Sports, Friday, April 10th

By: Nathan Bloechl —

Iowa State, Wartburg Wrestling to Meet Up:

Wartburg and Iowa State will square-off for the first time in a quarter century when the 2020-21 college wrestling gets underway.

The dual meet between the 14-time Division III national champion Knights and eight-time Division I national champion Cyclones is scheduled for November 6th at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.

The season-opener will be only the third meeting in history between the teams and the first since Iowa State’s 23-16 win at Wartburg in 1996, the year the Knights won their first national title in program history.

Wartburg finished the 2019-20 campaign with a 16-1 overall record and Iowa State finished second at the Big 12 Championships.

The Knights are 12-11-1 all-time against Division I competition.

The last time Wartburg faced a D-I opponent was in 2011, when the Knights dropped a 17-16 tiebreaker at Wisconsin.

Bees, Other MiLB Teams in Iowa in Limbo:

Stadiums were quiet on Thursday in what was scheduled to be opening day in the Midwest League.

The Burlington Bees were slated to open at Wisconsin but the coronavirus pandemic has left everyone wondering if there will even be a season.

Rob Zerjav is president of the Timber Rattlers, who says without a season teams could vanish.

It’s been nice to see some of the small business loans, if it comes through that’s about two months of salary for employees and that goes a long way. I wouldn’t be surprised if some teams just can’t survive” Zerjav explained.

Zerjav says playing games without fans is not a viable option for minor league clubs.

Financially it wouldn’t make sense and I get that these Farm Directors want their players to develop and a year off won’t help that, but if they play before no crowd hopefully that’s in Arizona.”

The Bees are the low Class-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Cyclones Add to 2021 Class:

Iowa State has landed another 2021 commitment in Kansas City area defensive tackle Howard Brown.

Brown – a 6-foot-2, 290-pound 3-star prospect – is the 52nd-ranked defensive tackle in the nation and the 18th-ranked player in Missouri, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Brown had one other Power Five offer from Kansas.

He is the seventh known commit in the 2021 class for the Cyclones.

NFL Draft Insider has Wirfs in Top-5, Epenesa inside Top-25:

The NFL’s top draft insider has a pair of Hawkeyes in his mock first round.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has former Mount Vernon standout Tristan Wirfs being selected #4 overall by the New York Football Giants.

Jeremiah cites Wirfs has the “best tackle” in the class who can either play right or left tackle in the pro game.

For the second consecutive mock, Jeremiah is drawing a connection between A.J. Epenesa and the New England Patriots.

Epenesa didn’t test well in Indianapolis but believes New England can overlook that with tape study.

No Cyclones are considered first round talent this year, however Iowa State long snapper Steve Wirtel is expected to hear his named called on the draft’s final round.