There are no sick days when a fourth state wrestling title is within reach.
Had it been any other week, James Burks wouldn’t have wrestled the way he was feeling from a stomach bug that hit him Wednesday.
“I was a little nervous, but I was going to go no matter what,” the Omaha Burke senior said Saturday after becoming the first of two four-time state champions, along with Tyler Pawloski of Class D Pleasanton.
“It made me super tired. I’d get through the first and second period, and by third period I was gassed. I tried to keep it out of sight from my opponents.”
His closest match was in Thursday’s quarterfinals, holding on for a 9-8 victory. Saturday’s win was 13-1 over Columbus senior Avery McMeekin.
Pawloski, who missed the first month of his senior season with a torn ACL from last summer, watched it while awaiting his final.
“After the Parade of Champions, I came back here (in the staging area) and walked around, trying to mellow out because I knew I’d be the last one up. I knew it would be hours,” he said. “When the 160 came up, I came out just trying to get a feel of what it would be like. (Burks) won and everyone erupted, and I was trying to get a sense of what it would be like.
“But you don’t actually know until you get out there.”
Pawloski ground out a 9-5 decision at 132 pounds over Neligh-Oakdale’s Andrew Herley, whom he had beaten twice in the past month. Pawloski became the state’s 32nd four-time champ.
In some of the tightest team races in years, Millard South won Class A for the fourth time in five years, and Grand Island Northwest won Class B and Plainview won Class D for the first time. Valentine had clinched its third title in a row prior to the finals at the CHI Health Center, which drew 10,069.
Millard South clinched its crown with Isaac Trumble’s first-period pin of Trajen Linear of Papillion-La Vista South at 182. Trumble was the Patriots’ only champion in four finals.
Columbus and Burke tied for second, nine points back. Defending champion Lincoln East was a half-point behind them.
Northwest and Omaha Skutt were tied after Friday in Class B, but Northwest got to the finals with a nine-point lead on the seven-time defending champs. Skutt won two of its four matches, Nick Stoltenberg at 138 and Eli Jansen at 182 for a tie that lasted until Grady Griess — the Vikings’ only champion — avenged last year’s finals loss to Wahoo’s Sam Kolterman 12-3 at 195. Each team lost its last final.
Valentine had a pair of three-time winners, Caleb Long at 160 and junior Gage Krolikowski at 132. Chris Williams won at 113 to help the Badgers outscore runner-up Broken Bow 165-129.
Plainview never let Fremont Bergan have the lead in the finals, though the Knights were within a point twice. The Pirates had two champions, Eli Lanham at 106 and Nate Christensen at 126.
After his fourth title, Burks was headed for DJ’s Dugout for chicken strips and fries and to “drink a lot of pop.”
He is the second wrestler in Class A with 60 wins in a season, following Colton Wolfe of Columbus two years ago. He leaves for Northern State with a state-record 216 career wins.
Burke coach Wes Boehm said Burks wrestled perhaps his smartest match of the tournament against McMeekin.
“He slowed the pace down, only took shots that were there and not try to force anything stupid,” Boehm said. “That’s the type of kid he is and why he’s a four-timer.”
Class A: Unbeaten Isaac Trumble punishes foes en route to individual, team titles for Patriots
The Punisher and the pups put the Patriots atop the podium.
Isaac Trumble won an individual title, and top-ranked Millard South got more than half of its points from freshmen and sophomores to win the Class A team title Saturday.
Trumble, nicknamed “The Punisher,” pinned Papillion-La Vista South’s Trajen Linear in the first period of their 182-pound final, a meeting between unbeaten juniors.
It avenged a loss in last year’s final, and was Millard South’s lone win in four title matches. It also clinched the team crown for the Patriots, who saw a string of three straight Class A titles end a year ago.
Millard South got 85½ of their 166½ points from underclassmen — 43 from freshmen Antrell Taylor and Tyler Antoniak, 42 1⁄2 from sophomores Caleb Coyle and Conor Knopick.
“We had a lot of guys getting us bonus points all week,” Millard South coach Nate Olson said. “I think that separated us.”
Less than five minutes after they were handed their trophy, Olson had already added up the returning team points.
“I’m really looking forward to next year, too,” he said.
Taylor and Antoniak ran into top-ranked buzzsaws in their finals matches.
Taylor led Kearney’s Phillip Moomey in the third period of their 132-pound clash before Moomey, a Cornell recruit, reversed fortunes and racked up late back points for a 7-3 win.
Antoniak was pinned by Lincoln East’s Maxx Mayfield at 138.
Caleb Coyle, Millard South’s other finalist, lost 3-2 in an ultimate tiebreaker at 106 when he couldn’t get out from under Bellevue East’s Gabe Grice.
