (Mason City), and Grant Rosenboom (Pleasant Valley).
The following are ranked wrestlers in the remaining weight classes:
Randy McPhee (Pleasant Valley)
Andrew Steiert (Waverly-Shell Rock)
Jacob Woodard (Bettendorf)
Jesse Etherington (Charles City)
Spencer Derifield (Waverly-Shell Rock)
Stone Sturges (Mason City)
Kelly May (Cedar Rapids Jefferson)
Bradey Letney (Pleasant Valley)
Chase Shedenheim (Denver-Tripoli)
Nick Hagedorn (Cedar Falls)
Mitch Bowman (North Scott)
Matt Collins (Dowling Catholic)
Justin Kreiter (North Scott)
Reed Flood (Dowling Catholic)
Adam Waltner (Waverly-Shell Rock)
Marcus Harrington (Waterloo West)
Colin Kreiter (North Scott)
Luke Johnson (Charles City)
Kaleb Staack (Waverly-Shell Rock)
Tim Schiffer (Mason City)
Devin Allbee (Pleasant Valley)
Zach Goodall (Cedar Rapids Kennedy)
Cegan Long (North Scott)
Ryan Maas (Iowa City High)