West Delaware's Cam Geuther goes from winless in middle school to a Class 2A state champion

Cody Goodwin
Des Moines Register

Inspiration looks like a quick fist-pump after a third-period takedown. It’s the quick grin of a big man who knows he’s locked up an accomplishment that once seemed so far away. It’s Cam Geuther on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. 

Those subtle acts in the final moments of a 7-0 win in the Class 2A state finals might be small, but nothing about Geuther, West Delaware’s senior heavyweight — or his tremendous rise to the top — is small.

“It feels good,” Geuther said. “It feels really good.”


After winning his semifinal match on Friday evening, Geuther revealed that he did not win a single match during as a middle-school wrestler. He was often pinned, actually. He spent much of his freshman season on junior varsity, where Trackwrestling says he won seven matches … but lost 14.

His sophomore year, Geuther didn’t wrestle much, getting up to 340 pounds, he said, well above the 285-pound limit for the heavyweight class. When he did, mostly junior varsity matches. 

West Delaware's Cam Geuther hugs his coach after defeating Independence’s Korver Hupke at 285 pounds during the semifinals of the Class 2A state wrestling tournament Friday.

Somewhere along the way, despite the losses, he fell in love with wrestling, which is what kept him coming back. It helps that West Delaware has a strong wrestling tradition, with four state team championships.

It helps, too, when the foundation of that program is fueled by better people. Geuther credited a lot of his success to Wyatt Voelker, a two-time champ for the Hawks who now wrestles at Northern Iowa. Voelker often drove Geuther to practices and pushed him to work harder.

“He’s done the work,” Voelker said this week. “Just had to shine light on his potential. That kid loves wrestling.”

The results look like this: a sixth-place state finish as a junior, top-eight finishes at both the Cadet freestyle and Greco-Roman world team trials, and now a 43-5 record as a senior with a state title on Saturday night.

Geuther scored three takedowns to beat Dike-New Hartford’s Wil Textor 7-0, comfortably winning the last match of the 2A state tournament. After his last takedown, he smiled at his corner and fist-pumped — a small gesture that capped a big man’s sensational rise to the top.

Cameron Geuther of West Delaware waves to the crowd after winning a Class 2A state championship at 285 pounds Saturday.

Osage runs away with Class 2A state team championship

The Osage wrestling team wrapped up the Class 2A team race during Friday's semifinal round, making Saturday more of a coronation than anything. When the finals ended, the Green Devils finished with 175.5 points, a whopping 69 points ahead of second-place Notre Dame, Burlington (106.5).

Osage finished with three individual state champs — Blake Fox (120), Tucker Stangel (145), Nick Fox (170) — and eight total medalists, and seven finished fourth or better. Their 175.5 points are the most for a 2A team champ since Ballard's 220 in 2009.

Notre Dame, last year's 2A team champ, overtook Mount Vernon for second place thanks to two individual champs on Saturday night, in Isaiah Fenton (152) and CJ Walrath (182). The Nikes finished with 106.5 behind four medalists. Mount Vernon finished with six medalists for third-place at 99 points.

Weight-by-Weight analysis from the Class 2A state wrestling finals

106lbs: #1 Brayden Bohnsack (Union) dec. #2 Carter West (Notre Dame, Burlington), 2-0

Brayden Bohnsack finished eighth as an undersized 113-pounder a year ago. This year, the sophomore is a state champ. He scored a takedown with six seconds left to beat West, who is now a two-time state runner-up.

113lbs: #1 Jace Hedeman (Union) dec. #3 Aiden Smith (Atlantic), 6-1

Union takes the first two weights in Class 2A after Hedeman’s three-takedown performance over Smith. Hedeman, just a sophomore, is now a two-time state champ, and is now 94-0 in his career … so far.

Jace Hedeman of Union of LaPorte City won the Class 2A state championship at 113 pounds Saturday.

120lbs: #4 Blake Fox (Osage) dec. #2 Vinny Mayberry (Glenwood), 8-2

Blake Fox completes his sensational freshman season with a state title. He scored a takedown in the first period, a turn in the second, then two more takedowns in the third to ensure the team champs would take at least one individual gold home.

126lbs: #2 Derrick Bass (Assumption) dec.#5 Jase Jaspers (Mount Vernon), 3-2

Derrick Bass, with a busted shoulder and all — he was literally in the emergency room on Monday — tossed Jaspers to his hip for a takedown with 6 seconds left in the match to win, 3-2. An injury-riddled career ends with a state title, which is a sweet way for the senior to go out.

