By Lisa Hughes
A lot of exciting things happened for the Hawks’ wrestling team Friday and Saturday in Sutherland at the District D-4 tournament. The seven member squad finished the day with three district champions, Chris Ray at 120 lbs., Joey Johnson at 132 lbs., and Stevin Horrocks at 220 lbs., one runner-up, Levi Ray at 126 lbs., and one fourth place finisher, Jordan Houser at 170 lbs. to finish as the D-4 District Runners-up. The Hawks’ coach Mr Ed Planansky was also named the D-4 Coach of the Year. Chris Ray (120) punched his ticket to the State wrestling meet with a first round bye, followed by a quarterfinal pin over Brennan Toner of Perkins County, a pin over Coleton Doetker of Hitchcock County, and a thrilling 9-8 decision over Collin Fleecs of Sutherland. In the 126 lb. class Levi Ray received a first round bye and then pinned Sammi Niezwaag of Bayard and Marc Cinnoco of Minatare in the next two rounds before losing a heartbreaking 4-2 decision to Chandler Tyan of Sutherland for the runner-up medal. Joey Johnson (132) had an exciting trip to the top of the medal stand in his weight class. After opening with a first round bye, Johnson won his quarterfinal match by pin over Joe Kriz of Crawford. In his semi-final match Johnson won a sudden victory or overtime victory over Brandon Bowers of Bayard to advance to the finals against Colt Lewis of Stapleton-McPherson County. Johnson capped off his championship by pinning Lewis in 5:46. Jordan Houser was the next Hawk to qualify for the state meet in the 170 lb. weight class. Houser opened with byes in both the first round and quarterfinal round before losing a semi-final decision to Landan Fear of Sutherland. After a bye in the consolation semi-finals Houser lost by pin in the third place match to Emmett Hoover of Hyannis, to finish 4th. The third and final champion for the Hawks was Stevin Horrocks in the 220 lb. weight class. After receiving a first round bye, Horrocks pinned both Deondre Van De Water of Sutherland in the quarterfinals, and Taylor Alcorn of Crawford in the semi-finals to advance to the championship match. In the finals, Horrocks won an 8-4 decision over Levi Peterson of Stapleton-McPherson County. Also helping the Hawks to their runner-up finish were Jake Johnson in the 138 lb. class and Kolten Marx in the 160 lb. weight class. Jake Johnson finished 2-2 on the weekend with a first round bye and a consolation round 2 pin over Devon Strunkmartin of Hitchcock County but a loss in the consolation round 3 that eliminated him from the tournament. Marx also received a first round bye before losing an 8-6 quarterfinal decision to Gage Crowell of Wauneta-Palisade. Marx received a bye in the second round of the consolations and won by pin over Frank Kohler of Minatare before losing a 5-0 decision to Zachary Blake of Sutherland in the consolation semi-finals.
The state pairings have already been set for the State meet that will be held next weekend at the Qwest Center in Omaha. Chris Ray (120) will wrestle Taylor Sauser of Plainview, Levi Ray (126) will open with Marcos Escalera of Winside. Joey Johnson (132) will meet Jon Dobish of Axtell. Jordan Houser (170) takes on Brian Scarf of Friend, and Stevin Horrocks (220) starts the meet with Dieonisio Tapia of Pleasanton.
Complete bracket information for all classes can be found at www.nsaahome.org/. We will be posting regular updates from the state tournament on our website: www.sheridancountyjournalstar.net/