By Dru Kastler

(Photo: Joseph Bodenbach, David City Banner-Press)
#1C Melvin Hernandez could face #1D Christian Miller (Photo: Joseph Bodenbach, David City Banner-Press)

The David City Invite has become one of the premier late season tournaments. This year features a top five team from each class. Millard West (#5A), Gretna (#1B), David City (#3C) and Plainview (#3D). Millard West has rarely been at full strength this season, battling injuries and illness. However, it appears they are getting closer to having their full lineup, but are still missing #3 ranked Vawter at 195. Gretna is solid top to bottom and should have the depth to bring home the team championship. David City and Plainview have been within a few points of each other twice throughout the year already, so look for them to have another battle, highlighted by the potential Hernandez/Miller matchup at 138.

106: Crete’s Buchanan will be a heavy favorite to win here. Zoucha from Malcom made the drop down from 113, but he has yet to be tested at 106. East Butler’s Ratkovec has had a solid season thus far and the pair of Milford wrestlers have both knocked off returning state qualifiers this season.

#3B Shawn Buchanan – Crete 31-1
#3C Ryan Zoucha – Malcom 23-4
Nate Hartman – Millard West 11-2
Breckin Ratkovec – East Butler 17-4
Ethan Zegers / Jeaven Scdoris – Milford (20-7 / 13-8)

113: This weight boasts two undefeated wrestlers in Schmidt and Carlson and four others with six or less losses. Seeding will determine who winds up wrestling who, but a potential class C #2 against #3 matchup could happen between Carlson and Styskal with the winner facing Schmidt or Zebley. Whitaker has a great record, but will be facing his toughest competition of the year. Buchanan will be a tough match for anyone and will look to pull off an upset or two.

#1B Van Schmidt – Gretna (29-0)
#3C Lee Carlson – Sutton (20-0)
Tommy Whitaker – MMB (20-2)
#2C Seth Styskal – David City (20-3)
#5A Cole Zebley – Millard West (26-5)
Thomas Buchanan – Crete (27-6)

120: There are three returning state champions at this weight, five total ranked wrestlers, and an unranked returning state medalist. Once again the matchups and potential finals match may be in part determined by the seeding. State Champ Rickard with the best record may be the top seed so we could potentially see A/B state champ matchup between Fauver and Huffman in the earlier rounds. Rickard and Styskal have met twice this year and both have been close matches, one went into OT.

#2D Dominique Rickard – Plainview (20-1)
#3C Noah Styskal – David City (26-2)
#2B Trevor Fauver – Gretna (27-4)
#2A Jack Huffman – Millard West (24-4)
#5C Cristian Carranza – Cross County (23-7)
Anton Carlson – Sutton (15-5)

126: Returning state champion Tyler Cunningham and Millard West sophomore Camden Russell are both up several weights from last year. They are likely familiar with each other from offseason wrestling. Justin White has three losses to ranked wrestlers (#1C, #3A, #5B) by a total of six points. White is down two weights from last year, while Cunningham and Russell are both up three. They are sure to match up different stylistically and White may have a size/strength advantage.

#3B Tyler Cunningham – Gretna (29-2)
#3C Justin White – David City (28-3)
Cory Carlson – Sutton (16-6)
Colton Nuttleman – CCO (19-11)
#6A Camden Russell – Millard West (18-11)

132: Steinkraus is the only ranked wrestler here. However, Blake Sears form Crete is fresh off of a victory over C#4 Fleshman at the UNK duals and will look to use that momentum at David City. Watch for Levi May to make a run at the tournament title. Six of his seven losses are to ranked class A opponents.

#2D Trent Steinkraus – Plainview (19-1)
Lou Carnazzo – Gretna (17-6)
Sam Copley – Milford (22-8)
Levi May – Millard West (19-7)
Blake Sears – Crete (21-8)
Lee Betzen – David City (21-10)

138: Possibly the deepest weight of the tournament. It features two state champions, three ranked wrestlers, an unranked returning medalist, and several others capable of medaling this year. Should Christian Miller and Melvin Hernandez meet in the finals, Miller will try to use his explosiveness and mat savvy to avoid Hernandez’s horsepower. Both wrestlers wrestle the entire 6-minutes, so this could come down to the last exchange. Not entered at this weight is returning medalist Dubas from Cross County.

