DES MOINES — Dalton Woodyard wears the letters W-S-R across the chest of his singlet.
Waverly-Shell Rock is the wresting program he is representing at the Class 3A state wrestling tournament this weekend at Wells Fargo Arena for the third consecutive year.
But while he has a legion of Go-Hawk faithful behind him here in Des Moines, the senior 145-pound wrestler probably has just as many Janesville Wildcat fans.
“Got the whole school send off again. That was fun,” said Woodyard, who received a personal state sendoff at his high school in Janesville before making the trek to Des Moines. “For sure, I’m wrestling for Janesville, too. It has been a ton of fun to have so much support from Janesville.”
Woodyard gave both sets of his fans something to cheer about Thursday, scoring an 8-6 victory over Matt Connelly to move into the 3A quarterfinals. The win snapped a four-match losing streak at traditional state for Woodyard.
“My sophomore year I won in the first round and then had two losses. Last year, going 0-2, I definitely didn’t want to repeat that again,” Woodyard said. “I just came in confident, wrestled the way I have the whole year and I’m having fun with it.”
All six of Waverly-Shell Rock’s qualifiers advanced to day two with Evan Yant at 126, Jacob Hermann at 152, Bryson Hervol at 160 and Brayden Wolf at 195 all first-round winners. Junior Dylan Albrecht stayed alive by winning a consolation match.
Hervol, who qualified last year at 126, grinded out a 2-0 victory over Jimmy Boustead of Boone at 160.
“I definitely grew a little bit from last year, probably three or four inches taller,” Hervol said of jumping five weight classes. “It’s been an adjustment wrestling at a higher weight, everybody is a bit stronger.”
CLOSE, BUT NOT REALLY: Cedar Falls saw three of its six qualifiers remain alive after the first day, including junior Jakey Penrith who opened with a 5 minute, 28 second pin of Noah Blubaugh of Ankeny Centennial at 113.
Penrith, who finished seventh a season ago at 113, led big early, saw Blubaugh rally to tie it at 7-all before finishing him off with the pin.
“I’m glad I got this one out of the way, didn’t screw up any of my chances,” Penrith said. “I want to see what I can do in the tournament.”
Two other Tigers will wrestle on day two.
Sophomore Jackson Barth rebounded from a first-round loss to beat Logan Adamson of Bettendorf, 8-5, in the consolation bracket at 120. In similar fashion, Justin Campbell pinned Logan Finowski of Fort Dodge in a consolation match at 285.
METRO REPORT: Waterloo East’s top-ranked 195-pound senior Tyrell Gordon had a tough time in his opener, edging Ashton Stoner-DeGroot of Cedar Rapids Prairie, 2-0.
Waterloo West freshman Kaden Karns opened with a loss to fifth-ranked Nathan Kahoe of Des Moines Lincoln at 113, but pinned Ryan Hancock of Pella in 3:16 to keep his medal hopes alive.