In 2018, 34 Iowa high school wrestlers earned All-American honors at the Cadet and Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota.
Cody Goodwin/The Register
The Northern Iowa wrestling program added another commitment to its 2019 recruiting class.
Dayton Porsch, a senior at Hoxie High School in Kansas, gave his pledge to the Panthers on Tuesday night. Porsch is a three-time Kansas state champion who projects at 149/157 pounds.
“I was looking for a place that felt like home and I really felt like (Cedar Falls) was a home-like place,” Porsch told the Register. “It’s a long drive for me — it’s an eight-hour drive and all I’ve ever known is my home, but it felt more like a family than a team.
“I really liked that.”
In Porsch, UNI is getting a tough and talented middleweight on the rise. He’s won state titles at 120, 132 and 145 pounds, and has compiled a 111-1 overall record heading into his senior season at Hoxie.
Porsch also has experience in the international styles, as he took second in freestyle at the Western Regional in Las Vegas in April, and won gold in both freestyle and greco-roman at the Southern Plains Regional in June.
Porsch is joining a Northern Iowa program full of future potential. The Panthers recently finished 24th at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships behind one All-American — Jacob Holschlag at 197 pounds. The 2018-19 Panther lineup with three past All-Americans and another three that could threaten the podium in March.
“I’ve grown up always working on stuff,” Porsch said. “I really liked when I heard that John Deere put a lot of money into a program at UNI to train people to work for them. My plan has always been to come back and be a mechanic for a local John Deere dealer. That really sparked an interest.
“Just being around a bunch of the guys on the team and seeing how much they cared for me — I mean, I stayed with Max Thomsen, and he took me fishing and that’s something I love to do. I just really felt at home.”
Porsch becomes the Panthers’ fourth 2019 commitment, joining Parker Keckeisen, a Wisconsin product who’s ranked fourth nationally at 170 pounds by The Open Mat; Kyle Gollhofer, the No. 17 126-pounder and a three-time state champion out of Georgia; and Southeast Polk’s Lance Runyon, a three-time state medalist and past Cadet double All-American.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.