State wrestling: Cascade's Aidan Noonan wins third 1A title, ends prep career with 131 straight wins
It didn't make sense to reflect on the reliable dominance while it was still ongoing. But now that Aidan Noonan's prep career is finished — and his nearly unfathomable winning streak is cemented — there's no reason to downplay what this Cascade standout just accomplished.
With Noonan's 6-2 win over Underwood's Gable Porter in the Class 1A 132-pound championship bout Saturday night, the Cascade senior and Wyoming signee ends his high school tenure on a 131-match winning streak.
Yes, you read that right ... 131 straight.
"It just shows that if you prepare right for every match, anything can happen," Noonan said moments after clinching his third state title. "You've got to be ready for everyone. (This winning streak) shows mental toughness."
That proved true once again at Wells Fargo Arena. Porter himself entered with a hefty unbeaten streak, having won his first 48 high school matches spread over two seasons. Yet Noonan set the tone early that this was his match.
Noonan struck immediately for a quick lead, then added a reversal in the third period after Porter came within two points late. The celebration was subtle by championship standards — but that's because victory was nothing short of expected in Noonan's mature mind.
"This year was so much different than last year because I was the guy getting chased instead of going after guys," said Noonan, who ended his senior season 46-0 and finished 179-6 for his career. "I had to make sure I was straight-minded the whole time and stayed focused on what my goal was."
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The Cascade star wasn't the only 1A wrestler to add a third title.
Battered and beaten following a grueling championship match at 120 pounds, New London's Marcel Lopez proudly boasted his war wounds with a massive smile. Blood and cuts are easy to shake off after emerging victorious.
Lopez had to fight hard for his 1-0 victory over Lisbon sophomore and defending champion Brandon Paez. The deciding move came down to a second-period escape, which kept the New London junior on pace for four titles in four years.
"I knew he was going to come out with a vengeance," said Lopez, who ended Paez's own bid to keep a four-peat shot alive. "I beat (Paez) at his home dual earlier this year, and he knew that. So he came out here and gave me his all. He's a hell of a wrestler.
"But I probably have the best best top game in the whole arena right now, even in the whole tournament. So if you go down, you're not going to get very many points. You're going to get put on your back. A win is a win. No one's going to remember the score. They're just going to remember who won."
Lisbon's Robert Avila Jr. also won his third state title, beating Don Bosco's Cael Rahnavardi, 5-2, at 145 pounds. Avila connected on takedowns in the second and third period to keep pace with Lopez to perhaps become four-timers next season.
Don Bosco finishes off another dominant week in style
The only drama Saturday regarding Don Bosco's title chase was whether the three-peat would get clinched in the morning or evening session.
"Everybody kept on saying at different scores that they thought we had it mathematically done," Dons coach Tom Hogan said with a laugh. "It was going to be hard to catch us, anyway."
The Dons' hefty lead on Lisbon only grew in the early matches. No need to drag it out even further. The championship — Don Bosco's third straight in Class 1A and 14th overall — was officially secured shortly after noon.
What a sendoff for Hogan, who achieved every retiring competitor's dream of ending a career on top. Hogan, who had previously announced that 2021 would be the final season of his 10-year Don Bosco tenure, heads off into the sunset with his fourth team title.
"The kind of cool thing," Hogan said, "is my first year (at Don Bosco), we won the traditional tournament. And then my last year, they sent me out on a high note, too.
"Obviously, those are the guys who won the tournament. I was just the head coach of it. They’re the guys who had to do all the work. Proud of them. We won a lot of matches we didn’t know we could win. To win this tournament, that’s what it takes — winning tight matches and toss-up matches and even getting some upsets along the way. And we did that."
Many will highlight the four Dons who reached Saturday night — Cael Rahnavardi at 145 pounds, Cael Frost at 160, Cade Tenold at 170, Carson Tenold at 182 — and rightfully so. Cade and Carson ended up winning titles: Cade beat South Central Calhoun's Blake McAlister, 20-5; Carson beat Westwood's Jackson Dewald, 3-1.
However, Don Bosco's depth deserves as much credit as anyone when dissecting this title blowout. The Dons had a top-eight finisher at every weight but heavyweight. Five wrestlers outside the four finalists — Caleb Coffin (106), Garrett Funk (120), Michael McClelland (132) and Cedric Yoder (195) — racked up double-digit points this week.
That's how you put a team race away with authority. Don Bosco ended up scoring 179.5 total team points. Lisbon finished second with 148.5 behind three champs. Logan-Magnolia finished third, with 94.
Tough ending for Logan-Magnolia's Briar Reisz, who again had to settle for second
Perhaps only someone who played for the Buffalo Bills in the early 1990s can understand the frustration of falling one win short four straight times. It's a painful scenario, yet one Reisz had to deal with after losing to Columbus Catholic's Max Magayna at 152 pounds.
In doing so, Reisz became just the third wrestler in state history to reach the finals four straight seasons with no titles. Ironically, it was the second time such a scenario happened in the same night — after Centerville's Nathaniel Genobana lost a fourth finals match about 30 minutes prior.
On the flip side, Magayna took the first step toward joining the coveted four-peat list. The Columbus Catholic freshman finished his debut campaign at 42-0.
Quick results from the other Class 1A finals
106 pounds: West Fork sophomore Kale Petersen took down previously-undefeated Eli Becerra, 16-9, behind seven total takedowns.
113 pounds: Nashua-Plainfeild's Garret Rinken completed a perfect sophomore campaign with a 4-2 win over West Sioux's Braden Graff thanks to takedowns in the second and third periods.
126 pounds: Lisbon's Cade Siebrecht becomes the latest Siebrecht to win a state title, defeating Underwood's Stevie Barnes, 11-5. Siebrecht used a reversal and full set of back points to blow this match open in the second period.
138 pounds: Logan-Magnolai's Wyatt Reisz defeated Wilton's Kael Brisker 7-3 thanks to two takedowns in the first period and another in the third.
160 pounds: For the third-straight week, Hudson's Tate Entriken and Don Bosco's Cael Frost met in a postseason tournament final. Entriken took the rubber-match, 8-6, in sudden victory.
195 pounds: Western Christian's Tristan Mulder put the finishing touches on a 31-0 record this season with a 16-0 technical fall over Tripoli's Blake Brocka.
220 pounds: Lisbon's Cole Clark capped his perfect senior season, 41-0, with a 6-3 win over Hinton's Derek Anderson. Clark scored one takedown in the first period, then two more in the second.
285 pounds: North Butler-Clarksville's Chet Buss wins his second-straight state title with a first-period pin over Logan Magnolia's Rex Johnsen.
Final Class 1A Team Scores
1. Don Bosco, 179.5
2. Lisbon, 148.5
3. Logan-Magnolia, 94
4. West Sioux, 84.5
5. West Hancock, 57
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.