No. 1 Dodgers head to CRJ Invitational
Teske-Thomsen II a distinct possibility at 126 pounds
CEDAR RAPIDS — In the movies, sequels rarely match the intensity and artistry of an original classic.
Wrestling fans everywhere are ready to pay the price of admission at the Cedar Rapids Jefferson Invitational here this weekend in hopes that a potential rematch between Fort Dodge’s Brody Teske and Underwood’s Alex Thomsen recreates the lofty standard set during last month’s memorable showdown.
Think ”Godfather, Part II.”
Teske’s Dodgers and Thomsen’s Eagles will be among the 14 teams in attendance on Saturday. Action begins at 10 a.m. inside the Jefferson High School gym, with Teske and Thomsen both registering again at 126 pounds.
On Dec. 9 at the Council Bluffs Classic, Teske rallied from a 7-3 third-period deficit to defeat Thomsen, 11-9, and keep his unblemished high school record intact. Teske (24-0), a Penn State University recruit, is 159-0 overall and ranked seventh nationally at 126 heading into the Jefferson Invite. Thomsen (23-1), who is University of Nebraska-bound, holds a career mark of 162-1. He is eighth in the country.
”In this day and age especially, it’s very easy for a team to protect and move their kids around so that a match like this doesn’t happen once, let alone twice,” FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson said. ”You have to take your hat off to both of them. Brody’s not one to back down from a challenge, and I’m sure Alex isn’t, either.
”As we’ve said before, it’s big, but it’s also just one match. There are (loftier goals) on the horizon for both of them, and they look at it as a way to better themselves. They’re where they are because they’ve pushed themselves like this through the years.”
When asked if there was any hesitation about Teske competing at Thomsen’s weight this time around, Thompson said, ”absolutely not.”
”Brody’s ready. He’s been ready. (The possibility of wrestling Thomsen twice during the regular season) has been the plan along (regardless of what happened in the first match at Council Bluffs). So 26 is the marquee weight everyone is watching, and I know Brody is looking forward to the opportunity of potentially facing him again”
The Dodgers and sixth-rated (1A) Underwood will be joined by No. 10 (3A) Dubuque Hempstead, ninth-ranked (1A) Alburnett, host Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Boone, Clinton, Davenport Central, Fort Madison, Indianola, Muscatine, Waterloo East, West Delaware, and Moline (Ill.).
In addition to the 11 rated Fort Dodge wrestlers slated for action, there are 12 other ranked 3A contenders in the field.
At 113, where Dodger sophomore Carson Taylor (25-3) is sixth, Dubuque Hempstead senior Dillon Gottschalk is rated fourth. Teske and Thomsen will also be joined at 126 by Hempstead’s Joe Pins, who is rated right behind Teske in 3A.
FDSH senior Damond Lockner (26-4) is third at 145, where Mason Hulse of Boone is sixth. Seventh-rated sophomore Levi Egli (15-5) is at 160 with No. 4 Alex Ward of Hempstead and Boone’s 10th-ranked Jimmy Boustead.
Junior Kaden Smith (24-5) is rated fifth at 170, alongside No. 9 Kent Kragenbrink of Hempstead. And the 195 bracket is loaded, with No. 6 Dodger junior Triston Licht (4-1), second-ranked Tyrell Gordon of Waterloo East, fourth-rated Reece Bowlin of Indianola, No. 7 Sam Hayes of Fort Madison, and ninth-ranked Ethan Barry of Clinton.
”Aside from 126, the (195 weight class) is just stacked,” Thompson said. ”Triston will have a chance to see a lot of guys he might be facing again down the road. There are some real studs at 95.
”This is a good, solid tournament. Very well-balanced. The semifinals and finals will be competitive. Hempstead is tough, Underwood and Alburnett are ranked, and Indianola was impressive at the (Jack) Mendenhall (Invitational in Ames) last week.”
Alongside Teske, Taylor, Lockner, Egli, Smith and Licht will be fellow ranked Dodgers Drake Ayala (No. 2, 24-0 at 106), Brooks Cowell (No. 10, 13-5 at 120), Drew Bennett (No. 1, 27-0 at 132), Drevon Ross (No. 2, 23-6 at 138) and Cayd Lara (No. 1, 26-1 at 152).
Underwood features Thomsen, Blake Thomsen (No. 2 in 2A at 120), and Logan James (No. 2 at 132). Alburnett has Tanner Sloan (No. 1 in 1A at 195) and Jaymus Wilson (No. 4 at 113). West Delaware is led by Mitchel Mangold (No. 4 in 2A at 152), Harrison Goebel (No. 5 at 195), Ryan Phillips (No. 10 at 132).