But there were seven medalists for the Patriots, enough to give the program its eighth team title since 2005 — and first under Olson.
“They stepped up,” Trumble said of his younger teammates. “It really takes everyone on the team to get a state championship. We had 14 qualifiers, and that’s what it took.”
Second-ranked Omaha Burke and No. 5 Columbus tied for second place, nine points behind the Patriots. Defending champion Lincoln East finished fourth, a half-point back.
Seniors James Burks (160 pounds) and Dillyn Miller (195) were joined by junior Jakason Burks (120) in winning back-to-back titles to give Burke three champions for the second time in program history. James Burks won his fourth as the Bulldogs finished second for the third time in eight seasons.
Columbus split championship matches, getting a title from junior Kasten Grape at 220 pounds. It was the Discoverers’ first top-two finish since 2001.
East had winners in Mayfield and senior Chance Fry, who became Lincoln’s first three-time champion with his title at 152.
Millard South 166.5, Columbus 157.5, Omaha Burke 157.5, Lincoln East 157, Kearney 143, Omaha Central 88, Grand Island 83, Papillion-La Vista 77.5, Bellevue East 70, Papillion-La Vista South 63.5, Norfolk 54, Millard West 52.5, Omaha Bryan 47, Omaha Westside, 47, Gretna 45, Lincoln High 38, Omaha Creighton Prep 34, South Sioux City 33, Millard North 30.5, Elkhorn South 30, Lincoln Northeast 30, Lincoln Southeast 27, Fremont 19, Elkhorn 17, Bellevue West 12.5, Lincoln Pius X 11, Omaha Northwest 8, Lincoln North Star 7, Omaha North 7, Lincoln Southwest 5, Omaha Benson 4, Omaha South 2.
106: Gabe Grice, Bellevue East, UTB Caleb Coyle, Millard South, 3-2. 113: Garrett Grice, Bellevue East, dec. Emilio Haynes, Omaha Central, 4-3. 120: Jakason Burks, Omaha Burke, pinned Nathan Rizek, Lincoln East, 3:47. 126: Camden Russell, Millard West, dec. Ladamien Sturvicant, Omaha Bryan, 2-1. 132: Phillip Moomey, Kearney, dec. Antrell Taylor, Millard South, 7-3. 138: Maxx Mayfield, Lincoln East, pinned Tyler Anyoniak, Millard South, 4:16. 145: Nick James, Kearney, dec. Levi May, Millard West, 9-2. 152: Chance Fry, Lincoln East, maj. dec., Cole Price, Papillion-La Vista, 12-1. 160: James Burks, Omaha Burke, maj. dec. Avery McMeekin, Columbus, 13-1. 170: Isaiah Alford, Lincoln, maj. dec. Cole Huss, Gretna, 16-6. 182: Isaac Trumble, Millard South, pinned Trajen Linear, Papillion-La Vista South, 1:35. 195: Dillyn Miller, Omaha Burke, pinned TJ Huber, Gretna, 0:31. 220: Kasten Grape, Columbus, dec. Tony Pray, Creighton Prep, 8-4. 285: Connor Cowling, Norfolk, pinned Cade Haberman, Omaha Westside, 0:52.
106: Juan Pedro, dec., Brandon Bauster, Lincoln East, 7-3. 113: Blake Cushing, Grand Island, dec. Hunter Nagatani, Kearney, 11-5. 120: Rylie Steele, Kearney, dec. Tanner Kobza, Columbus, 7-0. 126: Conor Knopick, Millard south, maj. dec., Daniel Derosier, Bellevue East, 11-1. 132: Carter Kucera, Columbus, pinned Jeromy Nielsen, Omaha Burke, 3:31. 138: Gauge McBride, Kearney, dec. Peyton Meink, 9-2. 145: Creighton Baughman, Papillion-La Vista, pinned Deon Davis, Omaha Central, 1:57. 152: Deson Stapleton, Omaha Burke, pinned Justin Davis, Omaha Central, 2:11. 160: Nolan Johnston, Omaha Westside, dec. Liam Kirk, Elkhorn South, 5-4. 170: Grant Lyman, Lincoln East, pinned Blayze Standley, Columbus, 2:25. 182: Cedric Relford, Elkhorn, dec. Andrew Muthersbaugh, 8-5. 195: Josh Trumble, Millard South, pinned Anthony Deanda, Columbus, 2:31. 220: Jaylon Walker, Omaha Bryan, dec. Luiz Quezada, South Sioux City, 9-5. 285: Ethan McPhillips, Grand Island, dec. Jacob Frezell-McClinton, Omaha Central, 1-0.
