An undefeated state champ is hopeful for the future
By Rheanna DeCrow
Walking into the Wells Fargo Arena on the first day of the state tournament was a nerve racking experience, even for three-time state qualifier Bradley Hill. It was only after the first few matches that the Bettendorf wrestler finally settled into a groove.
“State duels on Wednesday really helped settle the nerves,” said Hill, a junior.
Hill managed to be only the second wrestler in Bettendorf history to go undefeated all season. Humble as ever, Hill said this was simply a goal he had set for himself, attributing his success on the mat to his ascension through the program.
As Hill stepped on the mat for his final match for the state title, he was filled with confidence.
“I knew what I could do, I just had to go out there and wrestle,” said Hill.
And wrestle he did. Hill became one of three state champions for Bettendorf by a 5-3 decision. Joining him with state titles were teammates Dustin Bohren and Griffin Liddle.
Watching the success of his teammates was a motivating factor for first-time state qualifier Jayce Luna. Only a freshman, Luna made a terrific showing at the tournament, placing seventh in the 120-pound class.
Luna attributed his success to the push from his teammates.
“With the morning practices, some people didn’t always want to show up and we would just keep pushing them to show up and if they kept coming it would be worth it. We knew that if we all worked hard we would make it to state duels,” said Luna.
Hill also had only good things to say about team comradery, particularly by the six seniors that led the state duals team to place seventh in class 3A out of 64 teams.
Because Hill wrestled at the 220 pound weight class this season, his natural practice partner was four-time state qualifier, and two-time state champion Griffin Liddle.
“Seeing Logan [Adamson] and Griffin’s success helped me push toward a higher goal. Simultaneously they invested time into me to help me become a better wrestler,” said Hill.
Although Bettendorf has many great wrestlers moving on to college, the future of the Bettendorf wrestling program looks bright. With young leadership such as Luna and a determined atmosphere, the Bulldog wrestling program will succeed for years to come.
“We have a bunch of kids that are willing to put in the work and have fun wrestling so hopefully the future is bright,” said Hill.
Rheanna DeCrow is senior. This is her first year with The Growl and
as social media editor.