2022 - 6th
2021 - Champion
2020 - 4th
As wrestler's go, few had better positioning than Joel Jesuroga. His offense was a mix of precision and power. He bullied his way into ideal positions with underhooks, forced opponents' bad shots, and took ideal shots leading to extremely high finishing rates. Joel was also incredibly good in tight matches, where his match management skills created a larger gap than the scoreboard showed. Joel's Junior season was undefeated at 145 lbs., with his only loss coming from the State Champion at 152 lbs. Joel wrestled another dominant campaign as a Senior - winning Cheesehead - but was forced to injury default to 6th at the State Tournament after being hospitalized with pneumonia. More importantly than the points he contributed; however, was the unrelenting work ethic and accountability-style leadership he brought to the program, leading the Rams the 2022 Traditional State Championship - their first in 5 years.
2022 - Champion
2021 - Champion
2020 - 3rd
Nate Jesuroga's nickname of "Champ" was prophetic from the first whistle. With youth wrestling accolades in tow, he buzz-sawed opponents with his heavy snaps, go-behinds, and array of lightening fast leg attacks. Although rarely seen, Champs shot defense is surprisingly tricky. As a freshman, he won Cheesehead and Gardner Edgerton, going undefeated until the Iowa State semifinals. As a sophomore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Champ terrorized both 113 pounders and 120 pounders alike, defeating the 2 x 3A State Champion at 120 lbs. along the way. He dominated way through the season, State Duals, and the State Traditional Tournament to formalize his "Champ" nickname. After winning a Cadet World Bronze in Budapest, Hungary, at 51 kilograms - Iowa's first such medal in 34 years - Nate spent his Junior year honing his turning / pinning skills and widened the already cavernous divide. Ultimately, this led to more technical falls and pins, including the State Finals pin that mathematically locked up the Rams' 2022 State Traditional Championship.
2020 - Champion
2019 - Champion
2018 - 4th
2017 - 6th
The son of legendary SEP Coach Jason Christenson, Gabe quickly sculpted his own reputation out of hard work and even harder-nosed wrestling. While his intimidating physical appearance foreshadowed incredibly heavy hands and powerful positions - most notably his underhook series - his big throws, sweep single, and cross-wrist tilt revealed a far more technical wrestler. After placing 6th and 4th as an underclassman in the “Big Guy” weight classes, Christenson jumped levels in the summers with Double All-American honors at both Fargo and Cadet World Team Trials. As a Junior and Senior, the “The Vanilla Gorilla” pushed the pace and smashed the competition - going 80-2 in that stretch - winning CIML, Gardner-Edgerton, Cheesehead, and two lopsided State Finals matches. Both State Titles were accompanied by made-for-TV moments: Gabe launched Assistant Coach Jessman Smith in celebration of his first gold medal; then beamed from ear-to-ear as his over father hung the second around his neck.
Gabe went on to wrestle for Coach Tom Brands at the University of Iowa.
2019 - Champion
2018 - 3rd
2017 - 3rd (3A)
2016 - 5th (3A)
Lance was already an established pinner when he came to SEP, where he ended his career with an astounding 122 falls. His wrestling growth came primarily in his hand-fighting, shots, and – most importantly – in big match mentality. As a Junior, he broke through the big match glass ceiling by defeating the returning State Champion to take 3rd at State. He then followed with All-American performances at UWW Cadet World Team Trials, Cadet and Junior Fargo Nationals. By the time he’d perfected his ankle pick and misdirection low single, his matches were practically over in the opening seconds. Once on top, Lance’s broad repertoire of tilts and turns racked up obscene amounts of first period points, before ending his opponents’ suffering with his brutal and nearly unstoppable cross-face cradle. With these weapons in tow, Lance went on an undefeated Senior blitzkrieg campaign: he pinned 36 (of 40) opponents while averaging a mind-blowing 1 minute 47 seconds per match. Weather-related tournament cancellations undoubtedly cost him SEP’s single season pin record, but the effort earned him a Dan Gable (3A) Wrestler of the Year nomination alongside teammate Cade DeVos.
