OMAHA — Lexington area Class D wrestling was underway early this week as the NSAA curbed gathering sizes by extending the State Individual Championships an extra day. On Wednesday, Feb 17, day one, Lexington area schools saw two of their five Class D wrestlers eliminated while three fought into Thursday’s placement matches.
Starting from the lowest weight, in 138 lbs., Sumner-Eddyville-Miller junior Reece Jones took a loss in his first match of the day to Sutherland junior Samuel Foster by fall in 1:03. Jones went on to claim a win in the consolation side of the bracket over Kenesaw senior Trevor Kuehn by a 6-3 decision. Jones’ State championship journey ended in his third match however, with a 2-3 decision loss to Damien Erickson, a junior from Stanton.
Junior Cinch Kiger, Overton’s lone state qualifier, began his state wrestling venture with a 4-2 sudden-victory win over North Platte senior Hunter Deeds before taking a loss to the top-seeded senior Nolan Blevins of Weeping Water by major decision, 7-15. Kiger then took three consecutive wins in the consolation bracket; a 7-4 decision win over
Hyannis sophomore Ezekial Heaton, a 4-2 decision win over junior Damien Erickson of Stanton, and a 4:38 win by fall over Elkhorn Valley junior Reed Bennett to qualify for the third-place match. Though he took a loss in his final match of the NSAA State Wrestling Championships, Kiger returns a medalist, holding the 4th place medal after the 4:52 loss by fall to Samuel Foster of Sutherland.
Hi-Line senior Conner Schutz, the four-time State Qualifier and three-time medalist, pinned his way to the championship match in Omaha. Starting with two wins on day one, he pinned freshman Gabe Goes of Freeman in 56 seconds and pinned Haydon Olds, the Minatare senior in 3:18 to qualify for the semifinal matches on Thursday. In the second session of Thursday’s matches, Schutz qualified for the Championship match for the second time in his high school career with a 3:36 pin over Hunter Arehart, the Ansley/Litchfield senior. Schutz then looked forward to facing Jestin Bayer, a sophomore from Howells-Dodge for the gold medal. Schutz claimed his gold medal, using Bayer’s momentum to put him on his back for a pin, 20 seconds into the second round. Conner Schutz is the first state wrestling champion in Hi-Line Bulls history.
In the 220 lb. weight class, S-E-M senior Aaron Hernandez took two losses on Wednesday, ending his run. Hernandez took a loss by fall to Burwell junior Tyler Dawe. He won his first consolation match in the first tiebreaker round over Franklin senior Joseph Kahrs, 5-3. Hernandez’s run was ended with a 3:47 loss by fall to senior Chet Wichmann of Palmer.
S-E-M junior Brendon Hall pinned his way to the semifinal matches with two wins by fall on Wednesday. Hall earned a 43-second pin in his first match over Guardian Angels’ freshman Dax Doernemann and pulled a huge win over the top-seeded Burwell senior Hunter Mayfield, pinning him in 44 seconds. Hall switched over to the consolation bracket after taking a loss to Summerland junior Logan Mueller in the semifinal match and fell to junior Levi Kerner in the consolation semifinal by fall in 1:37. Hall ended his State Championships journey with a win, taking home the fifth-place medal with a 36-second pin over junior Kayden Stubbs of Maxwell.
Congratulations to the Lexington area Class D wrestlers on their performances at the NSAA State Wrestling Championships from the Lexington Clipper-Herald.
Be sure to look for the Class B state wrestling results in the Wednesday, Feb. 24 Clipper-Herald, featuring three Lexington qualifiers; Daven Naylor, Dylan Hubbard and Fredy Vargas, as well as two Cozad wrestlers; Dreu White and Kaleb Pohl.