Jake Hiland represented Bellevue and the Dubuque Wrestling Club at the AAU East District Tournament on Sunday, Feb. 7. Hiland had a great day and finished fourth in a pretty tough bracket. In the shortened middle school season, he finished undefeated and competed at the USAW State Tournament in January, as well as several local tournaments. This will be Hiland’s second trip to AAU State which will be held on February 26 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Bellevue’s Shooting Stars program has enjoyed unparalleled success from nearly the beginning and now boasts 25 AAU/USA state qualifiers and place winners in nine seasons of existence.
Last year, the program crowned their first AAU State Champion, Casey Tath.
That success is starting to make its way to the high school ranks and paying huge dividends. Practices for the elementary athletes runs from November to February for any young person in the local Bellevue community.
1A IHSAA District Tournament
Two wrestlers represented Bellevue High School at the District Tournament in Wapello, Will Steinbeck and Ryder Michels.
Both young men had an uphill battle to qualify for the state tournament and came up short.
Steinbeck, (113 lb) junior, drew #5 ranked Bryce Thompson of Highland for the first round match. He then had a rematch with Kole Murray of North Cedar. This was Steinbeck’s best match against Murray of the season.
Ryder Michels also had two rematches. In the first round he went up against Spencer Kessel (Louisa-Muscatine) and in the second round, Michels wrestled Tyrrell Hughes of Wilton. Both of these were improvements upon his first outing against both of these wrestlers.
“Both Comets gained some valuable experience during the extended season and now understand the work and mental fortitude to qualify for the state tournament. One of their goals have now been established for next year,” said BHS Wrestling Coach Dave Ripperger.