Fareway Stores, Inc. and BodyArmor Sports Drink present the Dan Gable Ms. & Mr. Wrestler of the Year Awards in coordination with IAwrestle and the Iowa High School Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA). Three finalists from each of the three state wrestling classes, regardless of their year in school and weight class, were selected by fan and IWCOA committee votes. In addition, three women finalists have were selected for the Ms. Wrestler Awards. The top three were invited to the awards ceremony in Sioux City where the top wrestler in each class will be awarded the Dan Gable Wrestler of the Year trophy.
Wyatt Voelker of West Delaware was named the class 2A Dan Gable wrestler of the year, as he was selected over fellow finalists Hayden Taylor of Solon and Carter Fousek of Crestwood who both won their third state title in last month’s state tournament. The Hawk junior was dominant in claiming his first state title at 195 pounds, going undefeated, and 39 of his wins were bonus victories including all of the matches in his state title run. The only two matches that Voelker did not win by bonus was against 3A state finalist Jake Walker, and 2020 state runner-up Jackson Kinsella. Voelker says it is a great honor to win the award named in Dan Gable’s honor over the two other finalists with their credentials:
Voelker credits all of the coaches and teammates he’s had in pushing him to be the best and make winning this award possible:
Voelker also claimed the new school record of takedowns in a season, a record that has stood since current West Delaware assistant coach Mitch Peyton totaled 258 back in 1997. Voelker ended the season with 276 and says he and Peyton joked about him breaking the record during the season, but adds that breaking the record of one of his mentors is a great honor:
Cascade senior Aidan Noonan was named the class 1A Dan Gable wrestler of the year as he was selected over Robert Avila Jr. of Lisbon and Marcel Lopez of New London, a pair of juniors who just completed the third leg of their quest to win four state titles. Noonan ended his high school career on a historic note by capturing his third state title at 132 pounds. After not qualifying for the state tournament as a freshman, Noonan made the most of his remaining state tournament appearances going undefeated as a sophomore, junior, and senior. As a junior he made history by becoming the first wrestler to thwart a would-be four-time state champion in the finals. As a senior he defeated a fellow 2020 state champion Gable Porter in the finals by a score of 6-2. Noonan says he takes pride in being the one to set a high bar for future Cascade wrestlers and hopes that winning multiple state titles becomes the new normal for the Cougars:
In Noonan’s second state title last season he trailed Adam Allard of West Sioux Hawarden 2-1 with less than 10 seconds left in the match, and when he turned Allard to his back and recorded a three point nearfall to win the match 4-2, he had no idea until later that he had made history in being the first person to keep a three-time champ from winning his fourth state title:
Noonan has committed to continue his wrestling career for the University of Wyoming next season and looks forward to the opportunity to make a fresh set of goals and working to achieve them:
The class 3A award winner was Drake Ayala of Fort Dodge, while the Ms. Wrestler of the year went to Ella Schmit of Bettendorf.
Photo and excerpts courtesy of Iawrestle. For full bios of all the finalists click HERE.