106: Archer Heelan, Kearney, maj. dec. Michael Colling, Omaha Westside, 13-5. 113: Clay Cerny, Columbus, tech. fall Ethan Batterton, Lincoln Southeast, 16-0. 120: Peyton Martinez, South Sioux City, pinned Solomon Allerheiligen, Millard North, 2:55. 126: Cody Carlson, Fremont, by forfeit Cody Niemiec, Papillion-La Vista. 132: Breckin Sperling, Lincoln East, by forfeit Nolan Niemiec, Papillion-La Vista. 138: Blaine Miller, Omaha Burke, dec. Preston Mort, Lincoln Northeast, 10-8. 145: Caleb Connor, Papillion-La Vista South, pinned Trey Nielsen, Omaha Burke, 2:40. 152: Alex Irizarry, dec. Ethan Valencia, Millard West, 5-1. 160: Carter Abels, Kearney, pinned Brogan Zegers, Lincoln Southeast, 0:32. 170: Kale Dawson, dec., Blake Forsythe, Norfolk, 7-4. 182: Carson Zwingman dec. Oscar Richter, Grand Island, 7-1. 195: Jacob Hilding, Omaha Central, pinned Anthony Stege, Lincoln Northeast, 1:28. 220: Gavin Peitzmeier, Millard South, pinned Chris karmazin, 1:08. 285: Peyton Spencer, Lincoln Northeast, by forfeit, Jack Hasz, Creighton Prep.
Class B: Grady Griess powers Grand Island Northwest over seven-time defending champ Skutt
Not many gave Grand Island Northwest a chance after Thursday.
Sitting in 11th place after the first day of the state championships, the Vikings appeared to have little chance of winning their first wrestling championship.
But Northwest got the job done.
Led by Grady Griess’ 195-pound title, the Vikings knocked off seven-time defending champ Omaha Skutt 96-91. It’s the second time in 22 years that the SkyHawks didn’t win the Class B title.
“I’m speechless,” Northwest coach Brian Sybrandts said. “It was just a great effort by our team.”
Griess helped in a big way. After falling to Wahoo’s Sam Kolterman in last year’s 195 final, the second-rated Griess reversed fortunes with a 12-3 major decision.
“I have no words,” Griess said. “I can’t believe what just happened.”
Kolterman was No. 1 and 43-0 entering the match, but Griess gained the upper hand when he locked him in a cradle and put him on his back for three near-fall points and a 7-3 lead. He did it again in the second period.
Griess said the first cradle gave him confidence.
“I figured I would win it at that point, even though I had two periods left,” Griess said. “I just kept going at it.”
Sybrandts said he’s happy to see Griess get the title after coming up short against Kolterman last year.
“I told him before the match that nobody believes in us but us, and nobody’s giving us a shot to win this so let’s go get this,” Sybrandts said. “He was on a mission and attacking from all angles. It was just amazing. I couldn’t be prouder for him.”
Griess’ win came the round after Skutt rallied to catch the Vikings at 91 on wins by Nick Stoltenberg at 138 and Eli Jansen at 182.
Still, the SkyHawks had one more chance. A pin or technical fall by junior Caleb Lazure, who was a state champion as a freshman, would be enough to pull out a win. Instead, North Platte’s Darian Diaz won the 126 final 10-3.
“Knowing that I gave us the lead at that point was great,” Griess said.
Grady Arends couldn’t come up with the same success for Northwest as he fell 10-5 to Quinton Chavez of Gering at 106. Arends had about locked up the title for Northwest earlier when he threw Chavez to his back in the second period, but Chavez got out of it and scored a reversal.
“He really battled out there,” Sybrandts said. “I thought we had a shot to pin him there, but Chavez got out of it. I was so happy to see him compete for a state title.”
A big factor, after Northwest and Skutt shared the lead going into Saturday, was the consolation rounds. After falling in his first-round match, Cooper Kiser had four straight pins before finishing fourth at 220 pounds. Collin Quandt defeated Gering’s Nate Rocheleau 5-4 in the third-place match at 126 after falling to Rocheleau in the quarterfinals.
“I can’t say enough about what those two kids did for us,” Sybrandts said. “Those wins were just absolutely huge for us.”
Griess said winning an individual and team title was a great way to end the season.
“There’s no better feeling,” Griess said. “It was a total team effort and we just worked hard for this.”
Skutt passed Hastings for its runner-up trophy. The Tigers had one finalist, 170-pound champion Damen Pape, and finished third with 88½ points.
