JP dropped an engagement bomb yesterday, but this monster-sized news needs a wrestling article as well. So here I am, dragging myself out of a dark, dreary work hole to dream of our bright, shiny, and shiny heavyweight future.
Ben Kueter of Iowa City High isn’t just good enough to play D1 football, he’s good enough to fight for the best program in the country. Futhermorey, he’s good enough to be successful in both.
According to Flowrestling, Mr. Kueter is No. 4 at 220 pounds and No. 16 overall for the class of 2023. By the time he graduates, we could very well consider one of the top 10 p4p prospects and at a weight that we rarely mark. this high on: heavyweight. This creates even more excitement around his engagement.
Kueter begins his junior year as a 2x State Class 3A Champion with an overall record of 35-0. He won a National Junior Folk Style Championship in March and was recently a finalist at the Junior National Acrobatic Style Championships this summer. In June, he helped the Iowa team win a gold in the national junior duels, setting the stage for a 5-0 record with one fall and four technological falls. Needless to say, the sky is the limit for this talented youngster as he continues to grow, complement and improve his already impressive skills.
But here’s the wild thing, we’re going to share it with the soccer team. By engaging as a bisport athlete, he now finds himself in rare company. As you can imagine, it’s hard enough to be successful in a sport, but it will make the problem worse by having a two-man race. Captain Kirk Ferentz has long talked about finding wrestlers for his team and it’s something he really enjoys, but it’s the 1st times I can remember him and Tom Brands openly sharing an athlete.
We’ve had a few football players, such as former All-Iowa High School Male Athlete of the Year, Sam Cook, leave the field and return to the mat, but it’s been almost 35 years since a Hawkeye has been there. has not done with legitimate success. The latest being Mark Sindlinger, who started center under Hayden Fry and fought for Dan Gable in the mid-80s. He won two Big Ten titles and won two All-American heavyweight honors. Most recently Josh Hokit (Fresno State) scored nine TDs and was All-American in 2019, finishing 5e. FYI, he now plays for the 49ers.
I can only imagine that Kueter was inspired by the rare feats on display before him.
But now that the substantive goodies are out of the way, what exactly does that mean for our 2021 national championships? Well that means we’ve already found our heir apparent to All-American Tony Cassioppi. Big Cass is entering his (second) second season as 3rd classified heavy in the country. The addition of Kueter and a timely red shirt allows him to take over the reins of Cass, who on his own could end up being one of the best heavyweights in the show’s history. These are great shoes to fulfill, sure, but these are expectations that we look forward to and now look forward to.
It’s also the first time Iowa has invested in the smaller (more athletic) heavyweight trend that seems to be taking over the NCAA landscape. Kueter weighs 220 pounds as a junior this winter. He’ll likely get even stronger before entering his final year and beyond, but that still places him well below Cassioppi and some of the other gargantuan heavyweights at the next level. It’s likely that Ferentz and Brands (and their respective strength and conditioning trainers) will put Kueter on a full diet and strength diet to find the perfect balance between raw athleticism and the weight needed to compete with the muscles. big boys. It will be fascinating to see how her body develops over the next few years.
Plus, Kueter will be a scholar via the football team… yes, let it marinate. We get a top notch rookie that doesn’t count towards our meager 9.9 purses. Instead, Ferentz gladly donates one of his 85 to a top mega wrestler, all because he loves wrestling!
This is a huge boost that could pay dividends for the brothers of the brands. This allows them to do a deep run at another blue chipper to further flesh out the roster after half of our starting lineup graduates at the end of the year.
Despite the clear positives, we have to ask ourselves: will Kueter stay in both sports or will one overtake the other in the years to come? I really hope he is able to balance the two demands, but the die-hard wrestling fan in me begs the wrestling gods he stays with the mat, through whatever he comes across. Not to diminish football and the high demands it brings, but wrestling is one of the few sports that requires 100% certainty and concentration. Even the slightest hesitation or the smallest layoffs can have devastating effects on a person’s progress. If Kueter is able to successfully navigate these waters, we will witness something that we have not seen for almost 40 years. Hopefully he will be able to get by!
As recruiting continues to accelerate, this could be the domino that will bring down everyone else. Stay tuned, it’s gonna be a fun fall.
And above all, welcome to Iowa Hawkeyes Ben !!!