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Who Is The GOAT?!?! The Case For Cody Fisher, Woodward Granger

I love how this kid put Woodward Granger on the map the way he did. This one may be a surprise to some of ya and for a couple reasons. To start, most of the guys I have written about for this series were in earlier eras than Cody. Secondly, Cody Fisher, IMO put together one of the most impressive careers in Iowa HS wrestling history and did so, seemingly to the sound of collective, state-wide cricket chirping.  He went out and consistently won, consistently dominated, but he was never flashy about it, really. He isn’t cocky. He isn’t some Hulkamaniac upper-weight with 40 inch biceps and washboard abs. He is a strong dude, but it never seemed like it was to the point where he was always overwhelmingly physically imposing to his opponents like Matt Fields was. Cody Fisher won and did so consistently all 4 years in HS and did so starting as an upper-weight and the main reason he did this was simple… He is a one tough, intelligent dude on that mat and has such a balanced skill-set… He reminds me of what Lance Berkman was to the MLB. Lance was a guy who was kind of built like Fisher. Ya know, obviously athletic, but not too concerned with trying to attain the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but strong looking as hell nevertheless…. They are both pesky in about every facet of their games, both didn’t seem to have any weaknesses and they both appear and come off as guys who you could see yourself hanging out and playing Mario Kart with off the mat. A nice guy, too.

So Fisher placed 2-2-1-1 at state and what makes this incredible for him was that he started his HS tenure as a Freshman at 195 lbs. He placed 2nd his first two years in HS as an upper weight and in both matches, he lost to upperclassmen phenom who will likely have his own GOAT article someday, Bryce Esmoil of West Liberty. Fisher can be forgiven for that. I mean how many Freshman are able to say that they scrapped at state on Saturday night at 195 lbs? Not many and most of the 195 lb. Freshman who get into scraps on Saturday night at state wrestling, did so fighting with their friends about who got the last cup of Dip N’ Dots. Fisher scrapped at state on a Saturday night because he was  just straight up tough enough to be able to make the finals as  a Freshman. And if it weren’t for Bryce Esmoil, who knows… he could have become a 4X state champion who started out at 195, which is just unheard of.

2017 2A 195
1 Bryce Esmoil (Jr.) West Liberty
2 Cody Fisher (Fr.) Woodward Granger
3 Jackson Mikkelsen (Sr.) Creston-OM
4 Matthew Landsperger (Jr.) Knoxville
5 Zac Stork (Sr.) Atlantic
6 Sam Moore (Sr.) Mount Vernon
7 Seth Moore (Sr.) Ballard
8 Caleb Olson (So.) Webster City

2018 2A 195
1 Bryce Esmoil (Sr.) West Liberty
2 Cody Fisher (So.) Woodward Granger
3 Nick Foss (Sr.) Harlan
4 Nick Smith (Sr.) Central DeWitt
5 Kade Hambly (Jr.) Clear Lake
6 Dalton Chipp (Jr.) Hampton-Dumont
7 Blake Anderson (Sr.) OABCIG
8 Shyler Langley (Sr.) Heelan Catholic

2019 2A-220
1 Cody Fisher of Woodward Granger
2 Kaden Sutton of ADM, Adel
3 Dakoda Powell of Spirit Lake Park
4 Kobe Simon of West Liberty
5 Kade Hambly of Clear Lake
6 Mike Hoyle of Solon
7 Seth Adrian of Assumption
8 Jarrett Meyer of Central Lyon-G-LR

2020 2A 220
1 Cody Fisher (Sr) Woodward Granger
2 Kobe Simon (Jr) West Liberty
3 Seth Adrian (Sr) Assumption – Davenport
4 Crew Howard (Jr) Clarinda
5 Treyton Burnikel (Jr) Crestwood – Cresco
6 Andrew Hamilton (Sr) Algona
7 Kamrin Steveson (Jr) Grinnell
8 Christian Nunley (Jr) West Delaware

He was also a 4X Freestyle AA at Fargo Nationals. He’s one of the most underrated wrestlers to come out of Iowa in quite some time. He now wrestled for Iowa State and is a Freshman this season.