Grand Island Northwest 96, Omaha Skutt 91, Hastings 88.5, Wahoo 83, York 76, North Platte 73, Scottsbluff 73, Plattsmouth 67.5, Aurora 66, Columbus Lakeview 66, Lexington 65, Waverly 63, Sidney 59.5, Schuyler 57, Blair 55.5, Cozad 49, Beatrice 43, Gering 39, Chadron 36, Fairbury 31, Central City 29, Ralston 28, Raymond Central 28, Norris 26, Adams Central 24, Gothenburg 24, Wayne 23.5, Bennington 21, Crete 21, O’Neill 21, Ogallala 19, Boys Town 18, Seward 17, Alliance 16, Nebraska City 14, McCook 12, Auburn 11, Conestoga 10, Holdrege 7, West Point-Beemer 7, Columbus Scotus 4, Elkhorn Mount Michael 0, Falls City 0, Omaha Concordia 0, Omaha Gross 0.
106: Quinton Chavez, Gering, dec. Grady Arends, GI Northwest, 10-5. 113: Paul Garcia, Scottsbluff, dec. Jace Russman, Cozad, 5-2. 120: Jackson Nielsen, Blair, dec. William Lomax, Boys Town, 3-2. 126: Darian Diaz, North Platte, dec. Caleb Lazure, Skutt, 10-3. 132: Wyatt Hotz, Gothenburg, dec. Jerryd Hernandez, Scottsbluff, 7-5. 138: Nicholas Stoltenberg, Skutt, dec. Trey Arellano, Sidney, 8-4. 145: Devontae Gutierrez, Scottsbluff, dec. Trystan Berry, Lexington, 13-7. 152: Kaleb Canoyer, Waverly, dec. Harrison Gocke, York, 3-2. 160: Riley Kopf, Lexington, dec. Zeth Gerkensmeyer, Columbus Lakeview, 5-4. 170: Damen Pape, Hastings, dec. Evan Canoyer, Waverly, 5-2. 182: Eli Jansen, Skutt, major dec. Jacob Frenzen, Columbus Lakeview, 16-5. 195: Grady Griess, GI Northwest, major dec. Sam Kolterman, Wahoo, 12-3). 220: Jesus Maganda, Schuyler, dec. Devin Pfeifer, Plattsmouth, 5-3. 285: Jack Sutton, Wahoo, dec. Noah Stafursky, York, 7-0.
106: Zach Ourada, Skutt, dec. Caden Svoboda, Aurora, 3-1 SV-1. 113: Tanner York, Beatrice, major dec. Jaylan Ruffin, North Platte, 14-6. 120: Dyson Kunz, Central City, dec. Drew Arnold, Beatrice, 3-2. 126: Collin Quandt, GI Northwest, dec. Nate Rocheleau, Gering, 5-4. 132: Trevor Kluck, Aurora, dec. Gage Stokey, Ogallala, 5-2. 138: Juan Vergara, Wayne, dec. Miguel Roman, Schuyler, 3-1. 145: Easton Albrecht, Raymond Central, dec. Seth Wonch, Aurora, 2-0. 152: Carter Pursley, Aurora, pinned Zane Bennett, Wahoo, 1:52. 160: Jake Lemmon, Chadron, pinned Gabriel James, Ralston, 2:09. 170: Ace York, Fairbury, dec. Gavyn Brauer, North Platte, 11-8. 182: Seth Firmanik, Fairbury, dec. Kolton Johnson, Crete, 3-0. 195: Evan Morara, Hastings, dec. Drake Rader, Plattsmouth, 5-3. 220: Garett Menke, Bennington, dec. Cooper Kiser, GI Northwest, 3-0. 285: Trevor Brown, Waverly, dec. Josh Stallbaumer, Cozad, 4-3.
106: Ty Rainforth, O’Neill, dec. Austin Munier, 9-2. 113: Thomas Ivey, York, dec. Tristen Obermiller, Adams Central, 4-2. 120: Paul Ruff, Alliance, dec. Brock Little, North Platte. 126: Trevor Reinke, Beatrice, won by forfeit Gage Perry, Columbus Lakeview. 132: Izaak Hunsley, Hastings, major dec. over Brady Fago, Lexington, 9-0. 138: Mason Brumbaugh, Hastings, pinned Joel Lemburg, Columbus Lakeview, 2:30. 145: Brody Raines, Sidney, dec. Kole Ligouri, Auburn, 9-4. 152: KC Higer, Sidney, dec. Carson Core, Seward, 4-3. 160: Caden Yrkoski, Schuyler, dec. Cash Arensdorf, North Platte, 3-0. 170: Damen Pape, Hastings, dec. Evan Canoyer, Waverly, 5-2. 182: Alec Langan, McCook, dec. Clark Riesen, Chadron, 2-1. 195: Dylan Meyer, Norris, dec. Conner Brown, Adams Central, 7-3. 220: Douglas Lazo, York, 32-8 dec. Gabe Rand, Blair, 15-9. 285: Trevor Nielsen, Plattsmouth, pinned David Hernandez, Ralston, :22.
