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Eric DeVos can only guess how many miles he?s put on his Jeep Cherokee in recent years just crisscrossing Iowa to tangle with the other top wrestlers his age.

The Waverly-Shell Rock state champion has made countless trips to Cedar Falls, where he occasionally gets on the mat with Denver-Tripoli?s Dylan Peters. He?s made dozens of stops in Iowa City to workout with West High?s Phillip Laux and spent several weekends in Des Moines training with Southeast Polk?s Cory Clark.

The odometer on DeVos? Jeep, like many of the opponents who have stepped on the mat with the top wrestlers in Iowa?s high school class of 2012, has taken a beating during the group?s pursuit of greatness.

?In the past three years, I?d say (I?ve driven) at least 10,000 miles just for workouts,? DeVos said. ?I put a lot of miles on it, that?s for sure.?

Yes, there?s competition for the attention of college coaches, for scholarship money and for state titles. But there?s also camaraderie with the 2012 class.

?We want each other to succeed,? DeVos said. ?We want to make each other better. I look at it like you want to win the state championship and that?s your goal, but it?s really about getting better, making improvements and developing yourself as a wrestler.?

Said Laux: ?It motivates me to get better every day. I have a great opportunity to practice with them. I can test myself to see where I?m at and see what I need to work on. They help me out and we?re all friends, no matter what.?

This is a bountiful crop for the state. Iowans occupied nine of the top 82 spots in list of the nation?s top 100 college prospects in the 2012 class.

?Everywhere you look (in Iowa) there?s some top-level kids,? Urbandale coach Mike Moreno said. ?Every year you?re going to have some top kids in Iowa, but it seems like the level some of these kids are at in this senior class is pretty crazy.?

The 2012 class is positioned to write its own chapter in the Iowa high school record books.

Only five wrestlers in Iowa history have finished their high school careers without a loss and two in the same class have never done it.

For Complete Article by Andy Hamilton, Des Moines Register