At IAWrestle’s Night of Conflict, Dowling wrestlers Jacob and Evan Frost put on a show

Cody Goodwin
Des Moines Register

SIOUX CITY — Dowling Catholic has a rich wrestling history. It’s easy to forget that since the Maroons last won a state team championship in 1991, but they once ruled the Iowa high school wrestling world.

Dowling may not contend with the likes of Waverly-Shell Rock and Southeast Polk this coming season, but there are two Maroon wrestlers who deserve your attention: Jacob and Evan Frost, twin lightweights who will absolutely put on a show.

On Saturday night, the Frost brothers gave Iowa high school wrestling fans a small taste of what to expect this winter. Here at the Long Lines Family Rec Center, both secured lopsided victories at the Night of Conflict, IAWrestle’s annual preseason exhibition.

Jacob Frost beat Iowa City West’s Kael Scranton, 16-0, at 138 pounds. Jacob scored a quick takedown and tacked on a couple of tilts to lead 8-0 in the first period. He led 14-0 after two, and scored another takedown in the third to end it via technical fall.

Dowling Catholic's Evan Frost pinned Nebraska's Keith Smith at IAWrestle's Night of Conflict event in Sioux City on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Evan Frost defeated Keith Smith, a standout from Nebraska, at 132 pounds. Smith won a state title in 2020, and scored a quick first-period takedown for a 2-0 lead. Evan responded by pinning Smith in the third period while holding a 17-3 advantage.

The Frost brothers came here from Louisiana. They both won three state championships for Holy Cross. (Yes, they will join the four others in pursuit of their fourth state titles this season, not unlike how Wahlert’s Josh Ramirez did the same during the ’17-18 season.)

They came, in part, because one of their Holy Cross assistants, Ryak Finch, is now the head coach at Dowling. Finch was a two-time NAIA national champ at Grand View and wrestled at Iowa State. He knows how much of a stronghold wrestling has on this state.

The Frost brothers will add their own exciting talents to the mix. Both of them earned podium finishes at the Super 32 Challenge last year, which is considered the toughest preseason tournament in the country. Both are considered top-200 prospects in the 2022 class by MatScouts. Both committed to Ivy League’s Columbia in July

Now they’ll get to spend their senior seasons here in Iowa, testing themselves against many of the nation’s best. On Saturday, they offered a small glimpse of what to expect. Safe to say Iowa high school wrestling fans are in for a treat this season.

Dowling Catholic's Evan Frost pinned Nebraska's Keith Smith at IAWrestle's Night of Conflict event in Sioux City on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Kale Petersen, Tate Naaktgeboren, Dru Ayala win premier matchups at NOC

The fun part about the Night of Conflict — which featured 31 total matches this year: 15 girls, 16 boys — is the premier matchups that IAWrestle sets up each year. They often pit some of Iowa’s best against others in the national rankings.

Three Iowa high-schoolers took advantage of those opportunities on Saturday night.

Greene County’s Kale Petersen recorded perhaps the biggest individual win of the night, 7-6 over Minnesota standout Alan Koehler. Petersen scored a takedown in the first period to tie it 3-3, then another in the second to lead 7-5 entering the third. Koehler is ranked No. 8 nationally at 113 pounds, and was a Junior All-American this past summer.

Fort Dodge’s Dru Ayala secured a 3-0 win over Brandon Morvari, another top wrestler from Minnesota. Morvari beat Ayala, 4-2, at the Cadet world team trials in April and was a Junior men’s freestyle national finalist in July. On Saturday, Ayala, who is ranked No. 25 nationally, ran down a takedown in the third period, which held up as the winner.

Linn-Mar’s Tate Naaktgeboren secured a 5-4 win over Ryder Rogotzke, yet another Minnesota star, in the night's final match. Rogotzke made the Cadet Greco-Roman world team and is ranked No. 8 nationally at 182. He scored a reversal in the third period to tie the match 4-4 then Naaktgeboren escaped with 19 seconds left to win.

