DES MOINES - Entering this week's traditional state tournament, no shortage of optimism surrounds both the Algona and Emmetsburg wrestling programs.
The Bulldogs and No. 2 (Class 1A) E-Hawks will each be represented by seven individuals inside Wells Fargo Arena.
Comprising the Algona lineup are senior Jacob Adams (126 pounds), juniors Kory Kuecker (138), Austin Long (145) and Weston Shaw (152), seventh-ranked (3A) sophomore Joe Teague (170), junior Tyler Frideres (182) and senior Garrett Johnson (195).
Adams (27-5 overall) faces Linn-Mar's No. 4 Damon Griffin (39-7) in his opening match.
Kuecker (35-3) will battle Jacob Showalter (40-11) of Waterloo West, while Long (27-20) is pitted against Indianola's Matt Victor (10-5).
Shaw (29-7) tackles fifth-ranked Blake Wolinski (34-6) from Dallas Center-Grimes, Teague (28-7) squares off with Oskaloosa's Andrew Landgrebe (23-3), Frideres (32-9) meets No. 6 Andrew Halladay (38-8) of Linn-Mar, and Johnson (31-11) takes on Council Bluffs' Kenny Rhodd (16-8).
Adams and Shaw are making return trips to Des Moines for the Bulldogs.
Set to take the mat for the District 2 champion E-Hawks, who are fresh off a state duals appearance, are sophomore Jake Miller (120), senior Tyler Leuer (132), fifth-ranked senior Brady Bailey (152), No. 5 senior Nick Schany (170), top-ranked senior Andrew Wellik (182), No. 1 senior Austin McCartan (195) and senior Tayler Wegner (220).
Miller (23-10) will be challenged by fifth-ranked Jeren Glosser (40-3) from Eddyville-Blakesburg, while Leuer (11-3) hooks up with Alburnett's No. 1 Conner Shulista (44-1).
Awaiting Bailey (15-3) is fourth-ranked Logan Moore (47-2) of West Monona, Schany (29-6) will clash with Sigourney-Keota's Cole Streigle (28-7), and Wellik (37-0) meets Seth Kerr (36-11) from English Valley.
In addition, McCartan (37-0) is paired against Maquoketa Valley's Luke Kramer (38-9), while Wegner (37-6) faces Kevin Tlach (39-7) of West Hancock.
Bailey, Schany, Wellik and McCartan each qualified for state last year, as well, for Emmetsburg. Both Wellik and McCartan placed third, and Bailey settled for fifth.
Looking to bring home medals for the Wildcats are senior Kylie Zender (113), junior Thaylan Bowman (138), junior Nikko Wheeler (182), No. 2 (2A) junior Reed Dreyer (195) and junior Dylan Hendricks (285).
Zender (36-9) battles Washington's No. 5 Fletcher Green (32-5).
Bowman (19-16) will attempt to upset University of Iowa recruit and top-ranked three-time defending state champion Jake Marlin (49-1) from Creston/Orient-Macksburg, Wheeler (38-9) goes up against Carlisle's Nathan Stickley (24-16), Dreyer (35-4) collides with Lance Evans (4-0) of Solon. Hendricks (35-12) meets West Delaware's No. 1 and reigning state bronze medalist Dean Broghammer (43-0).
Bowman previously competed at state as a freshman for Twin River Valley.
Junior Jake Powers (145), third-ranked (3A) junior Connor Larson (160), No. 3 junior Dylan Fielder (182), freshman Gavin Dinsdale (220) and senior Landon Johnson (285) will all be in attendance for the Lynx.
First up for Powers (30-10) will be eighth-ranked Josh Davis (30-8) from Des Moines East, while Larson (33-5) faces Clinton's Dillon Chase (31-10).
Fielder (36-2) is pitted against Drake Allen (28-11) of Cedar Rapids Washington, Dinsdale (14-9) will try his luck against Waverly-Shell Rock's No. 2 Kaleb Staack (39-6), and Johnson (32-8) clashes with Iowa State football signee Ryan Glenn (11-3) from Waukee.
Fielder, a three-time state participant, finished sixth on the big stage last winter. He owns a career mark of 90-26.
Seeking spots on the podium for the ninth-ranked (1A) Cowboys are No. 5 sophomore Joel Haberman (126), ninth-ranked junior Taylor Lehman (132), No. 4 senior Jake Haberman (160) and eighth-ranked junior Mitch Gambrill (285).
Joel Haberman (31-7) will see Aplington-Parkersburg's Shane Poppens (34-10), and Lehman (33-7) faces Trey Busick (39-5) of Pleasantville.
Jake Haberman (32-7) tackles Woodbine's No. 7 John Matusik (27-3), while Gambrill (22-8) will be tested by ninth-ranked Cody Van Dee (46-2) from Iowa Valley.
Gambrill, a three-time state qualifier, placed seventh in Des Moines a year ago and owns a varsity record of 83-23. Both Joel Haberman and Jake Haberman took part at state in 2012, as well.
Freshman Joe Minkler (106), sophomore Mitch Brinkman (113) and juniors Tyler Hubrich (152) and Jeremy Watson (195) will each be making their state debuts for the Indians.
Minkler (34-15) takes on Audubon's Kyle Juelsgaard (33-22), Brinkman (40-10) aims to knock off No. 10 (1A) Jacob Vogel (43-10) of Riverside, and Hubrich (35-14) has the unenviable task of facing Iowa State recruit and top-ranked two-time defending state champion Loren Williams (45-1) from Tri-Center. Watson (32-11) will also see No. 5 Tyler Hoffman (42-2) from East Buchanan.
Manson Northwest Webster
Senior Harley Janssen (120), No. 2 (1A) junior Payton Rice (138) and senior Connor Alne (145) - all district champions - have lofty goals for the Cougars.
Janssen (35-9) meets Southeast Warren's Jake Hunerdosse (37-6), Rice (44-1) will hook up with seventh-ranked Andy Dahle (41-5) of Lake Mills, and Alne (37-6) battles North Butler's Caleb Wedeking (41-7).
Rice - the son of head coach Stacey Rice - turned in a state runner-up showing last year after previously finishing sixth. He boasts a career mark of 80-10.
Hoping to surprise for the Rams are sophomore Jordan Challen (132), junior Jeremy Scheuermann (145) and senior Aaron Beaman (220).
Challen (37-9) awaits Bradley Irwin (36-9) from Centerville, Scheuermann (39-5) tackles Central Springs' Kegen Fingalsen (32-17), while Beaman (37-7) clashes with No. 10 (2A) Jacob Minert (32-8) of Fairfield.
South Central Calhoun
Eighth-ranked (2A) senior Chase Goodman (126) and freshman Rylan Richardson (182) will both be in action for the Titans.
Goodman (50-4) will be challenged by Union's No. 1 and two-time reigning state runner-up Max Thomsen (43-0). Richardson (43-11) also faces second-ranked and defending state silver-medalist Chase Shedenhelm (51-1) from Denver-Tripoli.
Goodman, a four-time state qualifier, is 183-25 in his varsity career.
Senior Taylor Clough (152) will try and impress for the Warriors.
Clough (34-6) meets Nodaway Valley's No. 8 (1A) Kain Queck (40-5).