Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: North Cedar High School in Clarence
2018 top-5: 1. West Liberty; 2. Wilton; 3. Cascade; 4. Monticello; 5. Camanche
Ranked Teams: Class 2A No. 5 Monticello
What to watch: West Liberty has distanced itself from the rest of the River Valley Conference over the past several seasons.
The Comets stretched their title streak to four straight winning last year’s team title by 100 points over runner-up Wilton.
West Liberty doesn’t have the firepower up and down it’s lineup to pull away from the field but has the depth and talent to add a fifth consecutive conference crown.
Two-time defending RVC runner-up Wilton joins last year’s third place team Cascade and Camache with two ranked wrestlers.
Monticello has the top end talent to make a title run.
The Panthers have three wrestlers ranked in the top four led by top-ranked Chase Luensman (33-0) at 145 and No. 2 Kain Luensman (34-0) at 126.
West Branch senior Tyler Siemen (21-10) placed fourth at the RVC meet at 106 last year and should contend for the title in a wide-open 120-pound bracket.
Regina junior Rowan Udell (23-7) is seeking his first RVC title and is ranked ninth at 195 pounds.
Who to Watch: Regina senior Nick Milder will look to put the finishing touches on an impressive run through the River Valley Conference with a fourth consecutive conference title.
Milder has rode roughshod over RVC competition throughout his prep career going unbeaten conference foes in regular season and RVC tournament matches.
He gets a chance to put an exclamation point on his RVC dominance on Saturday.
Eighth-ranked Milder (26-2) is the lone ranked wrestler in the 182-pound field and a heavy favorite to claim his fourth title.
Both of his losses have been decisions to highly ranked wrestlers from larger classes in 3A No. 3 Devin Ludwig of Western Dubuque (5-2) and 2A top-ranked Washington senior Tristin Westphal-Edwards Washington (5-1).
Milder won the 170-pound title a year ago.
Weight Class to watch: In the only weight class with more than two ranked wrestlers West Liberty junior Will Esmoil (24-2) and Monticello senior Chase Luensman (33-0) appear to be on a collision course toward a championship rematch at 145 pounds.
Esmoil defeated Luensman 11-4 in the 132-pound title match at the RVC meet a year ago and the two expect to meet again with a conference championship on the line on Saturday.
106: 1A No. 7 Kael Brisker (Wilton) Soph.
113: *1A No. 4 Aidan Noonan (Cascade) Soph.
126: *2A No. 2 Kain Luensman (Monticello) Soph.
2A No. 7 Eric Kinkaid (Camanche) Fr.
132: *1A No. 9 Nolan Noonan (Cascade) Sr.
145: 2A No. 1 Chase Luensman (Monticello) Sr.
*2A No. 4 Will Esmoil (West Liberty) Jr.
1A No. 9 Cory Anderson (Wilton) Sr.
152: *2A No. 8 Coy Ruess (West Liberty) Sr.
160: 2A No. 5 Baylor Crigger (Camanche) Sr.
182: *1A No. 8 Nick Milder (Regina) Sr.
195: 1A No. 9 Rowan Udell (Regina) Jr.
1A No. 10 Tyler Thurston (North Cedar) Jr.
220: 2A No. 4 Lake Stahlberg (Monticello) Sr.
*Denotes returning RVC Champ
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