We already knew Iowa had some of the best kids in the country. Saturday night’s results only reinforced that fact.

► MORE HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING COVERAGE

Wrestlers from Spencer, Ridge View, Osage stand out

The 31-match card featured 60 total wrestlers, including 49 from 36 different Iowa high schools. The other 11 wrestlers came from out-of-state: six from Nebraska, four from Minnesota, and one from Kansas, Madyson Gray, who recorded a second-period pin over Charles City’s Lilly Luft in a nationally-ranked matchup on the girls’ card.

There were nine Iowa high schools that had multiple representatives at Night of Conflict — and four of them went undefeated. There was Dowling, of course, but also Spencer, Ridge View and Osage.

Spencer's three individual winners were the most of any one school. Olivia Huckfelt, Morgan Griffin and Paris Dean all won by fall. Ridge View had two winners: Jolynn Tiefenthaler, a 9-4 decision over East Sac County’s Olivia Villegas, and Tatum Shepherd, who recorded a first-period fall over Colfax-Mingo’s Mariah Webster.

Osage went 2-0 thanks to falls from Anders Kittelson and Nick Fox. Kittelson pinned Linn-Mar’s Kane Naaktgeboren in 68 seconds, countering an inside-trip attempt by taking Naaktgeboren to his back. Fox, one of Iowa's breakouts stars this past summer, rallied from down 3-1 to pin Southeast Polk’s Carson Martinson in the second period.

Decorah's Naomi Simon beat Southeast Polk's Bella Porcelli, 7-1, at IAWrestle's Night of Conflict event in Sioux City on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Decorah's Naomi Simon beat SEP's Bella Porcelli in high-profile girls’ match

There were many intriguing girls’ matchups, but perhaps none more than the third-to-last bout pitting Decorah’s Naomi Simon against Southeast Polk’s Bella Porcelli.

There was a lot to like about this all-sophomore scrap. Simon stormed to a girls’ state title last year, pinning her way to gold at 145 pounds. Porcelli took third at 152, then earned All-American honors at the 16U women's freestyle national championships this summer, and entered Saturday ranked No. 15 nationally at 164 pounds.

These are two of the state’s brightest young girls' wrestling talents — and on this night, Simon ultimately prevailed.

With about 30 seconds left in the first period, Simon scored a takedown for a 2-0 lead. Porcelli escaped in the second to make it 2-1. In the third, Porcelli tried for a cradle, but Simon wiggled out and took Porcelli to her back, turning a 2-1 lead into a 7-1 final.

Here’s hoping these two stay around the same weight this season. That could easily have been a preview of a state championship match come January.

Fort Dodge's Dru Ayala beat Minnesota's Brandon Morvari, 3-0, at IAWrestle's Night of Conflict event in Sioux City on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Others Who Impressed

  • Mason City’s Jace Rhodes: Won twice on Saturday, 8-3 over Bondurant-Farrar’s Chase Fiser, then 5-4 over Lisbon state champ Cade Siebrecht.
  • Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Ty Koedam: Scored a takedown with 15 seconds left to beat West Sioux’s Cam Clark, 5-4, in a matchup that invigorated the Western Iowa-heavy crowd.
  • Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Blake Gioimo: Rallied from down 4-1 to defeat Bondurant-Farrar’s Connor Fiser, 6-5. Gioimo scored takedowns in the second and third periods. Fiser was a Junior men's freestyle All-American this summer.
  • Indianola’s Ryder Downey: Scored late in the second and third periods to defeat West Sioux’s Mikey Baker, 7-1, and generally doesn’t get as much love as he probably deserves.
  • Southeast Polk’s Carter Martinson: Scored four takedowns in a 10-2 win over Cedar Falls’ Dylan Whitt, a returning state finalist. Martinson scored one with four seconds left in the second period, then twice in the third to get the major.
  • Ottumwa’s Jasmine Luedtke: Rallied from an early 2-0 hole to take a 4-2 lead over Nebraska’s Sophia Schultz, then eventually pinned her in the second period.
  • Southwest Valley’s Adyson Lundquist: Registered a 6-2 victory over Nebraska’s Brisa Figueroa thanks to three total takedowns and some crafty defense in the first period to avoid giving up early points.
  • Sigourney’s Reanah Utterback and Underwood’s Molly Allen: Utterback won the only sudden-victory match of the night. Allen led 2-0 on a takedown with 20 seconds left in the first period, but Utterback leveled it on an escape and a step-out point, then connected on a takedown midway through overtime to win.
  • Union’s Jillian Worthen: Relentless and methodical in a 7-0 win over C.B. Lincoln’s Hannah Davis. Worthen, Utterback and Allen could all potentially be in the same state tournament bracket in January. Here’s hoping.

