Wrestling has and always will be a passion in the state of Iowa, and in Oskaloosa, the mat will always have a special place after the Class 3A Traditional State Team Championship season of 2003.
While it is tough to see Oskaloosa having that kind of season as a whole, there are at least four wrestlers that will look to build on strong starts to the season and get to Wells Fargo Arena to represent the Indians in February.
The IAwrestle rankings (found on iawrestle.com) have expert opinions on the top ten wrestlers at every weight class in all three classes. Oskaloosa is in Class 3A, the largest class, and two wrestlers currently are in the rankings: seniors Drew Sams and Jason Beebe.
Sams is a perennial contender to go to state, and placed 7th in 2016. He’s ranked #5 currently in the IAwrestle rankings at 152 pounds. Beebe had a devastating leg injury a couple of years ago in football, but returned to the mat last season and did very well, despite not making it to The Well. He’s ranked 6th at 182 pounds in the IAwrestle rankings.
This pair is joined by Josh Diehl at 120 pounds and Callan Tomlin at heavyweight as contenders to go to state. Both wrestlers made it last year and have been in the IAwrestle rankings this season. Diehl has gotten off to a shaky start with a few losses on the year, but will be in the conversation by season’s end. Tomlin is looking to place at heavyweight to end an excellent career on the mat.
As a full team, Oskaloosa should be competitive in most weight classes within the Little Hawkeye Conference and beyond, but if they are going to make waves in 2017 at the state tournament, this quartet will be leading the way under Head Coach Chase Weber.
The Indian wrestlers will be back in action on Thursday, January 5th, as they have a home dual against Newton. Action begins at 6:30 PM in the Oskaloosa High School Gymnasium.