New London's Marcel Lopez makes history with 4th Iowa state wrestling championship
"Are y'all ready to make some history?"
Those were the words New London senior Marcel Lopez said to his coaches before stepping on the mat Saturday evening at the state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
Lopez lived up to his words, beating Oakland Riverside's Jace Rose, 5-3, in the Class 1A 126-pound state championship match to become just the 30th four-time state champion in state history and the first from southeast Iowa.
“I’m just at a loss for words right now. It’s just the fact that this is such a hard feat to accomplish. I just accomplished what I accomplished. It feels amazing," Lopez said as he poured a bottle of water over his head, something that has become a tradition in his four years as a Tiger. “I accomplished my ultimate goal at the end of the season. This almost feels like it’s not real. I’ve made it through the gauntlet and succeeded. I ended at the top.”
Lopez ends his illustrious prep career with a sparkling 207-4 record, with three of those losses coming to Notre Dame-West Burlington's Blaine Frazier, who won his first state championship moments later and who trains with Lopez in the DC Elite wrestling club.
Lopez stood just six minutes from history as he stepped on the mat, Rose the only thing standing between him and a place among the elite wrestlers in Iowa history.
But in Lopez's mind, that six minutes was over in two seconds.
Lopez dove in on the ankles of Rose on the first whistle of their match. Seven seconds later, Lopez had Rose on the mat for the first takedown.
The rest is history.
“I rode him that entire minute and 58 and then I rode him for almost the entire second period," said Lopez, who was taken down just once all season. "I didn’t feel in any danger at all. I felt cool, calm, collected like I had to.”
Lopez's piece of history helped New London claim eighth place in the 1A team race with 60.5 points.
Don Bosco owns Class 1A ... again
Don Bosco came into the state tournament as the three-time defending 1A champion. With Chris Ortner stepping in as new head coach, the Dons never skipped a beat.
They qualified all 14 wrestlers for the tournament, had nine place-winners, sent five to the finals and crowned four champions. It all added up to a fourth consecutive team title for the Dons and the 14th state team championship in program history.
And oh by the ay, Don Bosco won the 1A state duals for the 12th time, the second in a row and four of the past five.
So, just what is the secret to the Dons' success?
“We all love each other. We’re all in each other’s corners as soon as we win," said Don Bosco senior Cade Tenold, who won the state title at 170 pounds. “Just the community. There is nothing like the Don Bosco community. We’re the smallest community in the state when it comes to wrestling and we probably bring the most fans out of anybody.”
Tenold was joined at he top of the podium by his brother Carson, who won at 195, Caleb Coffin (106) and Jared Thiry (220).
Jonah Clark emerges from under the radar
WACO senior Jonah Clark's Cinderella run to a state championship fell just short in an 8-0 loss to Thiry.
Clark came into the 220-pound 1A state title match with a 47-1 record, yet was a relative unknown statewide.
Just two years after saying he would never wrestle again and a year removed from sitting out his junior year, Clark nearly pulled off one of the most shocking runs of the tournament.
“It’s not as frustrating as people may think," Clark said. "Runner-up after not wrestling for a year. My sophomore year I talked to the coach and told him I was never going to wrestle again. I hated the sport. Now here I am. In second place.”
Brandon Paez redeems himself
Lisbon junior Brandon Paez, who won a state championship as a freshman and lost a 1-0 match to Lopez in the finals at 120 last year, avenged his only loss of the season with a 7-3 win over Garret Rinken of Nashua-Plainfield in the title tilt at 120. Rinken was the state champion at 113 a year ago.
Paez joined Cade Siebrecht, the champion at 138, as winners for Lisbon, which finished second behind Don Bosco in the team race with 123 points.
“It takes a lot of work, a lot of work people don’t see. I can’t even articulate it. There is so much put in for this moment. I’m so happy," Paez said. “It’s satisfying, but there’s still work to be done. I feel like I could have done so many more things in that match. I’m satisfied, but a lot of work has to be done.”
Back-to-back Iowa state champions
Cade and Carson Tenold weren't the only 1A wrestlers to repeat as state champions. Siebrehct, Wyatt Reisz (152) of Logan-Magnolia, Maximus Magayna (160) of Waterloo Columbus and Tate Entriken (182) of Hudson also won their second state titles.
Not to be outdone, Gable Porter of Underwood downed Garrett Funk of Don Bosco, 9-0, in the final at 132 for his second state championship in three years.
Chet Buss does Chet Buss things
North Butler-Claksville senior heavyweight Chet Buss ended his high school career by winning a third straight state championship. Buss pinned Rex Johnsen of Logan-Magnolia in 3:45 seconds in the title match.
Buss was a stellar 131-0 over his last three seasons.
1. Don Bosco, 161 1/2
2. Lisbon, 123
3. Logan-Magnolia, 92
4. Underwood, 90 1/2
5. West Sioux, 81
6. Nashua-Plainfield, 68 1/2
7. North Butler-Clarksville, 65
8. New London, 60 1/2
9. Alburnett, 49
10. West Hancock, 48
106 — Caleb Coffin (Don Bosco) dec. Cael Morrow (Akron-Westfield), 3-1
113 — Eli Becerra (Missouri Valley) pinned Kolton Munson (Ogden), 3:05
120 — Brandon Paez (Lisbon) dec. Garret Rinken (Nashua-Plainfield), 7-3
126 — Marcel Lopez (New London) dec. Jace Rose (Oakland Riverside), 5-3
132 — Gable Porter (Underwood) maj. dec. Garrett Funk (Don Bosco), 9-0
138 — Cade Siebrecht (Lisbon) dec. Kellen Smith (West Hancock), 7-5
145 — Hagen Heistand (Underwood) dec. Karter Krapfl (Hudson), 3-1
152 — Wyatt Reisz (Logan-Magnolia) dec. Gabe McGeogh (MFL MarMac), 3-1 (SV1)
160 — Maximus Magayna (Waterloo Columbus) dec. Lawson Losee (Riceville), 3-0
170 — Cade Tenold (Don Bosco) dec. Blake McAlister (South Cetral Calhoun), 2-1
182 — Tate Entriken (Hudson) dec. Jackson Dewald (Westwood), 3-2
195 — Carson Tenold (Don Bosco) pinned Cayden Miller (Midland), 2:00
220 — Jared Thiry (Don Bosco) dec. Jonah Clark (WACO), 8-1
285 — Chet Buss (North Butler-Clarksville) pinned Rex Johnsen (Logan-Magnolia), 3:45