Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs Send Three Wrestlers to State after a Challenging Class B-2 District
District Results Mixed with Celebration and Disappointment
The Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs wrestling team headed to Schuyler, Nebraska on Friday and Saturday for what was one of the toughest district tournaments in the state. The B-2 District Tournament, which featured the #1, 2 and 10th ranked teams in Class B, decided which four wrestlers from each of the 14 weight classes would punch their ticket for the State Wrestling Meet at the Qwest Center in Omaha next week.
The Warriors wrestled well, with seven wrestlers working themselves into the consolation Semi Finals, which decides who goes to the State Meet. John Myers, Corey Davis, Nate Buchanan, Klint Spangler, Matt Hornung, Tyler Hedges and Neil Bowman all had a chance to head to Omaha if they could win this match.
"We had some really close matches in the consolation semi-finials; the guys stepped up and were ready. Unfortunately we fell short in five of the seven matches," said Head Coach Darold Foster.
Buchanan, Spangler, and Bowman were able to pull out some good wins to earn the right to wrestle for a State Championship on February 15, 16, and 17.
The Warriors competed in 11 of the 14 weight classes, with Kyle Kern starting them off in the 103-pound class.
Kern had a tough day, losing to the number four seed Nick Peterson of Omaha Gross, and then Jacob Denton of Columbus Lakeview. Next up for Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs was Myers, a WHS senior,who would compete in one of the strongest weight classes in the district tournament. Myers started his tournament facing #2-ranked Skylar Galloway of Omaha Gross. The match was tied 6-6 after a reversal by Myers in the 3rd period, until Galloway was able to squeeze out and come up on top for an 8-6 victory in one of the best matches of the tournament.
"John wrestled very well. He could have very well won that match. If he had, it would have been a much different tournament for him," said Foster.
Myers came back strong pinning his way into the consolation semi finals, where he lost to the number three seed Jeff Green of West Point 14-3.
Next up for the Warriors was Corey Davis at 119 pounds. Davis lost his first match to the third-ranked wrestler in class B, Adam Brodahl, before rebounding well and earning a 53-second fall to enter into the consolation semi-finals. There he would fall to the number six ranked John Svoboda of Schuyler to end his state hopes.
Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs would get their first state qualifier with Nate Buchanan at 130 pounds.
"Nate wrestled a very good tournament. He showed a lot of determination to come all the way back through the consolation bracket after losing his first match to get into state tournament," Foster commented.
Buchanan lost his first match of the tournament to the #3-seeded Travis Bauer of Columbus Lakeview before recording two pins and a major decision before losing in the third place match to Wyatt Moore of Blair.
Spangler of Wahoo would add to the Warriors state qualifiers in the 135 pound class. Spangler started the tournament with the fourth seed and would finish in the same place. Spangler started on a good note defeating Merit Rodehorst of Lakeview 7-3, before losing to Clay Wakefield of Blair, ranked sixth in the state. Spangler came back in the consolation semi-finals to defeat William Schults of Schuyler 8-2 before losing by fall to the state's #2-ranked 135 pounder Jimmy Jones of Boys Town.
At 140 pounds Kern of Cedar Bluffs had a tough tournament, losing to the number one ranked Trenton Washington of Boys Town in the first round before losing 8-3 to Daniel Egan of Omaha Roncolli.
In the 145 and 152 weight classes were Hornung and Tyler Hedges, who both made their claim to a spot in the semi-final matches, but did not get a couple of questionable calls that kept them on the outside looking in. Hornung started the tournament losing to Kevin Paulson of Pierce before fighting his way back with two consecutive pins before losing a close match to the state's number three ranked Nick Sears.
Hedges had a heart-breaking loss in the Consolation semi-finals to Josh Pycha of Schuyler, 7-6, which ended with a questionable no call on a winning takedown by Hedges. Hedges had a great tournament, getting to the championship semi-finals where he lost to number three ranked Jake Cardenas of Omaha Skutt before facing Pycha in the consolation Semi Finals.