Class C: Rule of three for Valentine as Badgers claim third consecutive team title
Good things came in threes for Valentine on Saturday.
The Badgers rolled to their third consecutive team title, scoring 165 points to finish comfortably ahead of runner-up Broken Bow’s 129. Valentine is the first team in Class C to win three straight titles.
“It’s amazing to do this with my brothers before I move on,” Valentine senior Caleb Long said.
Long, who won the 160-pound championship, was one of the Badgers’ three individual champs. Junior Gage Krolikowski (132) and sophomore Chris Williams (113) also won titles.
Long and Krolikowski both became three-time champions. The Badgers had another three-time champion, Jordan Kelber, graduate last year.
Long never thought he’d be in that company.
“If you would have told me after my freshman year that I just finished an undefeated senior season, I’d be laughing at you,” Long said. “I had such a rough go (as a freshman) that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wrestle anymore.”
Long qualified for state as a freshman, but went 0-2 in Omaha. He finished that year with 10 losses. He had a total of six losses the past three years.
“It’s amazing what offseason work can turn around,” said Long, who will wrestle for Iowa State next year.
Long won his third title with a 15-6 major decision over Dylan Vodicka of David City. Long built a 12-3 lead through two periods.
Williams, a junior who can become a three-time champ next season, pulled out a 7-5 victory over David City Aquinas’ Zach Zitek, who entered Saturday unbeaten.
Then in the final Class C match of the day, Krolikowski picked up a 7-1 win over Milford’s Jeaven Scdoris. That gave the junior a 111-1 career record and three titles.
He finished his match in time to watch the final seconds of Pleasanton’s Tyler Pawolski’s match as he became a four-time champion.
Krolikowski just smiled when asked if that could be him next February. For now, he’ll just enjoy his third individual title and his team’s third.
“We just want to come down here and wrestle like we do in the practice room,” Krolikowski said. “We have great practice partners.”
Valentine 165, Broken Bow 129, David City 120.5, Battle Creek 94.5, David City Aquinas 91, Arlington 70, Logan View 61, Wood River 60, Milford 55, Boone Central/Newman Grove 46, Kearney Catholic 45, Malcolm 45, Sutton 42.5, Pierce 42, Perkins County 41, Bridgeport 40, Johnson County Central 31, Centennial 29, Oakland-Craig 29, Syracuse 29, North Bend Central 28.5, Gibbon 28, Wahoo Neumann 27, Fillmore Central 26, Winnebago 25, Chase County 23, Ord 20, Tekamah-Herman 20, Centura 17, Norfolk Catholic 17, Ravenna 17, Cambridge 16, Hartington Cedar Catholic 16, Hershey 16, Loomis/Bertrand 16, Cross County/Osceola 15, Hemingford 15, Gordon-Rushville 13, Twin River 11, St. Paul 9, Wakefield-Allen 9, Louisville 8, Shelby-Rising City 6, Stanton 6, HTRS 4, Lincoln Christian 4, South Central Nebraska Unified District No. 5 4, Southern Valley 4, BRLD 3, Freeman 3, Minden 3, Wilber-Clatonia 3, Kimball 2, Madison 2, Doniphan-Trumbull 0, Mitchell 0, Ponca 0, Yutan 0.
106: Casey Benavides, Bridgeport, pinned Dylan Ancheta, Wood River, 1:30. 113: Chris Williams, Valentine, dec. Zach Zitek, DC Aquinas, 7-5. 120: Caydon Mccracken, Battle Creek, dec. Hunter Gilmore, Arlington, 4-1 TB-1. 126: Daniel Escandon, Gibbon, pinned Brandon Schram, Tekamah-Herman, 6:40. 132: Gage Krolikowski, Valentine, dec. Jeaven Scdoris, Milford, 7-1. 138: Damien Kersten, Battle Creek, dec. Evan Waddington, Wood River, 7-1. 145: Justin White, David City, dec. Chase Olson, Valentine, 5-1. 152: Noah Styskal, David City, dec. Cole Ulmer, Broken Bow, 14-7. 160: Caleb Long, Valentine, major dec. Dylan Vodicka, David City, 15-6. 170: Zach Borer, North Bend Central, tech. fall Lathan Duda, Broken Bow, 15-0. 182: Joseph Reimers, DC Aquinas, major dec. Luke Fairbanks, Wahoo Neumann, 14-2. 195: Beau Wood, Perkins County, dec. Haydn Deinert, Malcolm, 6-2. 220: Remington Gay, Arlington, dec. Jon Merten, Boone Central/Newman Grove, 6-2. 285: Riley Moses, Fillmore Central, dec. Prosper Gilpin, Winnebago, 2-1.
