Conference Wrestling Breakdown: River Valley Conference Meet

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Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com

River Valley Conference Meet

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Where: Mid-Prairie  

Last Year

2017 Top 5 – 1. West Liberty 230; 2. Wilton 192; 3. Camanche 153; 3. Regina 153; 5. Tipton 123.

Ranked Teams

2A No. 3 West Liberty

What to Watch

Three-time defending RVC champion West Liberty is a heavy favorite to add a fourth consecutive title.

The Comets have depth and top-end talent highlighted by a pair of top-ranked wrestlers in sophomore 132-pounder Will Esmoil and senior 195-pound defending state champ Bryce Esmoil.

The battle is for second where Wilton will try to hold off the rest of the field for another runner-up spot.

Regina climbed from fourth in 2016 to third last year and has a pair of defending champions in Ryan Schott and Nick Milder.

Who to Watch

Milder got a late start to the season due to injury but is rounding into form in time to make a run at a third RVC crown in three years.

The junior is ranked seventh at 170 pounds and is the lone ranked wrestler in his weight class.

Milder (22-2) is unbeaten against River Valley Conference foes the past two seasons and has never lost a regular season or conference tournament match to an RVC opponent.

Teammate Ryan Schott is seeking to win the RVC 160-pound title for the second straight season after an impressive performance at the conference tournament a year ago.

Schott (38-1) is ranked third at 160 pounds and brings a 14-match winning streak into Saturday’s tournament.

Weight Class to Watch

The 152-pound bracket features a pair of defending RVC tournament champs along with the top-ranked wrestler in Class 1A.

West Liberty senior Joey Kelly (37-2) and Camanche junior Baylor Crigger (37-2) both won RVC crowns a year ago but Wilton senior Trey Brisker (39-1) enters top-ranked and with wins over both wrestlers this season.

Crigger edged Brisker 6-3 in the 145-pound title match a year ago but Brisker won the most recent meeting between the two 8-5 last weekend at the Bob Lueders Invitational.

Kelley is the defending 152-pound champ and enters riding an 11-match winning streak that includes a 5-0 win over Crigger.

Ranked Wrestlers

106:     1A No. 10 Aidan Noonan (Cascade) Fr.

113:     2A No. 3 Kain Luensman (Monticello) Fr.

126:     1A No. 7 Nolan Noonan (Cascade) Jr.

132:     *2A No. 1 Will Esmoil (West Liberty) Soph.

            2A No. 9 Chase Luensman (Monticello) Jr.

138:     *2A No. 6 Coy Ruess (West Liberty) Jr.

            1A No. 8 Cory Anderson (Wilton) Jr.

152:     1A No. 1 Trey Brisker (Wilton) Sr.

           *2A No. 4 Joe Kelly (West Liberty) Sr.

           *2A No. 6 Baylor Crigger (Camanche) Jr.

160:     *1A No. 3 Ryan Schott (Regina) Sr.

170:     *1A No. 7 Nick Milder (Regina) Jr.

195:     *2A No. 1 Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) Sr.

            1A No. 10 Cameron Reddick (Wilton) Sr.

220:     2A No. 9 Kolby Snodgrass (Camanche) Sr.

*-Denotes returning RVC Champ