Next up in the Warriors roster was Preston Ranslem at 160 pounds, who in his second wrestling made a splash with a couple of close losses in the tournament. Senior Tony Grabowski entered the district tournament with hopes of making it to state, but had a very tough 189 pound bracket to get through. It started with a 14-5 loss to Alex Stepanek of Omaha Roncolli, before coming back strong and pinning Zach Hoadley of Columbus Lakeview. Grabowski was one match away from the consolation semi finals were he encountered his last loss to Carlos Oltjenbruns of Pierce by a score of 9-0.
The warriors' last competitor in the B-2 District tournament was two-time state qualifier and third ranked Bowman, who had one of the strongest brackets in the tournament, boasting the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 6th ranked Heavyweights in Class B. Bowman cruised to the semi finals for a rematch with Stacy Louis of Boys Town, who recorded one of Bowman's three losses this season. Bowman would come close, but was unable to defeat Louis in a tight 3-2 loss. Bowman would fight through the rest of the tournament to claim third place on the podium by defeating Michael Kracl of Schuyler 3-2.
Buchanan, Spangler and Bowman will all three compete for a place at the State tournament this week.
"We had a lot of guys that deserved to go. It is always hard to see the guys work so hard all season and not get there. The good news is that all but Tony and John will have another chance next year," Foster concluded.
Other Match/Tournament Summaries:
The Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs Warriors defeated their cross town rival Bishop Neumann last Thursday in an exciting dual.
The Warriors came out strong winning seven of the ten matches actually wrestled in the Dual. After Kyle Kern of Wahoo earned a forfeit at 103 pounds, the dual started with John Myers of Wahoo coming out strong against Collin Lindley, recording a first period pin to put the Warriors up 12-0.
From there the Cavaliers came back earning a forfeit at 119 and Austin Abolins defeating Wahoo's Corey Davis 11-2, bringing Neumann within 2 points of the Warriors. That would prove to be the closest the Cavaliers would get, as Wahoo went on a five match, 24-point streak through the heart of the line up.
It started at 130 pounds where Nate Buchanan came through in a tough match to earn a 11-2 Major decision over Eddie Maly of Neumann. From there Klint Spangler of Wahoo had a dominant performance, out-scoring his opponent by 15 points with a 17-2 Technical fall, giving the Warriors 5 points and a 21-10 lead.
Feeding off the team's momentum, the Warriors' John Kern showed the same heart that has kept the Warriors on a steady increase all year by earning a hard fought 6-5 decision over Anthony Stenka in the 140 pound Weight class.
The Warriors continued rolling through the 145 pound weight class, as Matt Hornung continued his outstanding freshman season by pinning Neumann's Tyler Benes in the first period. Tyler Hedges of Wahoo finished off the impressive Wahoo streak with a second period pin of Eric Koranda, giving the Warriors a comfortable 36-10 lead.
From there the Cavaliers were able to make up some ground in the 160 pound weight class, with Keith Chvatal earning a pin against the Warriors' Preston Ranslem and a forfeit at 171 pounds making it 36-24. The Warriors and Cavaliers would trade off points in the 189 and 215 pound weight class, with Wahoo receiving a forfeit at 189 and Neumann's Alex Brant earning six points in a fall over Damon Dibbern of the Warriors.
The night ended with a much-anticipated 285 pound match between John Wonka of Neumann and #3 ranked Neil Bowman of the Warriors. It was an exciting match through 3 minutes before Bowman was able to turn Wonka and record his 24th pin of the year. That concluded the dual with a 48-28 Warrior Victory.
"It doesn't always matter who has the better team in duals like these. It just depends on who wants it and who is ready to wrestle," said Head Coach Darold Foster. "Our guys were able to get themselves ready to go and gave an impressive performance. We just need to try and keep things going into districts next weekend."
The Warriors will travel to Schuyler for the B-2 District tournament on February 9 and 10, where they will face three of the top 10 ranked teams in Class B, to see who earns tickets to the State Meet in Omaha.