106: Konner Schluckebier, Milford, dec. Julio Reyes, Johnson County Central, 5-2. 113: Dru Mueller, Logan View, dec. Carson Thompson, Wood River, 8-1. 120: Spencer Gaffney, Broken Bow, dec. Ryan Zoucha, Malcolm, 4-3. 126: Lee Carlson, Sutton, dec. Cameron Schrad, DC Aquinas, 9-6. 132: Jacson Valentine, David City, pinned Christopher Feldner, Kearney Catholic, 2:03. 138: Morgan Mcginley, Valentine, major dec. Trevor Widener, Bridgeport, 18-6. 145: Joseph Hinrichs, Sutton, dec. Josh Miller, Arlington, 8-5. 152: Ty Heimes, Battle Creek, pinned Gunnar Battershaw, Valentine, 3:53. 160: Brady Hull, Logan View, dec. Ethan Dozler, Boone Central/Newman Grove, 4-3. 170: Trevor Peterson, Chase County, dec. Lane Mcginley, Valentine, 9-4. 182: Treyvon Brooks, Broken Bow, pinned Drew Sprinkle, Cambridge, 4:57. 195: Ryder Fuchs, Pierce, dec. Matthew Feldner, Kearney Catholic, 5-0. 220: Josh Bailey, Johnson County Central, dec. Kalten Bauers, Centennial, 5-3. 285: Justyn Hale, Oakland-Craig, dec. Drew Drake, Broken Bow, 3-1.
106: Brock Bolling, Pierce, dec. Hunter Vandenberg, DC Aquinas, 4-2. 113: Jacob Hilmer, Loomis/Bertrand, pinned Spencer Bridgmon, Syracuse, 3:34. 120: Tobin Olson, Valentine, pinned Ryan Payne, Centennial, 4:43. 126: Casey Faulkenberry, Broken Bow, pinned Justin Davis, Hemingford, 1:30. 132: Cameron Graham, Cross County/Osceola, med. forfeit Hunter Mcnulty, Logan View. 138: Wyatt Smydra, Norfolk Catholic, pinned Jefferson Mcneill, Oakland-Craig, 1:31. 145: Max Hohn, Wahoo Neumann, dec. Zach Rogers, Kearney Catholic, 3-0. 152: Ethan Koch, Hartington Cedar Catholic, dec. Kile Bentley, Centura, 3-2. 160: Conner Halverson, Gordon-Rushville, dec. Brett Tinker, Pierce, 5-3. 170: Burton Brandt, Syracuse, pinned Alex Chapa, Ravenna, 4:48. 182: Jesse Ulrich, Ord, dec. Kobe Wilkins, Arlington, 3-2. 195: Colton Duda, Broken Bow, pinned Andrew Cone, Logan View, 4:46. 220: Austin Marx, Battle Creek, pinned Wayne Moore, David City, 3:43. 285: Jake Ingwersen, David City, pinned Emillio Perez, Perkins County, 4:09.
Class D: First team state wrestling title worth the wait for top-ranked Plainview
Good things came to those who waited in Class D.
Top-ranked Plainview had to sweat out its first team title, sealing it only when podium newbie Fremont Bergan was upset in the second-to-last match of the day.
“It was stressful all the way through,” said Pirates coach Dean Boyer, whose team edged Bergan 127-122.
His team won a pair of golds in three championship matches Saturday and took home seven medals among its eight qualifiers.
But second-ranked Bergan, which had never had a top-three finish at the state tournament, didn’t go down without a fight.
The Knights won titles with Jacob Johnson (145 pounds), Peyton Cone (220) and Caden Arps (113) to pull within five points of Plainview and had returning state champion Zach Hamilton ready to write a storybook ending.
But Central Valley’s Shaye Wood had other plans. The fourth-ranked Wood stunned No. 1 Hamilton 9-3 in their 120-pound final, clinching things for the Pirates.
“It was close,” Boyer said. “Bergan, you have to give them credit. They wrestled a tremendous tournament, too. It was just back and forth. I told the boys before we came down here that I thought we could win by a slim margin. And it was slim.”
Plainview had winners in sophomore Eli Lanham at 106 and junior Nate Christensen at 126.
Lanham, ranked second, handed No. 1 Logan Russell of High Plains the first loss of his senior season, with a 4-2 decision. Christensen followed with a 6-5 decision over Amherst’s Quentyn Frank in a battle of the top two wrestlers at 126.
“We just had tremendous toughness kid after kid,” Boyer said.
