Iowa High School Wrestling

One of the popular sports among boys and girls in Iowa high schools is wrestling. On any given weekend during the winter season, you can typically find several young men and women who are attempting to improve their skills on the mat.

The sport has been around for centuries and it always draws a crowd. In this article, we will be focusing on Iowa high school wrestling from a-z. Keep reading.

Table of Contents

iowa high school wrestling

What Is High School Wrestling?

High school wrestling is an amateur wrestling style in which students compete in matches against one another. A high school wrestler’s goal is to achieve the most points by the end of the match, with these points coming from takedowns or pins.

The object of each match is to gain control over your opponent through various grappling techniques; this often results in a “take-down.” Once a wrestler has taken down his opponent, he can then use a variety of holds and maneuvers to secure a pin.

Should the attacking wrestler fail to pin his opponent or choose not to for strategic purposes, points are awarded based on control – that is, how long the attacking wrestler was able to keep control over the defensive wrestler.

What Wrestling Style Is Practiced in Iowa High Schools?

Iowa high school wrestling uses folkstyle wrestling (colloquially, “folk”) that utilizes a more regulated set of rules than freestyle. The main difference between the two styles is that in folkstyle, points are awarded for exposing an opponent’s back to the mat; this is called a “near fall.” In freestyle, a wrestler earns points only for an outright takedown.

High School Wrestling Brief

The official high school sport in the state of Iowa is wrestling. The sport involves two participants attempting to pin their opponent in a three-rope circular area in the middle of the mat called “the pit,” which is similar to boxing and Greco Roman wrestling.

Iowa high school wrestling teams, like this one from Solon High School, consist of a team, an association, and a league. The sport is governed by the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) in the United States.

Today, over 241 high school teams and nearly 7,000 high school wrestlers make up Iowa’s rich tradition of wrestling excellence that has stood strong since the early 1900s.

High School Wrestling History

Iowa high school wrestling has been around since 1910 when Oklahoma was still terra incognita. In that year, officials from Iowa and Oklahoma met in Des Moines to discuss the appropriateness of a sport called “Spencer Wrestling” as a sanctioned high school sport. The officials agreed that if three schools took up the activity, they would sanction it as an official state sport.

The University of Iowa offered its first course on wrestling theory in 1912, and by 1913 Iowa and Missouri met to form an organization that would become the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).

Iowa High School Wrestling Weight Classes

There are 11 weight classes in Iowa high school wrestling.

The brackets for each division are determined by a pre-determined team points ranking system where the teams with the most points compete in Division I, and so forth through to Division 11.

High School Wrestling Weight Classes Are as Follows:

106 pounds, 113 pounds, 120 pounds, 126 pounds, 132 pounds, 138 pounds, 145 pounds, 152 pounds, 160 pounds, 170 pounds, 182.5 pounds, and 195 lbs.

Iowa High School Wrestling State Tournaments

Iowa high school wrestling state tournaments take place in March. At the end of the season, teams that have accumulated enough points compete at their respective Regional Tournaments.

The top 3 wrestlers from each weight class move on to the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament (also called “the Big Meet”) for a chance at first place and ultimate bragging rights as state wrestling champion.

The top 16 wrestlers from the different wrestling regions then compete at the Iowa Individual Wrestling State Tournament.

In this type of competition, individual wrestlers are not competing against teams, but instead, they are competing against other individual wrestlers from around the state to determine who will be crowned as the state wrestling champion wrestle to earn a state championship by placing in their respective weight classes.

Iowa High School Wrestling Regional Tournaments

There are seven different Regional Tournaments that take place throughout Iowa in March. They are held for both traditional teams and nontraditional teams (also known as “independent” programs).

Nontraditional team wrestlers compete at the same regional tournaments but do not face off against traditional program wrestlers due to their school’s affiliation with another wrestling association that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the IHSAA.

Iowa High School Wrestling Championship

Iowa high school wrestling championship is an annual award given to the most outstanding wrestler in the state of Iowa. The annual competition takes place at the end of each season.

The first official state champion was Elmer Dunlap who won his first championship in 1912 after defeating Harry Pennington, John Moir, and Clarence Goodson.

Elmer Dunlap was also the first undefeated state champion after going through his junior and senior years without a loss.

In 1933, there were six different teams competing for the state championship. In 1957, the Heart of Iowa Conference’s only state champion was Roger Hunt from Lisbon High School.

Iowa High School Wrestling District

Iowa high school wrestling district is an organization that organizes regional meets for Iowa high school wrestlers.

The IHSAA was established in 1912 by representatives from 12 different schools which included 11 traditional programs and one nontraditional program known as the Indianola High School Indians.

A total of 14 weight classes were organized by the first year of the Iowa High School Wrestling Association’s existence. The first state wrestling meet was held at Brownell-Talbot College in downtown Omaha, Nebraska where wrestlers from Sigourney, Iowa defeated their opponents and claimed the championship title for their school.

The first undefeated state champion wrestler was Floyd Stahlbaum who went through his junior and senior seasons without a loss.

The first official state tournament took place at the Des Moines Coliseum on April 22, 1916, where wrestlers from 13 different schools competed for the championship title.

Iowa High School Wrestling Television

Iowa high school wrestling television is a program that displays the different matches from the previous week.

The first state tournament to be broadcast on television was in 1953 when KCRG-TV9, an ABC affiliate based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa produced and televised the championship match between Ottumwa High School and Davenport West High School.

Where Can I Watch Iowa High School State Wrestling?

You can watch the IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament on Fox Sports Midwest. The competition takes place for three days at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. It starts every year on the second Friday in February and finishes on Saturday night.

Iowa High School Wrestling Records

The most number of state championships won is by Doug Schwab with 11 titles. The most consecutive championships won at state is 3 which Bob Waters from Des Moines East High School and Fred Banta from Waterloo West High School have both achieved during their time competing in 1957, 1958, and 1959 seasons.

Iowa High School Wrestling Stats

Iowa high school wrestling stats are raw data that investigate the performance of an individual wrestler throughout his career.

The first official state champion with the highest number of takedowns in a match was Arnold Kirk who defeated Paul Sheets from Sigourney High School on March 3, 1917.

In 1935, Ron Garber became the first African American to win a state championship for his school.

Indianola High School wrestler Jarvis Redwine is the youngest person to ever claim an Iowa high school wrestling title after winning at the age of 14 years and 61 days in 1936.

Shopping Cart