Eight local wrestlers will compete in districts on Saturday for a trip to next week’s state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
No. 1 Matthew Lewis (126), No. 3 Kayden Kauzlarich (132), No. 2 Nathaniel Genobana (138), Lucas Henderson (152) and Cruise Flanders (220) will wrestle for Centerville at districts in Knoxville. Dalton Ervin (106), Wil Martin (126) and Connor Golston (145) will wrestle for Moravia in Pleasantville.
Lewis, a two-time Class 2A state champion, will look to return to the tournament for a third straight year. After fighting injury to start the season, Lewis is poised to get back to Des Moines but will have to get through a tough bracket. No. 1 Lewis (23-2) will face No. 7 Colby Wiederholt (35-4) of Van Meter-Earlham in the semifinals. The other semifinal match will be between No. 3 Brock Beck (39-1) of Grinnell and Knoxville’s Game Gordon (27-8).
Kauzlarich is a three-time place winner at the state tournament and he is looking to make it four years in a row. No. 3 Kauzlarich will face Carlisle’s Peter Comer (30-11) in the semifinals. The other semifinal match will be No. 9 Landon Fenton (40-7) of PCM vs Knoxville’s Hayden Hatch (14-13).
Genobana is a two-time state runner-up and is wrestling up a couple weight classes for this year’s tournament. He also has a tough bracket as No. 2 Genobana (25-1) will face Bondurant-Farrar’s Kaeden Lozano (22-5) in the semifinals. The other semifinals will feature No. 7 Michael Thomas (22-3) of Albia against No. 8 Payton Drake (38-6) of PCM.
Henderson has been locked in as he looks to make his first appearance at the state tournament as a junior. Henderson (22-10) faces Van Meter-Earlham’s Bryce Cole (27-11) in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket will be No. 5 Colby Tool (15-2) of PCM against EBF’s Hunter McFadden (26-3).
Flanders makes a surprise appearance after his upset win at sectionals. He will need another upset to make it to state as Flanders (12-24) faces No. 6 Kamrin Steveson (37-3) of Grinnell in the semifinals. The other semifinal will be between Chariton’s Jordan Mundy (26-7) and Carlisle’s Nathan McCormick (23-12).
Ervin looks to make his first state appearance as a sophomore. Ervin (27-9) will face Colfax-Mingo’s Noah Strohmeyer (27-8) in the semifinals. On the other side will be Mount Ayr’s Drew Ehlen (35-2) against Pleasantville’s Devon Luing (27-12).
Martin is a two-time state qualifier who is looking to make it three years in a row to round out his high school career. Martin (27-9) will face Martensdale-St. Marys’ Cael Cassidy (34-6) in the semifinals. The other semifinal will be between Wayne’s Jackson Cobb (25-8) and Pleasantville’s Trevor Nickel (13-24).
Golston will try to tack on the accolades to a successful freshman campaign. Golston (28-6) will face Pleasantville’s Kitt Lundy (25-8) in the semifinals. The other semifinal will feature Mount Ayr’s Jaydon Knight (23-5) against Ogden’s Avery McCloud (18-21).
The three Moravia wrestlers will compete in Pleasantville on Saturday at 12 p.m. while the five Centerville wrestlers will compete in Knoxville on Saturday at 12 p.m.