The freshman is heading to the final.

Woodward-Granger freshman Cody Fisher picked up an 8-5 decision to move into Saturday's 2A 195 final, and frankly, he has the right stuff to stand atop the podium.

"I told my kids two weeks ago. I go, 'if you make the State Tournament, I have a feeling the kid's going to win it,'" Woodward-Granger head coach Dave Smeltzer said. "He's going to pick them one by one and make the finals. So far, he's picked them off, and now he's in the finals.

"He wrestles very smart and very calm. He's got that mentality. If you get out of position, he's going to capitalize on it. He's very good at staying in position."

As the seconds ticked away on Fisher's win, the emotion and excitement seemed to pour out from the coaches' corner, the Hawk supporters and even Fisher, despite needing to hang on for the win.

"It was great," Fisher said. "I'm sure [coach]'s happier than heck and everyone in the stands, all our coaches and me and my teammates."

A student at Madrid, Fisher is going up against one of the most senior-heavy classes at the tournament (nine seniors in 2A 195). He trailed only briefly in the semifinal against Mount Vernon's Sam Moore, but was able to tie up the match before the second ended. 

Moore gave up an escape on the start of the third, and Fisher was able to get two takedowns on the way to his 8-5 win.

"I felt a little rushed at times to score points and and take the lead," said Fisher. "Once he got the first takedown and escape, it just kind of sunk in that I need to pick up the pace a little bit and can't take it as easy was doing."

By making the semifinals, Fisher became the first Woodward-Granger wrestler since Scott Cheri (2004) to be in the championship that late. The win puts Fisher as the first Woodward-Granger finalist since Jay Field placed second in 1995. A win in the final would make Fisher the first Woodward-Granger champion in team history.

"It's a good feeling," Smeltzer said. "We've been busting our butt all year, working hard. We finally got it, and we're all able to enjoy it."

In the final, the freshman will be taking on a junior from West Liberty in Bryce Esmoli (44-2). The junior has two falls - including one in the semifinal - and major decision to his name at the State Tournament. 

Joining him Saturday will be senior Tanner Vermaas. The senior picked up another pin over Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Kyle Benson - his third this season. Coming out with confidence and a swagger, Vermaas steamrolled Benson, picking up a pin in the first round and guaranteeing himself at least sixth at the championships.

"Coming into that match, I had a lot of confidence," said Vermaas. "I was just determined to get the job done."

He has been letting his loss in the opening round fuel his wrestling. He stood on the side of the match and watched his next opponent in Ballard's Ben Lee take a major decision over Visouth Peterschmidt and Creston's Chase Shiltz win 9-2 over Wahlert's Boone McDermott. Using Lee as an example, Vermaas undoubtedly expressed he missed an opportunity.

"That should be me if I was on the top side of the bracket," said Vermaas. "Absolutely, kind of p---ed off right now. Definitely going to take it out on [McDermott]."

Vermaas will have McDermott in his first match Saturday. A win would put him in the third-place match, going up against the winner of Peterschmidt and Harlan's Nick Foss.

Vermaas will be in the first session, starting at 10 a.m. Fisher will be in the second session, starting at 6 p.m.