WRESTLING STATE QUALIFIERS: Jennings, Peters punch their ticket for Clinton

Feb. 13—DUBUQUE — Danny Peters and Brady Jennings are state bound for the Clinton River Kings after a couple of strong performances at the state qualifying meet at Dubuque Hempstead on Saturday.

"Our coaching staff did a great job of getting our kids ready for districts. We knew heading into it that our kids needed to be ready to battle, it was one of the tougher if not the toughest districts in the state," Clinton head coach JD Lueders said.

Peters, a sophomore, got things started with a dominant first round match against Pleasant Valley's Greyson Willett, winning 17-2 for a technical fall victory. He then went on to defeat Western Dubuque's Will Casey 6-3 to advance to the championship match, guaranteeing himself at the very least a third place finish.

He dropped his final two matches of the day to take third place but this earned himself an appearance at the state meet in Des Moines on Wednesday. Peters will take on Indianola's Eli Cox in the first round at 138 pounds.

"Danny was really ready to go on his feet. He has learned that he is at his best when he is constantly moving and he did a great job of that against the Western Dubuque kid," Lueders said. "Danny has worked his butt off for this opportunity, you could see it in his eyes, he wasn't going to be denied. I'm super proud of him."

Jennings also had a nice day, picking up two straight wins by fall, the first in 1:19 and the second in 2:34, to advance to the championship round. Jennings dropped the championship match but won the second match by medical forfeit.

He will take on Clear Creek-Amana's Jack Stevens in the first round of the Class 3A tournament on Wednesday.

"Brady had a great day. He is really good at wrestling in the top position. He also looked good on his feet and once he got on top he was in total control. I'm really happy for him," Lueders said. "There is a ton of pressure on these kids when it comes to Districts. We just tried to keep Brady as loose as possible, that's when he wrestles his best."

"This is just a great way to get the program rolling again. Two state qualifiers out of an extremely tough district. Both of them will be back in the room next year. It's really important for the other kids to see that it can be done. All of our kids wrestled really well," Lueders said.

The River Kings had couple of matches that came down to the wire but did not go their way. In his first year back as head coach, Lueders is continuing to build the program back up with two state qualifiers this year.

"I couldn't be more proud of all the kids. They gave it everything they had and that's all you can ask for as a coach. All of these guys have improved so much from the start of the season til now. I just can't say that enough, they bought into the process," Lueders said. " I'm really excited for the program. I want to thank all the fans that came out to support us, that was awesome, the kids were pumped. It's just been a great season in so many ways and we're looking forward to a great week out at state."

Central DeWitt advances six wrestlers to state

SOLON — The Central DeWitt Sabers had a nice day at their Class 2A Qualifier on Saturday, sending six wrestlers to the state meet this week.

2A is a little different than 3A with only the top two finishers advancing.

Starting at 106 pounds, freshman Cale Johnson worked his way to second place with a win by fall and two wins by major decision. He did lose in the championship match but got the win for second place. Johnson will wrestle Davis County's Tucker Ball in the first round this Wednesday.

Junior Dolan Theisen was handed his first loss in the semifinals at 126 pounds before rallying back in the wrestlebacks to come from behind and win 5-1 in the second place match. He will take on Iowa Falls Andon Barrick in the first round.

Royce Butt bumped up a weight class this season and had another impressive performance on Saturday as he too second place and improved his record to 17-3 on the year. He will have a bye in the first round at 144 pounds.

Senior Elston Lindner picked up two wins by fall to start the day at 165 pounds before taking first place with a 6-2 win by decision. He sits at the nine seed and will take on Solon's Jackson Feuerbach once again this Wednesday.

Layton Slaymaker started his day with a win by technical fall to make it to the championship round. He then won by fall in 3:29 to take first place and punch his ticket to state. Slaymaker will take on Bryson Harris from Clarinda.

Finally, Chris Wrage capped off the Sabers stellar day with a win by technical fall and one 8-4 for a first place finish at 215 pounds. Wrage sits at 38-6 on the year and will have a bye in the first round of the Class 2A tournament.