It’s deja vu for Woodward-Granger. Taking part in the district round Saturday held in Huxley, Cody Fisher (220) and Tyler Lawrenson (285) once again punched their tickets to the state tournament.
Cody Fisher (220) - 1st (State Qualifier)
Fisher missing out on a return trip to the mat that he won last year’s title on would have been earth-shattering news. He still hasn’t lost this season. So it’s no surprise the No. 19 wrestler in the country is moving on to the state round for the fourth time in his career.
“He’s been on a mission once again after making his third trip to the finals last season and finishing as a state champion, he has his sights once again to make finals and win his second state title but he knows to take it one match at a time,” head coach Dave Smeltzer said.
Taking it one match at a time was precisely what he’s done this season. After winning both his matches within the first period Saturday, Fisher now stands at 48-0 this season and is the odds-on favorite to win it all again.
Tyler Lawrenson (285) - 1st (State Qualifier)
Entering competition midway through the season after an injury, Lawrenson has been the same wrecking ball that sent him to the state level last year. That was no different Saturday as he stormed through his two matchups for the district crown.
The first win came via major decision and was followed up with a 3-2 toss-up win over Gilbert’s Jacob Torresi after a takedown in the final frame to claim the advantage.
“He’s overcome a major knee injury and battled through lots of pain but his determination kept driving him,” Smeltzer said. “And once again making the trip to the State tourney, he won one match there last season and came up short of the award stand but he knows one match at a time will get him there.”
Cale Pritchett (170) - 3rd
With his last minutes on a high school mat on the line, Pritchett’s afternoon fell to the wayside all too soon despite a hard fought semifinal battle. South Tama’s Brayden Smith narrowly walked away with a 7-6 win en route to his district title.
Losing to the district winner didn’t end Pritchett’s day, though. He bounced back with a win over West Marshall’s Ben Kielman with a dominant 8-1 victory which was unfortunately followed by a crushing 3-2 loss in the 2nd place match.
“[He] worked really hard in the off-season and continued to work hard all season long,” Smeltzer said of the senior’s progress. “Lost a very tough and close wrestle back today. I feel for him and his career coming to an end. I know it’s not what he wanted but still need to be proud of himself and his career and the young man he has become.”
Season Review: 39-9 overall record, 2nd place conference finish, one invitational title.
Peyton Nixon (106) - 4th
Woodward’s star freshman ran into a tough match right off the bat. After working the mat for almost four minutes, No. 7 Carter Kolthoff of Conrad put Nixon’s state aspirations to rest.
That wasn’t the end of the afternoon, though, as Nixon then fell by major decision against No. 9 Riece Graham of Perry. It’s the first time Nixon has taken on two ranked opponents on the same day.
Though it wasn’t Nixon’s brightest hour, his freshman year was nevertheless a success making it to the district level.
“Making districts as a freshman, he had a great season. Had a pretty tough bracket today but having this level of competition a freshman is gonna make him stronger and better come next season,” Smeltzer said.
Season Review: 38-10 overall record, 1st place conference finish, one invitational title.