When I was writing for The Predicament, I conducted this interview with him prior to his Senior season: 


When did you start wrestling? Who introduced you to the sport?

I started  really getting into wrestling in the fourth grade and some very good family friends introduced me to it.


Do you have any family who wrestled before you? How did they do?

I’m the first person in my family to wrestle believe it or not, haha.


Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?

Wrestling for me was a gradual process at a young age and took lots of time and dedication.


What club did you wrestle for growing up and how would you describe your experience with the club?

Growing up I’ve been with Ubasa Wrestling Academy and my experience with Pablo is very unique. I’m glad I’ve stuck through with him and it’s gonna be hard to leave that.


What are a couple memorable moments from youth wrestling?

Some memorable moments with in my youth were winning my 2 AAU State titles and wrestling the Funez twins from Perry at the Perry tournament my 7th grade year.


How did you finish at state tournaments in youth?

I finished first twice and 7th once at AAU state in my youth.


What are some of your more memorable moments from high school wrestling to this point?

Memorable high school moments are definitely the state tournament and definitely gotta give some attention to the ACGC tournament for being my favorite regular season tournament.


How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the HS level to this point?

2nd, 2nd and first.

Who were your wrestling heroes growing up? Who are your current wrestling heroes?

I loved watching bigger guys so definitely fans of Mike McMullan and J’den Cox


Was there ever a point in your career where you noticed yourself jumping levels and making huge strides?

The summer going into my sophomore year I noticed big leaps and bounds in my wrestling just from devoting more time to the sport.


Who have been some of your toughest competitors in HS to this point in your career?

I’ve had several tough competitors… too many to name without feeling like I left a few out. Many competitors, even ones I beat handily, have had great things they’ve brought to the table.


Not very many guys make the finals 4 times, let alone starting at a heavier weight as you did as a Freshman. Now here you are, a Senior and 3 time state finalist and returning champ. How cool is it that you are on pace to join an elite club of 4 time finalists in Iowa and even more exclusive being a 4 time finalist who started raking in the hardware as an upperweight Freshman?

It’s very cool knowing I’ve made finals every year at heavier weights and my most memorable tournament is my Junior year and the feelings and having everyone there around me and looking at my phone afterwards and  reading all the messages. It was just an unreal feeling.


What are your wrestling goals for this coming season?

Some goals are to definitely get another title and others is to hit 200 wins for my career but other than that I haven’t given much thought to goals yet.


How would you describe your wrestling style? Who would you compare yourself to?

I don’t know really how to describe my own style… I guess you could say I’m pretty offensive based on my wrestling.


What other sports do you play and how have you done at them?

I used to play football until my sophomore year then I decided to devote myself to wrestling.


What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling?

For hobbies, I’m an avid scary movie watcher and I also enjoy spending time with my friends and relatives.


What is some of the best advice you ever received?

Best advice I’ve ever had is really hard to say because I’ve been around some really great minds of the sport and I’ve soaked up so much it’s hard to say just one.


Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?

Advice for upcoming wrestlers is to just focus on getting better and invest in the process of it and it will pay dividends in the end.


What is your favorite style of wrestling? Folkstyle, Freestyle or Greco?

I don’t have a favorite style, I just enjoy wrestling as a whole.


Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with?

Definitely a lot people to thank for the coaching I’ve received, but Pablo Ubasa, Ross Larson, Tanner Hiatt, Mike Zadick and the ISU coaching staff have taken my wrestling to extraordinary heights and I’m excited to see where things go from here.


What are your college plans? Is wrestling in your future whether it be competing or coaching?

I’m currently committed to wrestle for Iowa State and coach Kevin Dresser and the rest of the ISU coaching staff.


What is the future outlook for Woodward Granger wrestling?

I’m hoping I’ve started Woodward Granger wrestling in the right path and whenever possible I’d like to come back and help. Later in life if our paths cross again, I’d be very happy to coach for Woodward Granger.

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