By Rob Sanders
Some wrestlers from smaller classes need to play multiple sports because their town and school won’t be able to field teams otherwise. Some don’t have the training partners to get them ready for competition outside the high school season. Some have coaches who are busy coaching other sports in the fall and/or spring.
The wrestlers on this list have found a way to travel in the preseason and postseason during the last calendar year. While some have easier access to workout partners and training opportunities, some really have to go out of their way to prepare and travel to competitions.
This list is created from a cumulative score from criteria listed below. Tournaments were used starting from the 2015 weekend of Monster Match and Preseason Nationals, and ending with those same 2016 tournaments. We will add results for this senior class after the state championships conclude in February.
Competition Seeking Seniors
1. Joey Harrison, Omaha Burke- 18 points
2. Korbin Meink, Skutt Catholic- 11 points
3. Christian Miller, Plainview- 10 points
4. Colton Wolfe, Columbus- 10 points
5. Eron Haynes, Omaha Central- 10 points
6. Zac Charity, Millard South- 9 points
7. Brody Lewis, Franklin- 7 points
8. Connor Clanton, Lincoln Southwest- 7 points
9. Trevor Nichelson, Ashland-Greenwood- 6 points
10. DJ Coleman, Millard North- 6 points
11. Clayton Glendy, Broken Bow- 6 points
Haynes, Charity, Clanton and Glendy have logged a magnitude of miles in pursuit of state titles in their senior seasons and perhaps the opportunity to wrestle in college. Three-time place and two-time state finalist Riley Berg almost made this list as well.
Trevor Nichelson spent much of the spring and summer focusing on football before deciding to compete at Fargo about a week before the Fargo training camp. Had he competed at State Freestyle and Greco, he could be higher on the list.
Had Jaydon Elge of Nebraska Christian not suffered a season-ending injury, he would be on this list. It’s not a stretch to say he would’ve won a class D state title and done well at State Freestyle and Greco.
2016 State champions who would’ve made this list had they competed in an extra offseason tournament or two are Andrew Nielsen, Bailey Thompson, Jason Hahlbeck, Tyler Gideon, and Drew Loberg. They either played a spring sport, spent the summer getting ready for football, or were recovering from injuries.