Merten, Russell win silver
A combined 16 wrestlers from Boone Central/Newman Grove, Cross County/Osceola, High Plains and Twin River competed in the Nebraska State Wrestling Tournament on Thursday through Saturday.
Those 16 wrestlers accounted for five medals including a bronze and two silvers.
All five wrestlers from Boone Central/Newman Grove won at least two matches.
“I thought the big picture of the state tournament Boone Central wrestled well,” said BCNG head coach Joshua Majerus. “I know there were three or four matches that we lost that I feel could have gone our way, but that is what happens at state.”
Freshman Gavin Dozler (106 pounds) junior Will Grape (120) and senior Dalton Rasmussen (285) all won two matches.
Senior Ethan Dozler (160) placed fourth going 2-1 on Thursday and Friday to guarantee himself a medal.
In his first match on Saturday, he defeated Conner Halverson of Gordon-Rushville 6-3 earning the right to compete for the bronze medal in the last match.
He lost 4-3 to Logan View’s Brady Hull but walked away with a fourth-place medal.
Senior Jon Merten started out the tournament 3-0 to reach the state championship match but lost 6-2 to Arlington’s Remington Gay. Merten still took home a silver medal.
Cross County/Osceola had three wrestlers represent them in the state tournament.
“I thought we wrestled well, I am so thankful our guys got this valuable experience at the state tournament as underclassmen,” said CCO head coach Matt Carroll in comments sent to the Telegram. “The tournament is always a tough one and I thought there a few more upsets down there than usual.”
Sophomore Bryce Reed (138) went 0-2 but will have two more years to make his mark at state.
Sophomore Kyle Sterup (145) picked up one won.
Freshman Cameron Graham (132) came away with the fifth-place medal.
After losing his first match, Graham won three straight, advancing to the consolation semifinals on Saturday. He lost 6-4 to Kearney Catholic’s Christopher Feldner. He defeated Logan View’s Hunter McNulty in the fifth-place match by medical forfeit.
High Plain’s had four wrestlers qualify in head coach Norm Manstedt last time coaching after 50 years.
Manstedt was saluted by the entire arena in Omaha after coaching the final match of an illustrious career. Unfortunately, it was a loss for back-to-back reigning champion Logan Russell at 106 pounds.
Russell and Plainview’s Eli Lanham were tied 2-2 as time wound down in the third period. Lanham was preparing to ride Russell out for the full two minutes but then caught an arm and exposed his back to the mat earning two near fall points and the upset win.
“He’s got a knack for doing things and doing them right. He works hard, and it just so happened, this guy was a little bit better than him tonight,” Manstedt said. “We wrestled him a year ago, beat him down here, and wrestled him in districts and won 3-2 late. We knew he was going to come after us. He’s no slouch. He’s a good wrestler.”
High Plains junior Jarrett Parsons (145) wasn’t able to get a win this year, but still has one year left to make it back down to Omaha, as does Dylan Soule who advanced as far as the semifinals, lost but then bounced back with two wins for third place.
Senior Clay Church (132) defeated Seth Hare of Hitchcock County in the first round before losing twice
Twin River qualified four wrestlers for state.
Freshman Juan Davalos (113) qualified for state but was winless in his first go around.
Senior Nathan Held (120) also didn’t score a victory but was able to compete in Omaha during his final season.
Sophomore Jaxson Jones (138) scored victories over Kadin Pere of Mitchell and Talon Mues of Arlington.
Junior Tucker Alexander (195) defeated Luis Torrez of Doniphan-Trumbull and Joey Otero of Norfolk Catholic.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com