Iowa State begins grueling month with the Southern Scuffle


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Then-redshirt junior Chase Straw gets a takedown against then-redshirt freshman Spencer Heywood during the first match of the Iowa State vs. Utah Valley dual-meet Feb. 3 in Hilton Coliseum. Straw won by major decision 4-0, and the Cyclones defeated the Wolverines 53-0.

Zach Martin

When Iowa State opens the new year and new decade at the Southern Scuffle on January 1, the roster it’ll take isn’t one that is tabbed as the 11th best team in Division I.

Only three regular starters – Chase Straw, Joel Shapiro and Gannon Gremmel – will make the trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the annual Southern Scuffle held inside McKenzie Arena on Wednesday and Thursday.

The reason? Consider it load management.

Over the span of 22 days, beginning January 9 and ending January 31, the Cyclones will have eight duals across all four time zones. Hence, why seven starters won’t be participating in the final tournament of the regular season.

“That basically means we’re doing a dual meet every two-and-a-half-days, and that’s hard on your body,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said. “People might be scratching their heads as to why we’re doing things a little differently. You got to be ready for that, ready for the grind.”

Straw (165 pounds), Shapiro (197) and Gremmel (heavyweight) all go into 2020 on respective highs.

After not placing at Cliff Keen, Straw turned around and nabbed his first dual win of the season against Chattanooga. Gremmel snared fourth at Cliff Keen while also earning his first dual win against the Mocs and enters the Scuffle pre-seeded second.

Shapiro was sent to the UNI Open where he won his first title of the season, rolling through the bracket with three decision victories.

“All three of those guys just need matches right now,” Dresser said. “You want to elevate your ranking and all that, but you want to get better wrestling and competing.”

To go along with three starters, Iowa State will also send Corey Cabanban (125), Charlie Klepps (133), Ryan Leisure (149), Grant Stotts (165), Mac Southard (174) and Francis Duggan (197) to the east coast.

Five others – Aden Reeves (125), Ramazan Attasauov (133), Zane Mulder (165), Logan Schumacher (165) and Julien Broderson (184) – will wrestle unattached.

Broderson is coming off an outstanding first semester where he won two open titles and four open finals appearances. 

The Davenport Assumption grad is 13-2 on the year with 11 pins. All but one have happened before the second period, including eight in the opening three minutes.

It’ll be the first time Broderson competes in a non-open tournament, something Dresser is excited to see.

“He hasn’t reached even close to his potential yet, he’s got that ‘it’ factor,” Dresser said. “His skill set and his ability to pin people, is special. As he cleans up and starts getting leg attacks, he’s going to be hard to deal with.”

The action begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and by the time the day is over, the semifinals in all 10 weight classes will be set. On Thursday, the bloodround begins at 11 a.m. and the 10 championship matches and all medal matches conclude the two-day tournament at 6 p.m.

All matches can be viewed on FloWrestling. Viewing of live brackets are on FloArena.