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Newman senior poised for banner final season

Ivey growing

Newman senior Bryce Ivey went 38-10 last season and qualified for the state meet. He went 0-2 in Champaign, leaving him hungry for a better showing this winter.
Newman senior Bryce Ivey went 38-10 last season and qualified for the state meet. He went 0-2 in Champaign, leaving him hungry for a better showing this winter.

Bryce Ivey likes to live life to the extreme.

The former youth motocross state champion hopes last year's state appearance was the kick-start he needed for bigger and better things his senior season.

Fresh off Newman's state football championship, Ivey has his sights set on another title.

"I'd love to place at state," said Ivey, who finished 38-10 last season. "That's my main goal. I want to make it to the state finals."

Ivey has been a wrestler since third grade. But, that wasn't his first sports love.

"The first sport I ever did was I raced dirt bikes," he said. "We'd go to Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania. I won state three times in points."

Motocross is mostly in his past, but could also be in his future.

"I still ride sometimes. I've always wanted to get back to it," Ivey said. "Once I'm done with high school, maybe I'll buy a dirt bike. Maybe I'm crazy or stupid or something."

Ivey has been a varsity wrestler since he was a freshman who won 40 matches, but last year was the first time he reached state. He went 0-2, and was unhappy with his performance there.

"It was a lot to handle for me," he said. "I had myself so worked up before the match that when I went out there, my energy was just gone."

Ivey considers himself a much better wrestler now than he's ever been. He's learned valuable lessons along the way, including one about cutting weight.

"My sophomore year I cut 23 pounds, and I did it all wrong," he said. "By the end of the year, I was just miserable. I had nothing left in me at all."

Ivey has a bit of fame in the family. His uncle, Kelly O'Brien, who starred at Sterling High School, was an Iowa Hawkeye football player from 1982-1985.

Newman has had a decade run of having at least one wrestler win a state championship. Head coach Steve Davis, who is entering his 16th season, thinks Ivey is among the Comets with the opportunity to extend that streak.

"We put on the back of our shirts, 'Who's next?,' with a list of our state champions," Davis said. "He wants to be the one with his name on the back of the shirt."

Davis remembers seeing Ivey as a youngster and knowing that he would develop into a standout.

"He's not shy about anything," Davis said. "That's the kind of kid you need. They have to have an edge to them. I always think of him like [Dennis] Rodman. He's the kid you want on your team, and not to go against."

Fellow senior Jake Snow won a state title as a freshman, and sophomore Brady Rude has been a dominant wrestler for years but was injured last season.

"Jake's already won one. He knows how to do it," Davis said. "Brady Rude is a phenomenal wrestler. I expect him to have a shot at a title as well."

Team-wise, Davis said the Comets have a strong middle of the lineup but are very inexperienced at the upper and lower weights.

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