Al Frost

Al Frost

DES MOINES — Al Frost is a duals guy.

The Nashua-Plainfield wrestling coach loves everything about dual tournaments from the gamesmanship to a dual coming down to one match.

His team has exemplified greatness at the state duals as of late, finishing in the top 3 in Class 1A in five of the last six years.

But today, when the state duals are held in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena a day before the traditional tournament gets underway, the tournament has come under much scrutiny from fans and coaches alike.

“I don’t see anything wrong with the format, it’s just putting it in front of traditional state is a concern,” Frost said. “Teams are talking about what guys they are going to use.

“In my opinion, it’s not the best setup but it’s the cards we’ve been dealt.”

The previous format had the state duals being held the week after the traditional state tournament in Cedar Rapids.

But when the Five Seasons Center underwent remodeling, the tournament was moved to Des Moines and set for the Wednesday before traditional state, condensing the traditional tournament to three days.

It created a firestorm of controversy on message boards and wrestling locker rooms across the state.

There’s been talk of junior varsity lineups competing at the duals.

Frost, who’s always relishes the opportunity to win a dual title, said he will wrestle his starters until the dual is either clinched or lost.

At that point, he said he would pull any of his six state qualifiers from competition.

N-P, the third seed, opens the tournament at 9 a.m. against sixth-seeded Woodbury Central.

In Class 2A, fifth-seeded Charles City (17-7) wrestles fourth-seeded an unbeaten (16-0) Creston-Orient Mack burg at 9 a.m.

Comets coach Dave Williams said since qualifying for the state duals he’s pondered the best way to handle the situation and came up with this:

“We are going to go for it,” Williams said. “The last time we had this opportunity was 13 years ago.

“This doesn’t come around for us every year.”

Charles City wrestles a Creston-OM team that is unbeaten in duals and features two-time state champ Jake Marlin at 138 pounds.

Creston-OM has seven state qualifiers while the Comets have six. Marlin and Collin Blevins (285) are each ranked No. 1 at their weight class.

The Comets’ Jesse Etherington is top ranked at 145 pounds.

“We’ve had a nice run,” said Williams, whose team beat Osage in the regional duals. “We’re not coming down here to horse around. We’re down here to compete.”

The Huskies (21-4) wrestle Woodbury Central (22-3) in the first round and if seeds hold true N-P would wrestle Don Bosco in the Class 1A semifinals.

Clarion-Goldfield is the No. 1 seed in Class 1A. Either N-P or Don Bosco has been in the 1A dual finals for 11 straight seasons.

“We’ve got to try to focus on both (tournaments),” Frost said. “That’s hard to do. We’ve tried to tame the guys mentally. We’re focused on our first dual (today), and that’s Woodbury Central.

“We can’t worry about our Thursday matches. We have to take care of business here.”


Class 1A pairings

• All duals start at 9 a.m. Semifinals are at 1 p.m. Finals are at 7 p.m.

No. 1 Clarion-Goldfield (18-1) vs. No. 8 West Branch (21-2); No. 4 Alburnett (21-2) vs. No. 5 Underwood (31-0); No. 2 Don Bosco (23-6) vs. No. 7 Martensdale St. Marys (24-5); No. 3 N-P (21-4) vs. No. 6 Woodbury Central (22-3).

Class 2A pairings

• All duals start at 9 a.m. Semifinals are at 1 p.m. Finals are at 7 p.m.

No. 1 Davenport Assumption (29-1) vs. No. 8 Webster City (19-4); No. 4 Creston-O/M (16-0) vs. No. 5 Charles City (17-7); No. 2 West Delaware (21-4) vs. No. 7 Spirit Lake (17-6); No. 3 Denver-Tripoli (18-3) vs. No. 6 Atlantic (20-1).

Class 3A pairings

• All duals start at 11 a.m. Semifinals are at 1 p.m. Finals are at 7 p.m.

No. 1 Southeast Polk (23-0) vs. No. 8 Waverly-SR (20-4); No. 4 WDM Valley (24-1) vs. No. 5 Linn-Mar (29-5); No. 2 Bettendorf (12-1) vs. No. 7 Ankeny (25-2); No. 3 Iowa City West (33-3) vs. No. 6 Cedar Rapids Prairie (27-6).

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