By Kris House
The Mustangs traveled to Southern Valley High School in Oxford last weekend for the Class C – District 4 Wrestling Tournament. This district also included Ainsworth, Bridgeport, Chase County, Dundy County-Stratton, Hershey, Kearney Catholic, Kimball, Loomis/Bertrand, Mitchell, North Platte Saint Pat’s, Ord, Sargent/Burwell, Valentine and West Holt. Valentine took top honors; G/RHS finished eighth. Several times during the two-day tournament the Mustangs were sitting third in the pack of sixteen.
Junior, Garrett Shadbolt at 113 was the team’s first wrestler to qualify for State. His bracket had 14 wrestlers and Garrett was seeded 7th. His first match was against Ryan Weatherly of Hershey. Garrett took care of him by pinning him in 96 seconds. In the quarterfinals he was against the second seed, Sam Hunt, a hometown boy, who had plenty of crowd cheer behind him. The match went into overtime and Garrett got the takedown to win 7-5. In the semis, he was against Gracey Keaton of Ainsworth, who entered the tournament in the third spot. Not to disappoint the crowd the match went into three overtimes. The match was scoreless after the first period. Garrett was leading at the end of the second, 2-0. Garrett escaped with 10 seconds in the final period to put it into overtime, tying it at 4. Shadbolt won it by escaping from Keaton in the third OT period. In the finals, he was against the number one seed wrestler, junior, Damon Rodriguez from Kearney Catholic. Garrett was pinned in 61 seconds. This is Garrett’s first year of high school wrestling.
At 120, Cole Witt started the tournament by pinning Nathan Spellmen from Kearney Catholic 20 seconds before the first period was over. In the second round he was pitted against the second seed, Ely Sharkey from Ainsworth. Cole lost 0-15. In the second round of wrestle backs it took Cole only 16 seconds in the second period to pin Jordan Kam of North Platte St. Pats. He then had a major win, 12-4, over Peyton Baumann of Bridgeport. Tied at 2 going into the final period in the heartbreak round it looked like the second Mustang was going to qualify for state. Then, senior, Justin Miller of Sargent/Burwell, pinned Cole in the last minute. Cole is only a junior, and will return next year as one of the senior leaders.
Freshman, Shane Child might have had the jitters as he started the tournament. He was beating Jake Gregg of Loomis/Bertrand 5-0 after the first period. He got caught in a pinning combo midway into the middle period and found himself on his back. In the first round of wrestle backs Shane was down 2-6 at the end of the first period. He regained his confidence and pinned Dillan Hunter of Chase County, in the second period. Shane was eliminated from the tournament when Kale Gideon of Sargent/Burwell won 5-1. Shane is only a freshman and wrestling fans watch for better things to come from this young man.
Cody Darnell, another freshman on the squad did not have the best of luck. His first match was against Cody Mueller from Mitchell. The match was tied at 2 going into the final period but Cody came up short, losing 6-7. In the second round of wrestle backs Cody pinned Sam Thompson of Loomis/Bertrand in 84 seconds. He continued his winning ways with a major win, 12-0, over Todd Widener from Bridgeport. In the heartbreak round, 3rd seed, Adam Pasquinelly, from North Platte St. Pats, pinned Cody in the second period. When this wrestler is not busy on the mat he is on his horse. Sports fans you have not heard the last of Cody this year. Follow him as he turns his energy to high school rodeo this spring. Cody will return next year as an upperclassman leader for the freshmen wrestlers.
Junior, Casey Glassgow, will make his first trip to Omaha by earning fourth place at 138. His first match was against Joseph McNair of Ainsworth. Casey pinned him in 5:44. Casey was against the third seed wrestler, Tucker Bergquist of Southern Valley. Casey won this match against the hometown boy 2-1. He then faced off with the number two wrestler, Andrew Abramson from Loomis/Bertrand in the semis. Casey came up short 5-7 and moved to the wrestle back semis. He beat the 4th seed wrestler, Tyrell Reichert of Dundy County/Stratton 16-4. The consolation finals pitted Casey against Bergquist again. Casey was pinned at the end of the second period.
Micah Scherbarth, another junior, started out with a pin on Friday afternoon against Austin Brown from Loomis/Bertrand at 145. In the quarterfinals Micah faced off with the #1 wrestler of the bracket, Isaac Bergquist from Southern Valley. Micah was pinned in the last 13 seconds of the second period. Micah made it to the heartbreak round by showing Kieron Rice of Ainsworth, and Tucker Tonniges of Ord the lights mid-way into the second periods. His dreams of going to Omaha were ended when senior, Jacob Thompson of Hershey, pinned him in the last period. This was Micah’s first year of high school wrestling and he shows great things to come his senior year.
Junior, Taylor Hood at 152 was pinned by Colton Snyder of Mitchell in the first round. He won his first match in the wrestle backs by pinning Lawrence Schneider of Bridgeport in 2:12 minutes. Taylor was eliminated from the tournament by getting pinned by Tristan Carruthers of Kimball in the second period. Taylor will be one of the six seniors leading this team next season.
At 160, Tristan Tuma, fought hard all the way to the end. His first match of the day was against #2 Trey Rossman of West Holt. In the first four minutes Trey only racked up 2 points against Tristan. There were a lot of points scored in the final period. Tristan lost 5-8, putting him in the consolation side of the bracket. Tristan put Henry Adams of Mitchell on his back in 93 seconds. He was on a roll in the next round totally dominating the match by not allowing senior, Justin Buoy of Sargent/Burwell to score. Tristan pinned him with 42 seconds left in the second period. In the consolation semis Tristan was beat by Lance Hockenbary of Valentine 8-15. Tristan will be a strong contender next wrestling season as half of his weight class was seniors.
Junior, Ken Graham was seeded 5th at 170. In his first match he pinned Jared Denny of Loomis/Bertrand in 4:38 minutes. In the quarterfinals he was matched with 4th seeded, Sage Gideon of Sargent/Burwell. Gideon came out on top 8-6, putting Ken in the consolation bracket. Ken had very little trouble pinning Austyn Ramm-Lech of West Holt, 43 seconds into the second period. He moved on and beat hometown boy Austin Bower 6-2. In the consolation semis Ken beat #3 seed wrestler, Gage Smedra of Ord, 5-2. The match for third place, put Ken back out on the mat with Gideon and once again Gideon came out on top 3-1.
Senior, Thomas Sandoz was the only Mustang entering the district tournament seeded in one of the top 4 spots. Thomas had very little trouble showing Trevor Jensen from Dundy County/Stratton the lights during the first period, in his first match of the day. In the semis, Thomas was matched against the number one seed Caleb Akins, also a senior, from West Holt. The first 4 minutes went scoreless and the score at the end of 6 minutes was 3-2, not in Thomas’ favor. He then lost to senior, Blake Bandour of Ord, in the heartbreak round 0-10. Sandoz finishes his high school career with a 22-10 record for the year.
The final wrestler for the team was Brice Stangle at 285. This sophomore is also a first year wrestler. He was pinned by senior, Bryan Shurigar of North Platte St. Pats in the first period. His final match for the season was against Lane Richardson of Hershey when Lane put Brice on his back in the second period, in the second round consolation session.
Coach House was very please with the energy and enthusiasm the team had going into this tournament. “Of course we would like to be taking more to the Century-LInk next weekend, but our team is young, we will continue to grow and become a team to recon with next year, having six juniors coming back.”
The three qualifiers and coaches will travel to Omaha on Wednesday. This year’s Class C first round will begin at 4:30 on Thursday.