Lance went on to wrestle for Coach Doug Schwab at the University of Northern Iowa.
2019 - Champion
2018 - Champion
DeVos was an offensive machine, often breaking opponents with his barrage of low level attacks, re-attacks, and short offense. His stellar 42-1 Freshman campaign ended abruptly with an ugly wrestle-off injury, depriving him of a shot at his first state title – despite his #1 ranking. After a disappointing runner-up finish his Sophomore year, Cade rebounded that summer as a double Fargo Cadet All-American, UWW Cadet All-American, and later Double Fargo Junior All-American. From then on, Cade simply dominated. As a Junior, Cade won State without surrendering an offensive point. As a Senior, Cade handled Nationally-ranked opponents to win Cheesehead; then bullied his way through the Iowa State Tournament to claim his 2nd title and an undefeated 40-0 season. Cade’s dominance earned him the coveted 2019 Dan Gable Wrestler of the Year (3A) – SEP’s 2nd Gable Trophy – with his teammate Lance Runyon as co-nominee.
Cade would go on to wrestle at Div. 1 South Dakota State University under Coach Damien Hahn.
2016 - 3rd
2014 - 6th
It was no coincidence that the Rams won three consecutive State Traditional titles during Barnes' 3 years at Southeast Polk. He brought unmatched intensity to his wrestling - so much so that he often neglected scoring points in favor of a brawl. This suited his snap & shuck style very well, but closed off leg scoring opportunities in the process. In bringing a more controlled pace to his wrestling, Barnes was able to bring his wrestling to next level. After a weigh-in mishap at Fargo his Junior year, Barnes was forced to wrestle up weight class. He dropped the first match, then reeled of an incredible 7 consecutive wins to become an All-American. His Senior year, Barnes' adaptations resulted in both a blistering pace and point totals that broke his opponents, including 4 dominant wins over the returning State Champion - the last of which occurred in the State Finals. Barns finished his career 161-16, joining the elite - even amongst SEP's State Champions - 90% Club.
Zach would go on to wrestle at Div. 1 Campbell University for Coach Cary Kolat.
2015 - Champion
2014 - 2nd
If one word described “Turbo” Marnin, it was ‘BIG’. His sheer size, character, wrestling style, and results were all BIG. Following football season – where he was an Elite 1st Team State offensive lineman – he made the annual (and BIG) weight cut down to 285 lbs., becoming deceptively athletic and agile in the process. Despite his USA Wrestling accolades (Cadet HWT. Triple Crown winner, Cadet World Team member, Junior Nationals Double All-American), he battled for limited Varsity time his first 2 high school seasons. After that, it was all Turbo! A heartbreaking (and controversial) loss in the State Finals his Junior season motivated Turbo to expand his shot offense and top positions – removing the referee from the equation. The end product: an undefeated senior season where he pinned his way through the State Duals, the State Tournament, and became SEP’s 1st Heavyweight State Champion.
Turbo would go on to play college football at Southern Illinois University.
2015 - Champion
2014 - 3rd
2013 - 3rd
Hellickson’s career, after arriving at SEP, was consistent like a metronome. His low level knee-pull single was incredibly efficient, despite everyone knowing it was coming. His shot defense was stifling, giving up only 10 takedowns in his career. His top work, while grossly under-appreciated, was a barrage of tilts and turns that resulted in easy points, big leads, and eventually, 77 career pins. Nonetheless, perhaps Hellickson’s biggest improvement came his senior year, by raising his stance to unleash brutal snaps and go-behinds, which deprived any remaining match strategy from his opponents. The combined result – in 3 years - was 3 Cheesehead titles, 3 State medals (3rd, 3rd, 1st), only 3 losses, 1 undefeated season, and that elusive State Title at 126 lbs.
Nolan would later wrestle at Harvard University.
