James Cherry turns sterling season on mat into NIACC offer

Webster City senior James Cherry (front, center) is bound for North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City where he’ll join the Trojans’ wrestling program. He signed his letter of intent with NIACC on Friday. Joining him at the signing were his parents, (front) Jesse and Jenny Cherry, (back, left to right) NIACC assistant coach Don Berry, Webster City head coach Chad Hisler and NIACC head coach Steve Kelly. Submitted photo

WEBSTER CITY — James Cherry’s wrestling resume was bolstered by a state tournament surge last month. He hopes to carry that momentum onto the college scene.

Cherry, a Webster City senior, signed a letter of intent to wrestling for North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City next winter. He’ll head north following his graduation from Webster City later this spring.

Ranked at 220 pounds in Class 2A throughout the 2017-18 season, Cherry won a bronze medal at the traditional state tournament in Des Moines. His three day run through the bracket included three victories over ranked individuals and his lone loss came at the hands of top-ranked and eventual state champion Boone McDermott of Dubuque Wahlert in the quarterfinals.

Cherry put together a 42-6 senior campaign that included a North Central Conference individual title, as well as sectional and district crowns. He was the Lynx highest place-winner at state.

Cherry compiled a 67-14 record during his stint in a Lynx singlet. Stuck behind heavyweight Cooper Lawson as a freshman and sophomore, he trimmed down to 220 pounds to make the lineup as a junior and senior. He played football at around 250 pounds and was a starting nose tackle for the WCHS team that was the 3A state runner-up in 2016. He followed it up with a all-district season on the gridiron in 2017.

James Cherry celebrates winning a Class 2A district title at 220 pounds last month. The WCHS senior will wrestle collegiately at NIACC. DFJ file photo/Troy Banning

Cherry amassed a 19-7 wrestling record as a junior and was a conference runner-up. He went 6-1 in spot duty as a sophomore.