Derrick Bass, left, of Davenport Assumption beat Jase Jaspers of Mount Vernon in the Class 2A 126-pound state final Saturday.

132lbs: #1 Kale Petersen (Greene County) dec. #3 Anders Kittelson (Osage), 7-3

Kale Petersen, a future Hawkeye, wins his third state title with a three-takedown performance. Led only 5-3 in the third when Kittelson was in deep on a shot, but Petersen scrambled out of danger and turned it into another takedown to ice the match.

138lbs: #1 McKinley Robbins (Greene County) maj. dec. #3 Tate O'Shea (Keokuk), 15-5

Robbins, another four-time finalist, became a two-time state champion. Scored seven takedowns — two in the first, two in the second, three in the third — to give Greene County two champs.

McKinley Robbins of Greene County won the Class 2A state championship at 138 pounds at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.

145lbs: #1 Tucker Stangel (Osage) dec. #2 Ty Koedam (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 7-6

Tucker Stangel is Osage’s second champ of the night, and he won a thriller here. Koedam led 4-2 after takedowns in the first and second, but Stangel turned it into a 5-4 lead with an escape and a takedown in the final 36 seconds of the second period. Koedam escaped in the third to tie it 5-5, then Stangel scored the match-winner with 90 seconds left and survived a late scramble to win.

152lbs: #2 Isaiah Fenton (Notre Dame, Burlington) dec. #1 Cooper Sanders (Vinton-Shellsburg), 10-3

Isaiah Fenton rolled over top-seeded Cooper Sanders thanks to a takedown in the first period, then another in the third that led to two back points. Sanders scored a reversal in the third to come within 6-3, but Fenton reversed him back and added two backs to ice it. Sanders finishes as a two-time Iowa state finalist after previously winning a Utah state title.

Isaiah Fenton of Notre Dame, Burlington, won the Class 2A state championship at 152 pounds at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.

160lbs: #1 Dawson Bond (Red Oak) vs. #2 Cole Butikofer (Crestwood)

The 2A finals had a lot of thrilling results, and another came at 160, where Bond scored two with 17 seconds left to become Red Oak’s second state wrestling champ, joining Seth Esaias, who won in 2012 (or, technically, the third, if you count Audra Liegerot pinning his way through the first unsanctioned state tournament in 1921).

170lbs: #1 Nick Fox (Osage) dec. #2 Ethan DeLeon (Bishop Heelan), 3-1

Two future Division I wrestlers on display here, in Fox, who’s headed to Northern Iowa, and DeLeon, who’s headed to Nebraska. Fox methodically and patiently finished a shot with 25 seconds left in the third to win 3-1. He gives Osage a third champ on this night, and goes out a four-time finalist and two-time champ himself.

182lbs: #1 CJ Walrath (Notre Dame, Burlington) pinned #3 Brody Sampson (Ballard) in 4:44

CJ Walrath, anther future Panther, built a 10-3 lead before pinning Sampson in the third period. Walrath, perhaps the best pound-for-pound wrestler in Class 2A this season, recorded three pins and a technical fall this week en route to his second straight state title.

CJ Walrath of Notre Dame, Burlington won the Class 2A state championship at 182 pounds at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.

195lbs: #4 Gabe Christensen (Ballard) dec. #3 CJ Carter (Glenwood), 7-3

Gabe Christensen gives Ballard a state champ, winning here as the 4-seed. Christensen scored a late takedown in the first, then scored two more in the third to ice a 7-3 win. Carter finishes his career as a two-time state finalist.

220lbs: #1 Nick Reinicke (Dike-New Hartford) maj. dec. #6 Henry Christensen (Ballard), 11-3

Henry Christensen, just a sophomore, couldn't join older brother Gabe at the top of the podium, falling to top-seeded Nick Reinicke, who scored four takedowns to finish his senior season with a perfect 45-0 record.

285lbs: #1 Cam Geuther (West Delaware) dec. #14 Wil Textor (Dike-New Hartford), 7-0

Geuther scored three takedowns, one in each period, to cap his tremendous journey from a winless middle-schooler to a senior state champion. What a way to go out.

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

2023 Iowa high school state wrestling championships

Final Class 2A Team Scores

  1. Osage, 175.5
  2. Notre Dame-Burlington, 106.5
  3. Mount Vernon, 99
  4. West Delaware, 97.5
  5. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 82.5
  6. Webster City, 80
  7. Ballard, 74
  8. Greene County, 73
  9. Glenwood, 70
  10. Union, 69