2016 - 2nd
2015 - Champion
2014 - Champion
2013 - 6th
Ethan’s dominance over the 220 lbs. weight class was daunting. During his tenure, he ran SEP’s streak up to four consecutive State Champions at the weight class (W. Miklus, Fisher, & Andersen x 2). He was so feared for his high-paced, low level attacks and big throws that his matches frequently appeared a twisted game of cat and mouse, where he quickly bored with the chase. The fluidity of his wrestling and ability to come out on top of strange scrambles was all the more jaw-dropping against his toughest opponents. Above all, Andersen was a veracious pinner. He often sacrificed position for a pinning opportunity, which led him to set SEP’s single season (37) and career pinning records (131). Despite battling a debilitating back injury his Senior year, where he finished 2nd at the State Tournament, Andersen earned the 2016 Dan Gable Award as Iowa’s most outstanding wrestler.
Ethan went on to wrestle at Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University.
2013 - Champion
2012 - 3rd
Fisher is the epitome of a SEP 'Program' kid, spending his first 2 seasons on Junior Varsity, and eventually breaking through as a ultra-small Heavyweight his Junior year. His lessons learned in coachability and patience, combined with his natural athleticism and explosiveness, earned him 3rd at the State Tournament that year. As a Senior, Bryce shone with an SEP record-tying 34 pins (season record). He controlled the pace of his matches and chose optimal scoring situations. His supreme confidence in himself and his team was infectious to his teammates, and he led SEP to the State Dual and State Traditional Team titles in 2013, along with an individual title at 220 lbs. and a career record of 96-9.
When asked about his State Title, Fisher summed up his and SEP's seasons in one short sentence: "We work so hard, it'd be ridiculous not to win."
Bryce would go on to wrestle at Central Iowa Community College and Grand View University.
2013 - Champion
2012 - 2nd
2010 - 4th
The true quality of Blackford's stellar career went largely unnoticed by the public due to the presence of other stars Clark and W. Miklus. He was a powerful wrestler on his feet with a blast double and even more so on the mat with his bar arm / butcher series. As a Senior, Blackford received his due notoriety being nominated for 3A Wrestler of the Year and finally standing on top of the podium after 4th, DNP, 2nd, and 1st finishes at State. His flexing celebration following the final pin against Bettendorf in the State Duals Finals was pictured across the title banner of the Des Moines Register, ending SEP's 50-year drought without a boy's state team title. Blackford finished his career 2nd, all-time on the SEP's win list at 176 - 18 with 95 pins and a State Title at 170 lbs.
Dylan wrestled at Grand View University, where he was an NAIA All-American (5th).
2013 - Champion
Tim's sole State Medal is the best color of all: Gold. Coming out of his shell his Senior year, Miklus dominated the competition with a precision offense, rock-solid defense, and nasty spladle for those sitting in tripod position - even for a second. At 160 lbs., Tim was the start of SEP's dreaded upper-weight gauntlet that powered the Rams through the State Duals Tournament and undefeated dual Season. He finished his career 142-30 with 30 pins his Senior season. With his State Title, Tim and Willie Miklus became the second set of SEP brothers to win State and the Miklus Mohawk topped the podium once more.
Tim would go on to wrestle at the University of Missouri.
2012 - Champion
2011 - Champion
2010 - 2nd (2A)
2009 - 2nd (2A)
4 time State Finalist, whose appearances stretched from 119 lbs. and 145 lbs., to winning 2 State Championships for Southeast Polk at 171 lbs. (2011) and - an amazing 101 lbs. later - 220 lbs. (2012). His Senior campaign was incredibly dominant, going 47-0, winning the Cheesehead, State, and every other tournament while amassing a ridiculous 368 takedowns - which drew criticism from the wrestling community. His junior year semi-finals OT comeback thriller against Travis Mallo of Mason City was considered by most to be the best match of the 2011 State Tournament.
Willie would go on to wrestle at the University of Missouri and Iowa State University, where he was a combined 4 x All-American.
