Local youth wrestlers win at AAU State Championship

Sean Cordy
Kyler Simons wrestles an opponent during the Iowa AAU Kids State Championship.

After the state high school wrestling tournament wrapped at the Wells Fargo Arena last week, the future of the sport had its turn on the same mats over Feb. 26-28 for the Iowa AAU Kids State Championship.

Among the nearly 300 clubs that descended upon Des Moines was the Beaver Creek Youth Wrestling Club, proudly hosting kids from Perry, Woodward-Granger and Madrid communities. At the heart of their mission this year was continued support for member Charlie Brewer, who was in a fatal vehicular accident in November. 

More:Woodward community honors Charlie Brewer, young wrestler who 'always smiled'

"The support of our family members in our club [is amazing]," head coach Rick Sloss said to the Perry Chief. "We wrestled this year for Charlie. He is and will always be our captain."

In his memory, the club saw five members earn a place among the top-eight in their respective weight/age groups.

3rd-4th grade

Reed Bovy (58 pounds, 0-2)

Ryker Bovy (70, 3-3, 6th)

Poppy Malone (Girls 73, 4th)

Sam Berrier (74, 2-2)

Walter Leuenberger (78, 0-2)

Oliver Herrold (94, 6-1, 3rd)

5th-6th grade

Kyler Simons (82, 4-1, 2nd)

Kinnick Grimm (86, 1-2)

Will Atkinson (103, 2-2)

Ava Devibliss (Girls 130, 7th)

Clayton Noah (138, 1-2)

7th-8th grade

James Dorrian (115, 1-2)

9th-12th grade

Kennedy Tunink (138, 1-2)

A weekend full of accomplishments, few were bigger than Kyler Simons collecting his sixth AAU state medal. He took seventh place last year as a fifth-grader. After winning his first four matchups including a 25-second fall (the 98th quickest of thousands of matchups), he went all the way into overtime in the championship round where he lost a 4-2 sudden victory to Adrian Phetxoumphone, younger brother of reigning state champion Camron Phetxoumphone.

Ava Devilbliss also grappled with some wrestling royalty as she pinned a three-time place winner to win her first medal, winning seventh-place after finishing 2-2 last year.