For a Bergan program that had fewer wrestlers out for the sport last year than they had qualifiers this year, it was a successful weekend. Knights coach Curtis Marolf called winning a trophy, not to mention five medals, at state a “delusional dream” not that long ago.
“It’s tough because we end with a loss,” Marolf said. “But for our school, this is historic. To have a group of kids that worked as hard as they did to put us in this position, it’s a testament to these guys that we have something like this to take back with us.”
It was the second straight third-place showing for fifth-ranked Mullen, which had five medalists.
Plainview 127, Fremont Bergan 122, Mullen 86, Amherst 72.5, Elkhorn Valley 69, Central Valley 62, Burwell 54, Nebraska Christian 52, Neligh-Oakdale 47, Thayer Central 46, High Plains 43, Maxwell 42, Clearwater-Orchard 40, Howells-Dodge 40, Winside 39, Randolph 37, Sutherland 35, Weeping Water 34, Bayer 33, Morrill 33, North Central 33, Shelton 32, Elwood 29, Overton 28, Stapleton 28, Pleasanton 27.5, Twin Loup 27, Arcadia/Loup City 25, Friend 25, Creighton 22.5, Wisner-Pilger 22, Palmer 18.5, South Loup 18.0, Southwest 17, Alma 17, Brady 17, Hyannis 17, Ansley-Litchfield 15, Franklin 14, Garden County 13, Harvard 13, Hitchcock County 12, Medicine Valley 12, North Platte St. Patrick’s 12, Ainsworth 11, Tri County 11, Axtell 10, West Holt 10, Arapahoe 9, Fullerton 9, O’Neill St. Mary’s 8, Elm Creek 6.5, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge 4, Sandhills/Thedford 4, Anselmo-Merna 3, Dundy County Stratton 3, Meridian 3, Hay Springs 2, Crawford 1, Pender 1.
106: Eli Lanham, Plainview, dec. Logan Russell, High Plains, 4-2. 113: Caden Arps, Fremont Bergan, dec. Cameron Wilkinson, 6-1. 120: Shaye Wood, Central Valley, dec. Zac Hamilton, Fremont Bergan, 9-3. 126: Nate Christensen, Plainview, dec. Quentyn Frank, Amherst, 6-5. 132: Tyler Pawloski, Pleasanton, dec. Andrew herley, Neligh-Oakdale, 9-5. 145: Jacob Johnson, Fremont Bergan, dec. Will Gunning, Plainview, 3-1. 152: William White, Sutherland, dec. Colby Coons, Twin Loup 8-3. 160: Seth Simants, Stapleton, pinned Joshua McFarland, Elkhorn Valley, 3:35. 170: Noah Scott, Randolph, pinned Bryce Zimmerer, Creighton, 5:40. 182: Edwen Baptista, Friend, dec. Corey Dawe, Burwell, 3-2. 195: Karsen Hunter, Bayard, pinned Clay Thiele, Clearwater-Orchard, 3:48. 220: Peyton Cone, Fremont Bergan, dec. Carter Throener, Howells-Dodge, 11-6. 285: Kien Martin, Overton, SV Marcus Cave, Weeping Water, 6-4.
106: Jesse Sauceda, Shelton, dec. Hunter Bennett, Elkhorn Valley, 6-1. 113: Teven Marshall, Mullen, maj. dec. Scout Ashburn, Plainview, 10-0. 120: Jeremy Larson, Brady, dec. Isaiah Shields, Amherst, 3-1. 126: Ruger Reimers, Palmer, dec. Keegan Casey, Thayer Central, 4-2. 132: Tayten Eggleston, South Loup, pinned Brady Gracey, Mulen, 3:49. 145: Brett Riggs, Maxwell, pinned Samuel Florell, Amherst, 1:26. 152: Austin Garcia, Morrill, by forfeit, Conner Schutz, Elwood. 160: Dylan Soule, High Plains, pinned Derek Gibson, Maxwell, 4:02. 170: Carl Mundt, Nebraska Christian, maj. dec., Chase Haussermann, Franklin, 9-0. 182: Ethan Villwok, Fremont Bergan, pinned Dylan Horejsi, Howells-Dodge, 0:43. 195: Collin Gale, maj. dec. Zane Musgrave, Hyannis, 10-2. 220: Clayton Hassett, Mullen, pinned Landon Beaver, Wisner-Pilger, 3:38. 285: Jakob Jerabek, Arcadia/Loup City, by injury default, Christian Yaw, Elkhorn Valley, 2:40.
