IDA GROVE, Iowa | Blake and Tyler Anderson are identical twin brothers on the OA-BCIG wrestling team who are enjoying impressive senior seasons. Like most brothers, they are competitive with each other and that certainly extends to the wrestling mat.
"We went at it all the time and there were probably some fist fights," said Tyler, who plans to play football at Morningside College next fall. "We almost go at it in practice too. Just anger at each other.
"He usually does something that shouldn't happen and I do the same thing," Blake said. "It just goes back and forth."
"It is something that I hoped for that they would always be competitive," OA-BCIG Coach Randy Nieman said. "Whether it was weightlifting or football, they are both very good football players, wrestling. I always hoped it would be 'you did this I am going to do something to top that.'
"They would stick up for each other but they go at each other every day in practice. When they get going live it is very interesting because Tyler has had a little more success than Blake has but it is a donnybrook."
Tyler is ranked third at 220 pounds in Class 2A while Blake is eighth at 195. They wrestled a few times against each other in youth tournaments but mostly as partners in practice.
"I used to beat him every time (when we were younger) but now that is different," Blake said.
The twins both started hitting the weight room hard two years ago and that has allowed Tyler to become bigger than his brother.
"Between the weight room this summer, focusing on takedowns in the matches I can get and just scoring points," said Tyler of his success this season that has led to a 26-3 mark.
Blake said his added strength and an aggressive approach on the mat has helped him this season as he has a 24-4 mark. Tyler picked up the Herb Irgens Invite title on Saturday in front of the home fans while Blake finished as the runner-up.
Last season Tyler placed sixth at the state tournament while Blake did not make it to Des Moines. Now they hope to end their wrestling careers with each brother getting a chance to stand on the podium.
"It was eye-opening that if you want something you can do it and expand for the next year," Tyler said.
"Last year when Tyler qualified I know Blake was happy for him but it wasn't the same," Nieman said. "You felt some pangs for Blake that while you are celebrating Tyler you wish Blake was here.
"They are going to be sorely missed."
HOW BIG A WIN? Woodbury Central freshman Beau Klingensmith, ranked third at 106 pounds, knocked off Don Bosco's second-ranked Daniel Kimball 6-5 in the championship match. It was a gutty performance that Klingensmith didn't try to sugar-coat.
"Probably best feeling I have had in my entire wrestling career," said Klingensmith, calling it his biggest win.
Klingensmith is 35-2 on the season with his losses coming to Fort Dodge's Class 3A's second-ranked Drake Ayala, the second time by just two points.
"I learned I had to keep my pace up, trying to stay as well-conditioned on the mat to not lose my strength or energy during the match," Klingensmith said. "Ever since the Ayala match I have known what I have had to work for and right here that whole week working hard with my coaches and practices partners in practice."
Klingensmith is aided by former Woodbury Central three-time state champion and University of Minnesota wrestler Jordan Bremer, who is in his first year as an assistant with the Wildcats.
"One thing that is different about him is he is so physical," Bremer said. "He goes after kids and he doesn't want to be your friend on the mat and that kid of resembles the way that I wrestled in high school and college.
"We do watch a lot of film with our guys because I think that is the best way to learn see how you wrestle, and he is one that owns it and knows he has to get better even after (the Kimball match)."
That film study led to some changes after the Ayala matches.
"We have tweaked a few things on our feet," Bremer said. "We have stayed lower and not coming out of our stance as much. The second match out in Fort Dodge we wrestled a way better match on our feet and on top we were staying aggressive."
MOVING ON: Spirit Lake's Kyler Rieck was a state placer as a freshman and looked to be well on his way to doing that again a year ago until a 1-2 showing at state had him exiting Wells Fargo Arena early.
Rieck won his opening match by pin in 25 seconds, but at a tournament that does not seed he ran into Clear Lake's top-ranked Ryan Leisure in the quarterfinals. This time it was Rieck who was pinned by the eventual champion, and an 8-5 loss in his wrestleback ended his season.
Rieck is 32-3 this season and ranked fifth at 152 pounds after winning the Herb Irgens Invite title over Lawton-Bronson's Class 1A sixth-ranked Austin Eilers on Saturday.
"Last year was a heartbreaker and talking to my coaches all we could do was move forward," he said. "That is what we are trying to do and we will see what we can do this year. It was a little setback last year, but I worked through the spring with my coaches at Legends of Gold and cleared my mind with that. Got into some freestyle and Greco and started having fun with that."
Rieck said it took a while to get over the state showing, but he is now focusing on improvement this season.
"I am putting my stuff on the guys I am wrestling every match and I am not looking at any match differently than any other," he said.
LOGGED OFF: Sibley-Ocheyedan senior Hunter DeJong, who will wrestle at Iowa State next year, is undefeated and ranked No. 3 at 195 pounds this season.
He has had a lot of offseason success in Fargo and winning a Pan-American title, but he is still chasing a state championship. So to aid in that effort DeJong has given up social media until his season concludes.
"I gave up social media because I wanted no distractions," he said. "I want to win state so taking away that takes away a lot of other ways to get distracted."
DeJong believes it is a necessary move even if a little challenging.
"I am fine with not having it, but it is still a huge adjustment not having it."