Monarchs, Scouts set for state duals matchup
A rivalry normally decided between two schools only miles apart will travel more than 100 miles and take the show on the road Saturday when David City and Aquinas Catholic meet in the first round of state wrestling duals in Kearney.
For the third year in a row, both programs will take part in the premiere event in Nebraska team wrestling.
The Scouts have been there every year since the beginning of state duals in 2013, winning three straight Class C championships between 2014 and 2016.
The Monarchs have qualified four of the six years with a top finish of fourth last season.
Both are back again thanks to finishing in the top eight of the Class C Wildcard Points Standings - the metric used to determine the eight-team field.
Joining the pair of rivals are, highest seed to lowest seed, No. 1 Broken Bow, No. 2 Arlington, No. 4 Logan View, No. 5 Valentine, No. 7 Bridgeport and No. 8 Wilber-Clatonia.
Aquinas earned the No. 3 seed with a 7-2 dual mark. David City is No. 6 finishing 14-4.
“Originally, it looked like we were going to wrestle Logan View, then the NSAA updated out-of-state points and we drew Aquinas. We get to see them again, which is fine. Every match down there is going to be tough,” David City coach Tahner Thiem said.
“It’ll be fun. We’re driving 2 and 1/2 hours to wrestle a school that’s right across town.”
David City won the regular season matchup 33-31 thanks in large part to an upset at heavyweight. In the state duals era, the Scouts have won all seven regular-season matchups between the two and both program’s first-ever match at state duals - a 58-17 David City victory.
The Monarchs came closest over the past six seasons in the earlier dual this year on Jan. 10.
Both sides won seven matches but it was four David City pins to three for Aquinas, especially Jake Ingwersen’s pin midway through the third period, that proved the be the difference.
“Yesterday was an awesome practice. It might have been our best all year,” Aquinas coach Roy Emory said in comments sent to The Banner-Press on Tuesday morning.
“The boys are really excited for the posteason run. We didn’t know who our opponent was until over halfway through practice. David City has a really good team. The first time we faced each other, there were a lot of close matches. We made some mistakes, and they are too good of a team to do that and expect to win.”
The Scouts 14-4 mark includes wins over Class A Norfolk, Class B state duals qualifier Schuyler and Class C qualifier Wilber-Clatonia. The four losses were to Class A qualifier Columbus, Class B qualifiers Columbus and Columbus Lakeview and Iowa Class 2A, similar to Nebraska Class B, program Sioux City Bishop Heelan.
The Monarchs have a resume-building win over Class D state duals qualifier Amherst and a loss to Broken Bow.
Six of the eight Class C participants are listed in the latest NEwrestle.com team rankings, though those are more of a reflection of tournament quality than dual ability.
Valentine has seven individual wrestlers ranked in NEwrestle’s top six, Broken Bow and David City are right behind with six apiece while Aquinas, Arlington and Logan View each have four.
Bridgeport has two, and Wilber-Clatonia has none.
“We’re just going to go out, lay it on the line and compete to the best of our ability every dual, and we’ll see how it goes from there,” Thiem said. “I don’t know that I would tell our guys that we expect a state dual championship or anything else.”
Broken Bow is making its fourth straight trip to state duals, won it last year and was third in 2017. Valentine, like David City, has qualified every year of the event, won it in 2017, finished as runner-up in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and was third in 2015.
Logan View made it in for the first time a year ago going 1-2 and taking sixth place. Wilber-Clatonia is in for the fifth time in seven years with a top finish of fourth in 2015.
Arlington went 0-2 in 2018. Bridgeport is in for the first time.
“If we are going to make a run, everyone has to wrestle well,” Emory said. “We tell our guys that the best thing about a dual is that every match counts exactly the same. Everyone has to do their part whether that means getting bonus points, winning one of those key flip matches or getting an escape to erase a major.
“It is going to be a great tournament with a lot of good wrestling. We look forward to the opportunity to compete.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net