1. Moza Fay, Sr., Anamosa
2. Darrin Kaisand, Sr., Grinnell
3. Micah Keller, Jr., Mediapolis
4. Mitch Artist, So., Glenwood
5. Chris Hahn, Sr., Maquoketa
6. Spencer Vrieze, Jr., Forest City
7. Justin Sovereign, Sr., Crestwood (Cresco)
8. Justin Retallic, Jr., Atlantic
- Moza Fay placed all 4 years, won it twice and all 4 of those years, he shared the podium with a Mediapolis guy. His first 3 years, he shared it with my brother, Justin. Those two had a rivalry that people remember so well that it was hands down my 2nd most requested “Inside the Rivalry” article that people want to me to write someday, trailing only Ike Light (Lisbon) vs. Dan Christenson (Belmond-Klemme). Maybe someday we can get that… It’d be a good one. As a Senior, he shared the podium with one of Justin’s longtime practice partners, Micah Keller. Those two wrestled in the semis, with Fay pinning Keller and they wrestled again in Freestyle later that season and the way Micah put it, “he was dominating me and then accidentally pinned himself, but hey! I can say that I beat Moza Fay even if it was a joke!!!” Moza is one of the best wrestlers I have seen wrestle at the high school level in Iowa. By the time he was a Junior and Senior…he was so good…it’s just difficult to imagine someone being a more intelligent wrestler. I thought Moza’s style was innate and unable to be duplicated or even mimicked…that noone could ever look like him when they wrestle because his style is so unique, but there is a high school phenom right now from Ankeny that gives me flashbacks of Fay when I watch him. His name is Caleb Rathjen. Rathjen is a Junior who has already committed to the Hawkeyes. The way I look at it, the Hawkeyes got someone who has Moza Fay similarities which is a really, really good thing. Couldn’t ask for a nicer guy either…even nice to me, which I ran my mouth on the forums back then in a manner which….I didn’t give him near the credit I knew he deserved. When I used to post about wrestling in those days, I wasn’t fair to Fay in the same manner that I wasn’t fair to Reiter…and it was very disrespectful of me. That whole Fay-Justin rivalry had my dad and I in a constant state of fear and loathing and I think I just wanted to convince myself that he wasn’t a threat to beat my little brother, when I knew dang well that he’d be a threat to anyone who stepped on the mat with him. I wish I would have just shut up about it. Anyways, Moza was good…and a crowd favorite.
- Darrin Kaisand began to step it up a level when he was a Junior in high school, from what I remember. He looked really good on the freestyle scene as a Junior and when I saw that he and Moza were matched up in the finals, I thought that Moza would win, but he’d have to wrestle well, for Kaisand was legit. And Kaisand did fine against Moza in the finals. I saw that guy all the time in college, for he went to a different college in the same city (Dubuque). Nice enough dude. I think he has a couple boys who are starting to wrestle…twins maybe? They will probably be good.
- Micah Keller was well-known for being wild and crazy and for winning almost every match he wrestled despite “not caring” or “not working hard.” He didn’t seem to mind that reputation either…It’s a pretty impressive testament to someone’s athletic ability if they can succeed without trying or caring… but I will be the first person to ever say it and keep in mind that Micah is a great friend of mine that I’ve known for 30 years…. haha, you bet your ass he cared. And he worked harder than it was led on. He talks about wrestling as if it was a large chunk of what defines him even today. Micah wanted to win as badly as anyone did. He cared. Argue with me all you want…his excitement after he pinned Calvin Barber in the finals at state the next year said it all…he cared deeply about wrestling. His son is already kicking butt on the mat as a 6 or 7 year old.
- Mitch Artist placed 7th, 4th, 2nd, 2nd. His brother Kirk placed 5th, 1st and 4th. Man they were good.