By Kris House
The 2016 State Wrestling Tournament was filled with excitement and firsts as it began on Thursday morning for the G/R Mustangs. None of these wrestlers had participated before in the State Tournament. Nothing can prepare a wrestler for the nervousness that sets in minutes before they are to walk out onto the mat, but once the whistle blows it is just like another tournament - both competitors determined to beat the other.
Sophomore Quin Child, at 113, was the Mustangs’ first wrestler. Quin was focused after receiving the silver medal at Districts the weekend prior His first opponent was a sophomore from St. Paul, Jacob Paczosa. Quin jumped out to a quick lead with a takedown early in the first period. In the second period, Quin found himself looking at the lights of The Big House most of the time, fighting not to get pinned. In the final period, Paczosa’s choice was to work from the bottom. Quin took advantage of this and pinned him in just 33 seconds.
In the quarter-finals, Quin was against District 2’s gold medalist and a freshman from Arlington, Talon Mues. Quin gave up a quick takedown in the first period. It was Quin’s choice to start on top at the beginning of the second period. Mues got a reversal and put Quin on his back mid-way into the period. Talon went on to place 4th on Saturday.
On Friday morning, Quin wrestled sophomore Dylan Swenson from Oakland-Craig. Quin was eliminated from the tournament in this match, losing 4-14. Quin finished the season with a 27-19 record.
Now that Quin knows what it is like to be at state, one can assume that his goal for next season will be, to be stronger and return to Omaha in 2017.
Freshman Hayden Hoos, at 120, comes from a family of State gold. Both his grandfather and father were State Champions. Hayden was Gordon-Rushville’s first state qualifier as a freshman. His first match was a tough one, Jackson Bates - a senior, from Wilbur-Clatonia. Bates placed fourth in 2015 and earned the silver medal on Saturday. Bates pinned Hayden mid-way into the second period.
Hayden was the Mustangs’ first wrestler to go to the mat on Friday morning, and he was determined not to end his wrestling time at State. Cristian Carranza, a sophomore from Cross County-Osceola was his victim. The first period went scoreless. Hoos went down to begin the second period. He escaped and then earned a takedown. Carranza escaped before the time was up. Heading into the final period, Hayden led 3-1. He controlled the final two minutes, finishing with an 8-3 win.
In the second round of Friday morning’s session, Hayden had junior Jaden Ziemba of Battle Creek. Jaden pinned Hayden mid-way into the second period and went on to receive the 5th place medal Saturday afternoon.
Hayden will be another wrestler who will come back next year stronger and more determined to improve his first year’s record of 26-19.
Junior Logan Belskey was District C4 Champion at 132. His first victim was junior Troy Vanderheiden from Central City. Logan wasted no time to work for the pin in the first period. He showed Troy the lights most of the period, taking the lead 5-0 as the whistle blew. Logan continued to dominate, and got the pin with 67 seconds left in the middle period.
In the quarter-finals he ran up against sophomore Caden Moore from O’Neill, who earned the silver medal on Saturday. Logan fought tough the entire match and never gave up until the end. It was a scoreless match after the first two minutes. The next four minutes, the wrestlers battled with takedowns and escapes. Moore came out on top with a 7-3 victory.
Logan wrestled in the second round Friday morning, beating junior Luke Haberman of Bishop Neumann. Logan was the takedown king in this exciting match, winning 14-6. This match put Logan in the heartbreak round on Friday night in front of a record beating crowd of over 15,000 spectators.
He was the only Mustang wrestler left in the tournament.
Friday night’s match was against junior Trenton Elliot from Tekamah-Herman. Two of Logan’s points came from Elliot grabbing Logan’s headgear two different times. Logan won 6-3 and would wrestle early Saturday morning to decide what medal he would bring back home.
Senior Lonnie Albertson of Fort Calhoun was Logan’s match-up. Lonnie had only one loss coming into the tournament and ended up taking home the bronze medal. This match was a battle on their feet. Logan came up short, 1-3. He would wrestle in the next round for the 5th place medal.
Logan finished the tournament with a 4-2 record, improving his season’s record to 37-13, by beating junior Preston Bussey of Battle Creek 2-1.
Now that Logan knows what it feels like to continue through the tournament at the Big House all 3 days he will be a leader next year with several younger wrestlers looking up to him.
At 152, Shane Child didn’t have a good tournament. He went 0-2 and was eliminated on Friday morning. His first match was against District C2’s Champion Conner Kramer of Battle Creek. It looked like it was going to be an easy pin for Shane at the very beginning. He fell out of his cradle hold and was put on his back and pinned with 41 seconds left in the first period. Kramer went on to take the bronze medal home on Saturday.
His next match was against Gavyn Buschkoetter, a junior from South Central Unified. Gavyn was rewarded the pin just as the buzzer was sounding at the end of the first period.
Shane finishes his senior year with a 29-14 record. He has been a strong team member all four years and will be missed next year at practice as well as meets. Good Luck, Shane, in whatever your future holds for you!
One can’t leave Omaha without going WOW! Where can a person go and watch 896 student athletes give their all? The semis Friday night packed the House with standing room only! Half-brothers wrestled each other for the Gold in Class A. Seventeen of the twenty-five 4-time Wrestling Champions were honored before the Parade of Champions. Two cousins, team members from the mid 90’s, stood shoulder to shoulder to receive recognition for their 4-time Gold. Saturday’s day ended with another four timer being crowned, and a 3-timer dreaming of next year already. There are three freshmen who have the goal to become 4-timers. A team title in Class B went right down to the last match of the day. For those who know the life of the wrestling world, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Rosalie Tederman Monday, 29 February 2016 19:05 Comment Link
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