106: Dalton Hansen, Harvard, dec. Zachary Dickau, Elwood, 3-0. 113: Brock Kester, Neligh-Oakdale, dec. Brenner McLaughlin, Thayer Central, 6-2. 120: Koby Ellis, Winside, pinned Tyler Nagel, Morrill, 2:58. 126: Zak Palmer, North Central, dec. Garrett Latimer, Southwest, 9-5. 132: Trigger Pokorny, Central Valley, dec. Damian Stewart, Thayer Central, 7-3. 145: Zachary Sweet, dec. Oren Pozehl, Ainsworth, 8-5. 152: Blake Racicky, pinned Michael Kautz, Shelton, 1:40. 160: James Polen, North Central, dec. Alizae Mejia, Plainview, 6-1. 170: Jarin Potts, Amherst, dec. Talen McGill (North Platte St. Patrick’s), 10-6. 182: Daylan Russell, Alma, dec. Brock Schaecher, Elkhorn Valley, 11-6. 195: Michael Jensen, Winside, pinned Justin Brock, Nebraska Christian, 0:39. 220: Donaven Nolze, Clearwater-Orchard, dec. Cole Rosenkrans, O’Neill St. Mary’s, 12-5. 285: Cameron Nelson, pinned Chris Sciortino, Garden County, 4:10.
Three-timers were close to being four-timers
Chance Fry of Lincoln East at A 152, Caleb Long of Valentine at C 160, Joseph Reimers of David City Aquinas at C 182 and Phillip Moomey of Kearney at A 132 were seniors who won their third titles.
How close was each to a fourth?
Reiners was third as a freshman, Fry fourth, Moomey fifth. Long went 0-2 his first year.
Fry and Moomey were together at 113. Fry lost to champion Jack Huffman of Millard West 8-4 in the semifinals. Moomey came through wrestlebacks after losing 8-4 to runner-up Jack Stogdill of Millard North in the first round.
Reimers fell 7-3 to Abe Hernandez of Mitchell in the quarterfinals.
Big run for heavyweight
Conner Cowling left little to debate in Class A’s heavyweight division.
The top-ranked senior from Norfolk went through both of the wrestlers behind in him the ratings this week, including a first-period pin over No. 3 Cade Haberman of Omaha Westside in Saturday’s finals.
It capped a 43-0 season for Cowling, who will go to Morningside to play football next year.
“I finished my shots,” Cowling said of Saturday’s performance. “My last match I was wasn’t finishing, I wasn’t stepping, I wasn’t being aggressive. This match I was aggressive.”
Cowling beat second-ranked Jack Hasz of Omaha Creighton Prep 6-5 in Friday night’s semifinal. It snapped Cowling’s string of 29 consecutive pins.
Cowling lost his mother to cancer as a freshman. She was a yeller at tournaments, he said, at times even hitting the bleacher seat next to her.. Saturday would have been no different.
“She would have been smiling more than I am right now,” Cowling said.
Siblings split in finals
The Canoyer family went 1-1 in Saturday’s Class B finals.
Senior Kaleb Canoyer broke a 2-2 tie in the third period with an escape to edge York’s Harrison Gocke at 152. He became Waverly’s first state wrestling champion since 2006.
He also was a 1,300-yard rusher for the football team, which lost to eventual state champ Omaha Skutt in the semifinals.
His brother, sophomore Evan, lost a 5-2 decision to unbeaten Damen Pape of Hastings in the 170 final. Pape led 2-1 after two periods before picking up an escape and takedown to secure the win.
3 silvers for Waddington
Wood River’s Evan Waddington was a four-time state finalist, but he settled for his third runner-up finish.
After winning the Class C 138-pound title last season, Waddington faced Battle Creek senior Damien Kersten in Saturday’s final. Kersten, a runner-up at 126 as a junior, took a 4-1 lead after two periods and capped his 7-1 victory with a takedown in the final seconds.
Waddington finished his high school career 197-6 — three of those losses came in the state finals.
Bits and pieces
Plainview’s Nate Christensen rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third period to edge Amherst’s Quentyn Frank 6-5 in the 126-pound Class D final. That meant for the first time since 2007, Amherst didn’t have an individual state champ. The Broncos had won seven straight Class D team titles to start this decade.
Arlington ended a long state title drought Saturday. And nearly got to celebrate twice. The Eagles hadn’t had an individual state champion since 1997 before junior Remington Gay won the Class C 220-pound final with a 6-2 win over Jon Merten of Boone Central/Newman Grove.Arlington also had a finalist at 120 in sophomore Hunter Gilmore. Gilmore and Battle Creek’s Caydon McCracken were tied 1-1 after three periods then McCracken then recorded a takedown in extra time.
Winnebago’s young program took another step when Prosper Gilpin became its first to be in the finals and walk in the Parade of Champions. The 285-pounder gave future Nebraska walk-on lineman Riley Moses everything he wanted before falling 2-1.