"It will be a challenge, but I am looking forward to seeing our guys go in there and perform," said Foster.
The Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs wrestling team continues to improve as the season progresses. The wrestling team competed this past Saturday at the Raymond Central Invitational, where they faced a tough field of teams that included Ashland-Greenwood, Auburn, Beatrice, Columbus Lakeview, Falls City, Lincoln Christian, Nebraska City, Norris, Raymond Central and Waverly. This has proven to be one of the tougher tournaments that we participate in every year.
As a team we set the goal to go into each tournament and improve on last year's performance, along with what we have done so far this season. The guys really stepped up to the challenge this week coming in here and scoring 80 points and placing 5 wrestlers. The third place finish came in a tournament in which they finished dead last in 2006 with a total of 16 team points.
I challenged this team to go into this tournament and make a statement, and I think they answered the call. With their finish on Saturday, the Warriors avenged earlier season dual losses to both Waverly and Norris, which finished 4th and 8th in the tournament.
The Warrior wrestlers were once again lead by senior captains John Myers and Neil Bowman, who both made an appearance in the Championship finals. Myers lost a heartbreaker in the final seconds of the 112 lb. finals when he got caught in a throw by Nebraska City's Derrick Minner. Myers wrestled very well; he has made a lot of improvement throughout the year and is everything you hope for in a team leader. Bowman continued his dominant senior year, recording two first period pins in his first two matches of the day, and finishing the tournament with a pin in the 285 lb. championship match over Norris's Justin Jackson in the 2nd period. Neil's work ethic and consistency have been the cornerstone of this team this year.
The Warriors also placed three other wrestlers in the Mustang Invitational with two third place finishes and a second place. Klint Spangler had a strong showing in the 135 lb. bracket, finishing third with a 7-2 decision over Merit Rodehorst of Columbus Lakeview. Matt Hornung also came through big for the Warriors, finishing with three pins in his four matches on the day. Hornung ended the day with a second period pin over Chris Farringer of Norris for third place in the 145 lb. weight bracket. Finishing the day off for the team with a strong 4th place finish was Nate Buchanan, who lost a tough 2nd round match to # 2 ranked Jarrod Wiens of Beatrice, but rallied back to lose a tough match to Travis Bauer in the Consolation finals to finish with fourth place. I was very encouraged with our performance today. To come in here and finish third is exciting.
1. Auburn 208.0
2. Beatrice 161.0
3. Wahoo 80.0
4. Waverly 67.0
5. Ashland 66.0
6. Falls City 63.5
7. Nebraska City 55.0
8. Norris 54.0
9. Columbus Lakeview 51.0
10. Raymond Central 36.0
11. Lincoln Christian 19.0
Wahoo Wrestlers Take Fourth Place at Nebraska Capitol Conference
Team Scores 108 Points
The Wahoo wrestlers had a very strong tournament this past weekend at the Nebraska Capitol Conference tournament at Conestoga High School. Wahoo placed seven wrestlers in the tournament, including five in the championship finals, to earn a fourth place finish with a score of 108 total points. Finalists for the Warriors were Kyle Kern (finishing second), John Myers (second), Klint Spangler (second), Matt Hornung (second), and Neil Bowman (second).
In the consolation finals the Warriors were led by their lone win by Senior Tony Grabowski, who finished third, followed by Tyler Hedges with a fourth place medal.
The team wrestled well. We would have liked to finish a little better, but having that many guys step up and get to the finals shows the improvement this team has shown this year. Last year we were next to last in the conference with three placers and 56.0 total points. What these kids did is a testament to the their efforts this year.
1. Syracuse 185.5 pts
2. Bennington 162.5
3. Fort Calhoun 144.0
4. Wahoo 108.0
5. Ashland Greenwood 93.0
6. DC West 79.0
7. Conestoga 61.0
8. Arlington 49.0
9. Raymond Central 48.0