North Scott's Wyatt Wriedt
Turning point: Wriedt, the school's only two-time state champion, mentions a couple turning points in his high school wrestling career — the state tournament his sophomore season and the summer between his sophomore and junior years.
After wrestling on the junior varsity as a freshman, Wriedt wrestled at 285 for the Lancers as a sophomore and placed third at state with a win over Clinton's Tyler Clark in the consolation final. Clark had beaten him three times during the year.
Several months later, he placed fourth at the Cadet Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.
"That's where I really saw I could compete against the best guys in the state and in the country," he said.
State rewind: Ever since defeating West Des Moines Valley's Rocky Lombardi in overtime of the 220-pound Class 3A state final in late February, Wriedt has heard the chants of "Rocky won" from opposing student sections at basketball games.
"It goes in one ear and out the other," Wriedt said. "At the end of the day, I still came home with a state medal and state bracket."
The match finished under controversy. Lombardi was whistled for stalling in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime. In extra time, Wriedt recorded a takedown quickly to collect the win.
"Everybody is going to say (the stalling) was a bad call, but I just went out and continued to wrestle," Wriedt said. "Everybody gets mad at me for it, but I had no control over the call."
Wriedt, ranked eighth in the country at his weight, said he's watched the match once or twice since it happened.
"It brings back good memories," he said. "It feels good to know that first state title wasn't just luck. I can compete with the best wrestlers, and that gives me motivation going into college."
Team camaraderie: North Scott had one of the finest seasons in program history. It won dual and tournament conference titles, qualified 10 for the state tournament and placed fifth in the Class 3A state duals.
Wriedt credits much of that to the team's close connection.
"It was so fun to watch this team grow," he said. "We got so close as a team throughout the year. We didn't accomplish everything we wanted to, but it was still pretty good."
In particular, the van rides to overnight tournaments with teammates will be a lasting memory.
"We knew we could trust each other with anything we said in there," Wriedt said. "That is one thing I'll really miss (about high school wrestling)."
Next level: Wriedt plans to wrestle some freestyle this spring and summer, but the big task is getting in the weight room and putting on weight.
He is expected to wrestle at heavyweight for Nebraska next season. Given he weighs only 225 pounds, Wriedt said he needs to add muscle mass.
"I'm not sure what weight I need to get to," he said. "I just want to be solid. It is going to be a big transition going to heavy.
"My next goal is to be a national champion in college. Anything after that would be nice."