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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Ames High Transfer Denied Athletic Eligibility

Peanut Herrera, Two-Time California State Wrestling Champ and Undefeated High School Wrestler, Forced to Watch From the Sidelines
Herrera+awaiting+his+Quarter+Final+matchup+at+the+Super+32+Wrestling+Tournament+on+October+22%2C+2023%2C+in+Greensboro%2C+North+Carolina.+Photo+by+Allyson+Schwab
Herrera awaiting his Quarter Final matchup at the Super 32 Wrestling Tournament on October 22, 2023, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Photo by Allyson Schwab

Last summer, two-time California state wrestling champion Daniel “Peanut” Herrera elected to forgo his Senior year at Palm Desert High School in the Coachella Valley and to instead attend Ames High. The decision, made with careful consideration from Peanut and his family, came in the wake of his commitment to both wrestle and play football for Iowa State University. Nevertheless, Herrera never played a single snap for the Little Cyclones this past fall, and he will miss the majority of the wrestling season as well. The reason behind this lies in the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s transfer eligibility rules. 

According to the IHSAA’s general transfer rule, a student who transfers from a school in another state or country will be ineligible to compete in interscholastic athletics for a period of 90 consecutive school days. The rule, which only applies to varsity contests, comes with a plethora of exceptions that, coincidentally, don’t apply to Herrera. When asked about the situation, the assistant director of the IHSAA said, “As this eligibility hearing is still active through the appeal process, I cannot comment on it at this time.”

For Herrera, who moved almost two thousand miles away from home to pursue his student-athletic career, this was a very disappointing revelation. “We didn’t take that lightly,” He said. “It hurt pretty bad. It was my senior year of football and I wasn’t going to be able to play. My family took it way worse than I did. They were just flipping out.  We did not feel good at all about it.” The Little Cyclones football team, who finished the year at 3-6, could’ve benefited greatly from having a force like Herrera on the team, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, and was a standout defensive lineman for Palm Desert High School.

Herrera signing his letter of intent to Iowa State University on November 9, 2023, at Ames High. Photo Via Ames High Athletics on Instagram

Herrera and his family carefully went over the transfer rules before deciding to move him to Ames. “We all, my mom and dad, called and made sure that like I was okay with all the rules and all that, but then I guess that there was just something that we somehow missed and it ended up coming back to bite me.” 

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Although Peanut is ineligible for now, his 90-day suspension will be completed during the wrestling season. “I won’t be able to wrestle until two weeks before districts, so about one tournament, and then after that, the road to state starts,” He said. “I’m most excited just to watch my teammates handle business during the season, and then eventually I’ll meet up with them and we’ll run down at the end of the season,” Herrera said with a huge grin on his face. Up until this point, Herrera has never lost a high school wrestling match, standing at 69-0. Sports Illustrated ranked Peanut as one of the best 285-pound high school wrestlers in the nation, and the best in Iowa. In The Des Moines Register’s ranking of the top 50 high school wrestlers in Iowa, Peanut was one of two 285-pounders listed. 

The idea of moving across the country alone would be a daunting thought for most high schoolers, but Herrera seemed to take the change in stride. “I like it here,” He said when asked about the move to Ames. “You know, it’s a nice community, a nice place. It’s pretty small and easy to get around. It’s very pretty. I love it here.” Changing high schools didn’t seem to be much of a problem for Peanut either. “It’s new,” He said. “It looks really nice. I actually like (Ames High) a lot. I like open campus. My old school didn’t have that, so that’s a benefit, but my old school was a little bit bigger, but this campus is really cool.”

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About the Contributor
Brody Lang, Sports and Activities Editor
Brody Lang is a senior at Ames High and currently serves as The Web's Sports and Activities Editor. This is his first year writing for the Web. When he's not writing for The Web, Brody works at Provisions Lot F, plays basketball, runs at Ada Haden Heritage Park, plays piano, and consumes excessive amounts of sports media. He is truly a slave to his passions. After graduating, he plans to attend the University of Iowa.
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  • D

    Denise CastilloJan 28, 2024 at 9:52 am

    Great article!!

  • L

    Liam StamperJan 3, 2024 at 3:23 pm

    Great article!