A stack of note cards said everything. Nobody gets left behind in this group of Logan-Magnolia wrestlers.
In an exercise before the season began, each grappler wrote down a list of goals they wanted to accomplish. The consensus: Team success matters most.
"I think all of us said, 'Make the state duals,' " 145-pound junior Austin Haner said. "And we want to place pretty high."
The fourth-seeded Panthers (24-2) made it to Des Moines after claiming their sectional meet and winning twice at last week's regional duals. They meet fifth-seeded Sibley-Ocheyedan (20-1) at 11 a.m. Wednesday in a Class 1-A quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena.
Lo-Ma has long set itself apart for its group approach to wrestling. Coach Kent Kersten owns the most career dual victories (609 entering Wednesday) in state history. The program will represent western Iowa at state duals for a third straight season and 13th time in the last 15 years.
The team finished fifth a season ago and was seventh in 2014.
"We're ranked right up there, and I think the guys know that (when) we get out there it's very possible we could be in the top four," Kersten said. "And a lot of them put down (on their cards) they thought we could be the top two or four."
Five Panthers will take part in the individual tournament that starts Thursday: district champs Remington Meeker (113 pounds) and Drake Johnsen (195) as well as runners-up Garret Thompson (126), Bo Geise (132) and BradyWilson (152). But the dual success means every member of the program — including junior varsity contributors — is rewarded with a trip to Des Moines.
"Words really can't explain it at this point," said senior heavyweight Christian Jensen, who didn't advance past sectionals. "It's just about going out and trying to get the whole thing and try to bring home the gold."
Lo-Ma begins against a Sibley-Ocheyedan unit that brings seven individual state qualifiers. It will wrestle two other to-be-determined opponents Wednesday in the eight-team field.
Kersten said everyone in the program feels the momentum that comes with three straight appearances at state duals. The run also provided motivation during the season to wrestlers who again thirsted to experience competition on the state's biggest stage.
"They just wanted to get there," Kersten said. "They've been there, they know what it's like, they really want to go back."
Clash of unbeatens set in 2-A
One program emerged unscathed from the Hawkeye Ten Conference dual season and tournament. The other did the same in the Missouri River Conference.
Now Creston/Orient-Macksburg and Sergeant Bluff-Luton are the only undefeated dual teams left in Class 2-A. Something has to give when the western Iowa powers square off in a state dual quarterfinal at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Third-seeded Creston (17-0) and sixth-seeded SB-L (14-0) are separated by 180miles, but their matchup should be much closer after both squads mostly dominated all comers this winter. The winner gets No. 2 Davenport Assumption (17-1) or No. 7 Washington (31-1) in a 1 p.m. semifinal while the loser moves to the consolation side.
Creston is making its seventh straight duals appearance — and 12th overall — while trying to improve on a fourth-place showing each of the last two years. Its experience a season ago was drastically altered when now-graduated starter Tayler Pettit nearly died after suffering a seizure and cardiac arrest between duals.
The Panthers bring eight individual state qualifiers into Wednesday, led by district champions Wyatt Thompson (138 pounds), Mitchel Swank (145), Cameron Leith (160), Chase Shiltz (170), SethMaitlen (195) and KadonHulett (220) as well as runners-up Jacob Goodson (113) and Trevor Marlin (126).
Sergeant Bluff-Luton counters with five individual qualifiers. District winners are Rhyker Sims (120), Brayden Curry (126), Preston Dunn (152) and Sean Kellogg (170). Kyle Benson (182) was a second-place finisher.
The Warriors will make their third state duals appearance. They last went in 2014 and took sixth.