Joined by 169 wrestlers form over a dozen other schools, eight Bluejays repped Perry at the Jack Mendenhall Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11 in Ames.


As a team, Perry finished 12th among 17 teams, most of which had at least 10 athletes invited to boost the team score. On an individual level, two Bluejays walked away with the proverbial hardware.


Headlining Perry’s afternoon, Erick Funez (138 pounds) brought home gold for Perry after going a perfect 4-0 Saturday. It’s his first, first-place tournament win of the season.


Funez started his day with a five minute takedown, leading him on a marathon path to the finish line. His next three wins were all won by decision, putting him on the mat for 23 minutes 2 seconds in total.


Entering ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, Cole Nelson (113) closed out with a third-place finish. After a loss to Class 1A No. 6 Tyler Stein of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, Nelson won his next two matches including the third-place match over Class 3A Dowling Catholic’s No. 8 Ethan Mahoney.


Jacob Nelson (145) was also on the verge of a top three placement. He finished fifth in his bracket after slipping against No. 1 Joseph Orsi from Omaha Skutt Catholic. That dovetailed into another loss to a ranked opponent, this time to No. 9 Jake Nieman of Class 2A OA-BCIG by major decision.


Quickest Pin


Taking eight place overall, Cole Snyder (182) walked out with Perry’s two fastest matches wins of the day. Squaring off with OA-BCIG’s Gavin Parks for 1:32 in the consolation bracket, he followed up with a 1:44 win over Holden Fry, getting a piece of revenge after Fry scored three touchdowns to help Nevada beat Perry this past season.


Closest Match


With a trip to the 1st place match on the line, Funez went toe-to-toe with Jake Shedarowich of Gilbert. After six minutes, Funez closed the deal with a 5-2 win.


Up Next


Perry’s back home Thursday, Jan. 16 for a dual with Winterset and Creston Community.