Wrestling: Waukee’s Anthony Zach commits to Northern Illinois

Cody Goodwin
The Des Moines Register

Another Iowa senior has pledged to wrestle at the Division I level.

Anthony Zach, a senior at Waukee, announced on Wednesday morning that he has committed to Northern Illinois. He picked the Huskies over Iowa State and Nebraska, among others. He’s now the 12th in-state senior to verbal to a Division I program. 

“It just fit everything I was looking for,” Zach told the Register. “Academically, the coaching staff, financially. It just all fit together.

“It was just somewhere I could see myself for four years.”

Anthony Zach (Waukee) defeated Thaddeus Breitsprecker (Southeast Polk) in their Class 3A 170 pounds quarterfinal match Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Zach is a two-time state medalist and a 2018 state finalist. He went 49-3 last season en route to a second place finish at 170 pounds. Entering his senior campaign, he has a 128-25 overall record, according to stats compiled by Trackwrestling. He projects at 174/184 in college.

Zach’s recruitment took off when, a month after the 2018 Iowa state tournament, he won a Junior folkstyle national title. During his run to first, he picked off two nationally-ranked wrestlers in Nebraska’s Billy Higgins, now at Northern Colorado, and Dubuque Wahlert’s Josh Ramirez, who’s now at West Virginia.

As such, Zach is nationally ranked at 170 pounds by all the major wrestling outlets — Flowrestling has him at No. 18, The Open Mat pegs him at No. 11 and Intermat placed him at No. 16. 


Many schools reached out to Zach after his run in March. He heard from from a slew of schools and ultimately took visits to Nebraska, Iowa State and Northern Illinois. He also received interest from Northern Colorado and North Dakota State.

He settled on the Huskies after a visit in September, who already have three other native Iowans on the roster — Alijah Jeffery, of Linn-Mar, as well as Drew and Bryce West, who wrestled at Highland (Riverside) and Solon. He penned a short message and announced his decision on Wednesday morning.

Zach said he plans to compete at 170 pound this year. He will be a crucial part of a Waukee team that’s looking to contend again after a second-place team finish at the 3A state tournament last year. The Warriors were edged out by Fort Dodge, 144-139, for the team title.

“There’s going to be a lot of new faces this year, but there’s a lot of potential,” Zach said. “The expectations are the same, even though we don’t have the same firepower we had last year. We can still accomplish the same things if guys wrestle to or above the potential.”

The other 11 seniors who have committed to wrestle Division I are:

  • Albia’s Aden Reeves, at Iowa State
  • Davenport Assumption’s Julien Broderson, at Iowa State
  • Southeast Polk’s Lance Runyon, at Northern Iowa
  • Perry’s Kaleb Olejniczak, at Northern Iowa
  • Southeast Polk’s Cade DeVos, at South Dakota State
  • Clarion-Goldfield-Dows’ Spencer Trenary, at South Dakota State
  • Don Bosco’s Daniel Kimball, at South Dakota State
  • Ballard’s Skyler Noftsger, at South Dakota State
  • Akron-Westfield’s John Henrich, at Nebraska
  • PCM, Monroe’s Lucas Roland, at Campbell
  • Dowling Catholic’s Greg Hagan, at Indiana

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.