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

IAWrestle's Night of Conflict, 2021

Girls’ Matches

  • Katie Biscoglia (Van Meter) over Mia Anderson (Nebraska), 6-2
  • Bella Porcelli (Southeast Polk) over Maria Elizondo (Humboldt) by fall, 3:56
  • Jasmine Luedtke (Ottumwa) over Sophia Shultz (Nebraska) by fall, 3:42
  • Olivia Huckfelt (Spencer) over Savannah Sistad (Creston) by fall, 3:31
  • Jillian Worthen (Union) over Hannah Davis (CB Lincoln), 7-0
  • Anna Sondall (Boone) over Josephine Wearmouth (Martensdale-St. Mary) by fall, 5:09
  • Jolynn Tiefenthaler (Ridge View) over Olivia Villegas (East Sac), 9-4
  • Regan Rosseter (Nebraska) over Leah Chandler (Chariton), 9-7
  • Morgan Griffin (Spencer) over Reagen Gallaway (Nebraska) by fall, 1:22
  • Tatum Shepherd (Ridge View) over Mariah Webster (Colfax-Mingo) by fall, 1:23
  • Paris Dean (Spencer) over Meridian Snitker (Waukon) by fall, 1:09
  • Adyson Lundquist (Southwest Valley) over Brisa Figueroa (Nebraska), 6-2
  • Naomi Simon (Decorah) over Bella Porcelli (Southeast Polk), 7-1
  • Reanah Utterback (Sigourney) over Molly Allen (Underwood), 4-2 (SV1)
  • Madyson Gray (Kansas) over Lilly Luft (Charles City) by fall, 3:21

Boys’ Matches

  • Jace Rhodes (Mason City) over Chase Fiser (Bondurant-Farrar), 8-3
  • Wyatt Reisz (Logan-Magnolia) over Josiah Schaetzle (Hempstead), 13-5
  • Carter Martinson (Southeast Polk) over Dylan Whitt (Cedar Falls), 10-2
  • Ty Koedem (Sergeant Bluff-Luton) over Cam Clark (West Sioux), 5-4
  • Jacob Frost (Dowling Catholic) over Kael Scranton (Iowa City West), 16-0
  • Braden Graff (West Sioux) over McKinley Robbins (Greene County), 3-1
  • Anders Kittelson (Osage) over Kane Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) by fall, 1:08
  • Blake Gioimo (Cedar Rapids Prairie) over Connor Fiser (Bondurant-Farrar), 6-5
  • Ryder Downey (Indianola) over Mikey Baker (West Sioux), 7-1
  • Dru Ayala (Fort Dodge) over Brandon Morvari (Minnesota), 3-0
  • Kale Petersen (Greene County) over Alan Koehler (Minnesota), 7-6
  • Nick Fox (Osage) over Carson Martinson (Southeast Polk) by fall, 2:44
  • Evan Frost (Dowling Catholic) over Keith Smith (Nebraska) by fall, 5:16
  • Jace Rhodes (Mason City) over Cade Siebrecht (Lisbon), 5-4
  • Hunter Lyden (Minnesota) over Max Magayna (Columbus Catholic), 7-6
  • Tate Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) over Ryder Rogotzke (Minnesota), 5-4