The first day of practice for class C schools brought new faces to different teams, while other teams were without those finishing up with football. The mix of experience levels has the coaches excited for the season.

Shane Allison of Valentine:
“The first day was a good one. The men came into practice focused. Due to our experience, we are able to move a little faster and cover more while still getting in a high volume of quality reps.”

Cody Wintz of Battle Creek:
“The first day is always exciting. We had a limited number in the room because we gave the football guys a few days off, but the guys that were in there were all business. They have high expectations of themselves, which makes coaching them a real joy.”

Darin Garfield of Central City:
“The first day of practice is always exciting. It’s a new beginning. I love the idea that this is the beginning of the journey.”

Bryan Corkle of O’Neill:
“It was great to get back into the room. We have a variety of wrestlers with several levels of experience excited to get things going. In that group we have a couple of female athletes looking forward to participating for the first time and with the NSAA looking to possibly enhance the opportunities for our female wrestlers, the timing is good. This will grow our sport overall. Beyond that, we still have a number of athletes finishing up their football season in Lincoln next week, so while some of our wrestlers will be slow out of the gate. We are hoping to capture some of that momentum from our Fall season and ride it into the winter months.”

Darin Waddington of Wood River: 
“First day was exciting. We had 20 junior high boys and 21 high school boys in the same room. They range from beginners to state medalists so I have my work cut out, but it was exciting to see how fast they were catching on. I felt like I was home again being back in the room after a long vacation.”

Tahner Thiem of David City: 
“David City’s first practice was outstanding! Our wrestlers understand there is a price to pay every day in order to find success like we have in the past. Practice was intense tonight and more positive than I can ever remember.”

Phil Payne of Centennial:
“The first practice went well. Our focus right now is on conditioning and emphasizing fundamentals. We have a new full time assistant coach with me now, Josh Mooney who recently graduated from UNK. He is also a graduate of Centennial and a former state runner-up. The kids are really excited to have Coach Mooney in the room. We have 16 wrestlers out and based on our summer camp attendance and what I saw today in practice, we will be much improved. Our main message to the wrestlers this year is to focus on getting better everyday.”

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