#1D Christian Miller – Plainview (23-0)
#1C Melvin Hernandez – David City (23-1)
Chandler Stone – Sutton (18-2)
Tristan Towey – Gretna (21-5)
Ryley Spatz – East Butler (23-7)
Gavin Avery – Centennial (25-9)
#6A Ben Holman – Millard West (26-10)

145: Aschoff has had a great season so far, knocking off tons of quality competition including David City’s Hernandez in an early season meeting. Bohac from East Butler will look to challenge Aschoff. Huss from Gretna’s losses are to quality competition and will provide a tough match for anyone he faces.

#2D Cole Aschoff – Plainview (23-1)
#3D Dalton Bohac – East Butler (25-5)
Cole Huss – Gretna (17-9)

152: Everhart is the only ranked wrestler, but Kleinschmidt from Sutton did win a state medal last year and only has two losses on the season. Lamoree and Ratkovec add some depth to this weight and will need to wrestle a great match to knock off one of the top two.

Cameron Kleinschmidt – Sutton (16-2)
#6B Cody Everhart – Gretna (27-5)
Tanner Lamoree – CCO (17-5)
Colton Ratkovec – East Butler (20-13)

160: Jarrett and Meysenburg are a likely finals match here as the next best record in this class is 7-5. This is a great opportunity for Gretna to distance themselves from the other teams as Plainview and Millard West are both open.

#3B Lance Jarrett – Gretna (27-3)
Trae Meysenburg – Cross County (24-7)

170: Two undefeated wrestlers looking to prove themselves this year, should be contend for state titles in their respective classes. Sorich is solid in all positions and is efficient with his leg attacks. Prochaska, coming off a recent win over C#1 Stephen of Valentine, uses his range to create space and sting his opponents with quick leg attacks. Kobe Everson is looking to play spoiler at this weight. He is battle tested and owns many quality wins this season.

#2C Jake Prochaska – Centennial (34-0)
#3A Matt Sorich – Millard West (15-0)
Kobe Everson – Gretna (17-10)

182: Cannon Ahrens has three in state losses this season, all to ranked class B opponents (#1, #3, #6). He has been solid for the Dragons all year and has a good chance to bring home the individual title at this weight. Peterson from Sutton has lost twice in state this season (once to C#6) and should be the top challenger to Ahrens. Nantkes lost to Peterson 6-0 earlier this year and will hope to reverse that score if they meet up.

Tanner Peterson – Sutton (20-3)
Cannon Ahrens – Gretna (25-4)
Dylan Nantkes – Centennial (19-5)
Haydn Deinert – Malcom (18-9)

195: Another strong weight featuring three wrestlers with great records. Bruner, being a state medalist appears to be the top seed here, so it’s likely Sherman and Worm will meet earlier. Bruner and Worm have both defeated Sherman by similar margins this season. Missing from the entries is #3A Vawter from Millard West.

#1B Grant Bruner – Gretna (29-2)
#2C Ryan Worm – David City (29-2)
#6B Ethan Sherman – Crete (29-2)
Brandon Rezac – East Butler (19-6)
Caleb Cast – Centennial (25-12)

220: Davidson will put his undefeated record on the line against a tough field. He owns wins over Eilers and Bauers, but Dukart from Millard West appears to be his toughest competition of the season so far. Look for that to be a great finals match.

#3C Garrett Davidson – Cross County (26-0)
#4A Alexander Dukart – Millard West (30-5)
Connor Fee – Gretna (22-8)
Matthew Eilers – David City (22-8)
Kalten Bauers – Centennial (26-10)

285: Miller and Arnold are set to square off in a likely finals match. Miller has the undefeated record, but Arnold has wrestled the best in the state this season and will be ready for a battle against Miller. Spies has a win over Bender and is coming off of a win against C#6 Rempe (SCNU) and will look to build on that momentum and pull of an upset.

#3C Hunter Miller – Cross County (24-0)
#3B Pat Arnold – Gretna (20-8)
Cody Bender – Centennial (15-7)
Dalton Spies – GICC (10-5)

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

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