The area?s best wrestling team this season belonged to Washington, and that earned them the most spots on the All-GTNS team.
The Demons had five guys named to the squad as well as the head coach. Columbus/Winfield-Mt. Union also had two names and Highland had one.
Listed below are the best area wrestlers at each class, otherwise known as the All-GTNS team. Coach: Brent Van Weelden, Washington: Coach Brent Van Weelden led his Demon wrestlers to the regional dual tournament in 2017-18 and an undefeated conference dual championship. Washington wrestlers claimed four spots on the Southeast Conference first team, and added five more on to the second team. The Demons successful season had eight wrestlers qualify for the district meet and moved three of those wrestlers on to the State Tournament.
106: Jarod Kadel. Junior, Columbus/W-MU: It was another phenomenal year on the mats for Jarod Kadel. The junior went 43-2 this season and cruised into the state tournament at 106 lbs.
Kadel battled through the 106 lbs. bracket to make the state championship match, where he fell in sudden victory to end the year with a second-place finish.
Kadel will be back next year and and among the early favorites for the 106 lbs. crown in Class 2A.
113: Brayden Ackles, junior, Mt. Pleasant: There was no better 113 lbs. wrestler in the Southeast Conference this year than Mt. Pleasant?s Brayden Ackles.
Ackles went 22-19 overall this year, and was undefeated in the SEC, picking up wins over each of the other four conference schools throughout the year.
Ackles? performance was good enough to earn a first team nod on the All-SEC team and now he adds an All-GTNS selection as well.
120: Walker Ikerd, junior, Washington: Walker Ikerd, finished his junior campaign with a trip to the State Tournament where he finished one spot off of the medal stand. He earned his State berth by cruising to sectional and district tournament championships. Ikerd?s 34-8 record on the season earned him a first-team, all-conference selection.
126: Samuel Loyd, senior, New London: Samuel Loyd polished off a fantastic career for New London this year.
The senior went 43-6 this season and made a return to Wells Fargo Arena. At the state meet, Loyd picked up a fourth-place finish.
Loyd was one of the all-time great New London wrestlers over his four years, going undefeated at home and bringing back two top-four finishes at the state meet.
132: Dillan Sanders, sophomore, Washington: Yet another All-GTNS selection for Washington, Dillan Sanders had a fantastic year at 132 lbs.
The sophomore had a 29-17 record this season and finished third in districts to the two top-ranked wrestlers in the weight class.
Sanders was one of the younger stars of the Demon wrestling team, which won another Southeast Conference title this season.
138: Cam Rice, sophomore, Columbus/W-MU: Cam Rice proved this year that he is a rising star in Class 2A wrestling.
The sophomore went 41-11 this season and advanced to the state tournament, where he made plenty of noise.
Rice picked up a couple of wins at the state meet, walking away victorious in his first match and staying alive in the wrestlebacks to earn a spot on the podium, in eighth place.
145: Brady Hahn, Junior, Highland: Brady Hahn was the Huskie?s lone state qualifier this season.
Hahn ended his junior season with an impressive 34-14 record and will have one more year to add to his career numbers.
152: Keaton Baayen, senior, Pekin: The Panther senior went 43-4 during the regular season and qualified for the state tournament for the first time in his career.
Baayen won his first match in Des Moines and finished 3-2 in the 152 lbs. bracket, placing seventh.
This is Baayen?s first GTNS selection after winning the Class 2A sectional for area No. 5, and then the district meet the following weekend.
160: Kaden Baker, senior, Pekin: Another senior leader from Pekin, Baker finished his season 32-16 and went 1-2 at the state tournament in his first appearance.
This is Baker?s first all-GTNS selection after finishing first at sectionals and second at districts.
He is expected to sign a letter of intent this spring to play college football, with William Penn one of the school?s Baker is talking to.
170: Tristin Westphal-Edwards, junior, Washington: Tristin Westphal-Edwards made his second trip to the state tournament and he makes his second appearance on the All-GTNS wrestling squad.
The 170-pound Demon grappler went into the state meet with only one loss during a dominant season. He finished with a 45-3 record.
182: Collin Murphy, senior, Washington: Collin Murphy had a stellar final year for the Demons this season.
He ended his senior campaign at 182 lbs. with a district appearance and a season record of 32-14.
195: Tanner Murphy, senior, Washington: Tanner Murphy bounced between 195 lbs. and 220 lbs. this year and had a nice season to end his high school career.
Murphy put together a 31-8 record this season and advanced to the district tournament.
220: Dalton Bass, senior, Mt. Pleasant: Mt. Pleasant?s 220 lbs. senior didn?t lose a Southeast Conference match all year, en route to a first-team All-Conference selection.
Bass went 36-9 this year for the second-place Panthers. He advanced into the semifinals at the District tournament in Mt. Pleasant.
Bass? high school wrestling career ends with an All-GTNS selection, the second for Mt. Pleasant this season.
285: Brendon Lunsford, senior, Fairfield: Trojan senior Brendon Lunsford finished the season 41-5 and placed fifth at the 2018 IHSAA State Wrestling Championships in the Class 2A 285 pound bracket after finishing sixth last year.
Lunsford racked up several awards in his final campaign, including another crown at the Southern Iowa Classic, and finishing first at both sectionals and districts for the second straight season en route to his state tournament run. The senior was named Most Valuable at the team banquet and first-team all-SEC by the conference.
Lunsford is making his third all-GTNS team after an appearance in football as a utility player during the fall and last wrestling season when he qualified for the state tournament. Lunsford finished his high school career with 114 wins and will continue wrestling in college at Hannibal-LaGrange University.
The All-GTNS wrestling team was selected by Justin Webster of the Fairfield Ledger, Andy Krutsinger of the Mt. Pleasant News and Matt Bryant of the Washington Evening Journal.