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Thread: Third Ballweg brother joins UI wrestling

  1. #1

    Default Third Ballweg brother joins UI wrestling

    Third Ballweg brother joins UI wrestling
    By Andy Hamilton ? Iowa City Press-Citizen ? July 8, 2009

    The recruiting process for Jake Ballweg officially started July 1 when college wrestling coaches could contact prospective high school seniors for the first time.

    Iowa coach Tom Brands called early that morning, but no other coaches dialed Ballweg?s number.

    They probably didn?t want to waste their minutes trying to recruit against the Hawkeyes and family ties.

    ?(Brands) called me that morning and talked to me to see what was up and kind of get on the same page a little bit with recruiting,? Ballweg said. ?I pretty much knew this is where I wanted to be.?

    Ballweg had his college plans figured out long before Brands called last week, and the two-time state champion from Waverly-Shell Rock finalized his decision Wednesday night when he became the first wrestler to verbally commit to Iowa?s 2010 class.

    Ballweg, whose older brothers Matt and Mark are on the Iowa roster, compiled a 133-6 record during his first three seasons at Waverly-Shell Rock. He was a state runner-up at 112 pounds as a freshman before claiming state titles at 119 and 135 the past two seasons.

    Ballweg is ranked the No. 58 recruit nationally in the 2010 class by InterMat. He is projected as a 141-pounder in college ? the same weight Mark Ballweg competed at last year in open competition as a redshirting freshman. Matt Ballweg, Iowa?s starting 157-pounder last season, will be a junior this fall.

    ?Ever since I was a little kid I?ve liked Iowa, and I really liked the atmosphere down here and the coaches and the whole situation with my brothers and sister down here,? Jake said. ?It just makes for a great place to wrestle and go to school.?
    RIP Jacob Schlottke; KR1963 and rpayton

  2. #2

    Default Re: Third Ballweg brother joins UI wrestling

    Judging from his freestyle success lately, this one is going to be the best of the bunch.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Third Ballweg brother joins UI wrestling

    Jake is probably the best of the Ballweg's.
    RIP Jacob Schlottke; KR1963 and rpayton

  4. #4

    Default Re: Third Ballweg brother joins UI wrestling

    Third Ballweg’s a charm
    9 July 2009
    Waverly-Shell Rock's Jake Ballweg controls the leg of Justin Koethe of Iowa City West in a 135 pound match during the Class 3A state semifinals at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines in February. Ballweg gave an oral commitment to wrestle at the University of Iowa next season. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

    Jake Ballweg’s philosophy was simple: Why look for something better when you have been introduced to the best?

    So, it was no surprise when the Waverly-Shell Rock senior gave an oral commitment to wrestle for University of Iowa Coach Tom Brands and the two-time defending national champion Hawkeyes, becoming the first recruit of their 2010 class.

    “Why look for something better when it’s all right there,” Ballweg said. “I’ve always liked Iowa. I could just see myself there easily.”

    No other schools were in the running, according to Ballweg. Only Iowa was in his sights.

    “I didn’t have a second school at all,” he said. “No other schools really called me.”

    Ballweg praised the coaching staff calling it “one of the best in the country.” He will join his brothers, Matt and Mark, on the Hawkeyes roster. Matt, a junior, was the varsity 157-pounder while Mark, a sophomore, wrestled at 133. Reuniting with family should allow for a smooth transition.

    “When I was a little kid I imagined myself going to Iowa with my brothers,” said the youngest Ballweg, whose sister, Jessica, also attends Iowa. “It’s pretty special I think.”

    The Hawkeyes are getting a special wrestler. Ballweg is a three-time state finalist, winning titles as a sophomore and junior. He claimed the Class 3A 135-pound title in February and the 119 crown as a sophomore. He owns a career mark of 133-6, leading the Go-Hawks to the last two traditional and dual state titles.

    Waverly-Shell Rock coach Rick Caldwell learned of his wrestler’s decision indirectly, but was not surprised by the choice.

    “It’s a perfect fit for Jake and for Iowa wrestling,” Caldwell said. “He’s been around the program quite a bit. He knows what they’re about and the direction that it’s heading. I think that’s a real plus.”

    Ballweg said his style is similar to the “Iowa Style” — an aggressive, hard-nosed and physical approach on the mat.

    “Jake’s a hammer,” Caldwell said. “I think he fits right in the mold that Coach Brands and those guys are looking for.”

    Contact the writer: (319) 368-8679 or
    RIP Jacob Schlottke; KR1963 and rpayton

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