2012 - Champion
2011 - 5th
2010 - 6th
State Champion in 2012 (170 lbs.) after placing 5th and 6th his Junior and Sophmore years. Meyer's work ethic and conditioning were second to none - he only got stronger as the match went on, earning him the nickname "Diesel". His Senior year Meyer finished the season 46-1, with his lone loss coming at the Cheesehead. Meyer's takedown competition with Miklus brought him to an astounding 352 season takedowns and SEP record 714 career takedowns. Meyer went on to win Junior National Folkstyle and Greco-Roman titles that same year.
Alex would go on to wrestle at the University of Iowa where he was a Div. 1 All-American (6th).
2012 - Champion
2011 - Champion
2010 - Champion
2009 - Champion
Clark is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the history of the State of Iowa. His resume is incomparable: 4 x State Champion (103 lbs., 112 lbs., 119 lbs., and 126 lbs.), 185 wins with 1 loss, Junior Nationals Double Champion (Freestyle Outstanding Wrestler), and 2 x Mr. Iowa Wrestler. More impressive was the manner in which he dominated the competition, only allowing a handful of takedowns (single digits) and recording 122 pins against the toughest competition in the State and Nation. Clark's true competitor mentality was obvious - he preferred the toughest brackets and always found them on the way to rewriting the SEP record books.
Cory went on to wrestle at the University of Iowa, where he was a D1 NCAA Champion, B1G 10 Champion, and a 4 x Div. 1 All - American (5th, 2nd, 2nd, 1st). Cory is 1 of 3 Iowans, EVER, be accomplish 4x State Champion, 4x All-American, and NCAA Champion (along with Eric Juergens and Joe Gibbons).
2006 - Champion
2005 - 3rd
Shandri spent 1 year at Southeast Polk and made it count, winning the State Title at 215 lbs. his senior year. Shandri's State title, combined with Jesse Smith's, gave SEP 2 champions in 2 years at 215 lbs. Shandri's explosive double leg and aura of confidence spread throughout the team, with the team finishing 3rd at State Duals with only 3 State Place Winners.
Nick wrestled at Wartburg and Grand View University.
2005 - Champion
2004 - 4th
Smith was an imposing athlete who used his physicality to take the 215 lbs. State Title his senior year while posting a 33-0 Senior year, along with a 5-second fall. Smith was also a bruising linebacker for SEP and 1st Team All-State Selection that same year.
Jesse went on to play linebacker for Iowa State University where he was All - Big 12.
1998 - Champion
1997 - 2nd
1996 - 3rd
Smith followed his brother Ben Smith's, State Championship with one of his own in 1998 at 171 lbs. Smith was the only State Champion under Coach Joe Horton, but led the trio of he, Greg Roorda, and B.J. Iseminger in breaking the Century (100) individual wins mark. Smith had a undefeated Senior campaign (36-0) and was prominent pinner (90), ending his career 133-14, with a Junior National title and 2 Cadet National titles after finishing 3-2-1 at the Iowa State Tournament.
Smith continued to wrestle for the University of Iowa, where he was a Big 10 Champion, Midlands Champion, and 2 x Div. 1 All-American (3rd & 4th).
1993 - Champion
1992 - 2nd
1991 - 2nd
Smith was the first SEP State Champion in 20 years under Hall of Fame Coach Red Owens. Smith was a slick takedown artist that used brain over brawn to be a 3 time State Finalist, capping off his career with an undefeated Senior year ( 34 - 0) and a State title at 160 lbs. His Finals match was highlighted by a 'Russian Spin' for one last slick takedown. His career wins record stood at 93-19-1 until broken by his brother Jessman. Smith lettered with the Hawkeyes in 1997.
1974 - Champion
1973 - 3rd
Jones with the first State Champion in Southeast Polk history. He accomplished this under the tutelage of legendary coach Red Owens during a time when SEP had tough teams and many finalists, but Jones stands alone as Polk's original State Champion, at 155 lbs. in 1974.