by Dru Kastler
Hastings St. Cecilia
Class D top ranked Amherst is definitely the favorite to win the team race this year. They have six of their seven ranked wrestlers competing today. Ord appears to be the biggest contender to the Broncos as they were a surprise runner-up by half a point last week to preseason class C top 5 team Broken Bow. Kearney Catholic is without a few of their top wrestlers, but still have enough firepower to contend for a top three finish. Sutton is missing returning qualifier Kleinschmidt, but has a solid group of wrestlers who along with Aquinas, Doniphan-Trumbull, Gibbon, Shelton/Kenesaw and Wood River who boast several quality wrestlers, should make for an interesting team race for 3rd . Evan Waddington being out for the tournament host Wood River definitely hinders their chances.
106 – This should be a great weight featuring a lot of top young talent. Freshman Colton Rowse of Ord owns a victory over ranked Smith from Broken Bow. Sam Tourney from Shelton/Kenesaw bested teammate Jesse Sauceda to win the Harvard invite. Layne Shiers from Kearney Catholic is down from 113 where he won the Elwood Invite. Landon Zeckser from Doniphan-Trumbull and Koltyn Forbes from Wood River both are off to solid starts in their freshman season. The winner of this tournament will most likely break through into next week’s rankings.
113 – Class D #1 Salvador Aguirre from Amherst leads a fantastic weight class including Class C # 5 Jacob Paczosa from St. Paul and # 6 Lee Carlson from Sutton. Qualifier Talon Petska of Ord has split matches with #1 ranked Gaffney and will be tested off the bat against Ryan Bond from Wood River who is 5-1 to start the season. The top seed in this weight belongs to Lucas Williams of Doniphan-Trumbull who will likely face off against the winner of Aguirre and Carlson in the semifinals. The quality matches will begin quickly at this weight.
120 – Returning medalist and Class C # 3 Anton Carlson from Sutton lost two matches in week 1 and will look to bounce back with a tournament victory in Wood River. A finals match with D #5 Breidyn Cumpston of Amherst appears likely has Class C # 2 Evan Waddington is not in the field today.
126 – #2 in Class C Wyatt Allen is coming off a great week 1. Already sitting at 7-0, he will look to fend off a field that includes returning qualifiers Braden Zinnel of Kearney Catholic and Michael Kautz of Shelton/Kenesaw. A likely finals opponent for Allen will be Chase Smith from Gibbon who is ranked #5 at 120 in Class C.
132 – Carter Fleshman from Kearney Catholic won the Broken Bow Invite last week and will put up his #5 ranking against returning qualifiers Chase Bond from Wood River (ranked #6) and Lane Brown of Gibbon.
138 – Returning State finalist and #3 ranked Eric Pacheco heads a field that includes returning qualifier Sam Florell of Amherst who is up three weights, and ranked #4 in class D. Florell will look to rebound from a tough week 1 tournament in Ravenna and continue to adjust to his new weight class. Jarred Hulinsky from St. Paul finished 2nd at the Broken Bow invite and Camden Thompson from Wood River has a few quality wins this season as well. Returning qualifier Tanner Staab from GICC will look to rebound after failing to place at Broken Bow.
145 – Chandler Stone from Sutton ranked #5 is the top seed in this class. Absent from this weight today is #6 ranked Ty Connely. Returning qualifier Riley Nichols from Elm Creek and returning class D medalist.
113 – Trace Baasch of Amherst will look to square off for the second time this season with Nichols emerging victorious in a close bout earlier this season. Darkhorse Clayton Shoemaker from Ord has a single loss this season to Connely and will look to challenge Stone in the other semifinal.
152 – Shaping up to be a fantastic weight, we have #1 ranked Marc Zeckser leading the pack. He will look to hold off a number of strong competitors. Edwin Baptista was a qualifier in class D last year and has appeared to have turned the corner knocking off #3 D Doncheski of Palmer last week. Ranked #4 at 160, Jacob Tracy from Gibbon appears to have settled into the 152 and will look to battle Baptista for a shot at Zeckser in the finals. Zeckser’s road isn’t easy as he will need to fend off the winner of returning qualifier James Greiss of Sutton and Tanner Knight of Ord. Knight won the Broken Bow Invite last week in convincing fashion over a strong field. Still missing from Kearney Catholic’s lineup is C #2 Jack Keating for the second consecutive week.
160 – Kyle Petree of Aquinas ranked #2 in class C will be challenged by Stephen Duffy of Shelton/Kenesaw who is ranked #6. Cole Egge from Amherst qualified at 182 in class D last year and appears to be the likely semifinal opponent for Duffy. #3 in D Keighton Rexer of Friend will have a tough quarterfinal match against Dawe from Ord, with the winner likely to do battle with Petree. Dawe has already split matches with #5 ranked Andrew Miller of Broken Bow.
170 – Another fantastic weight class. D #1 Kalen Klingelhoefer will have to get through Gavin Trompke of Ord in the semifinals. Trompke had a win over a ranked opponent and narrowly lost to C #2 Hernandez from Mitchell. On the bottom side, Daniel Duffy from Shelton/Kenesaw ranked #6 will look to make the finals. His path will likely go through returning qualifier Preston Walker from Elm Creek, whose lone loss this year is to Klingelhoefer.
182 – C #3 Joseph Reimers from Aquinas solidified himself as a state title contender last week with his victory over B #2 Walton from Boys Town. Returning qualifier Brad Baasch from Doniphan-Trumbull is a likely finals opponent. Several other wrestlers have winning records including Tanner Peterson from Sutton, Jacob Lech of Ord, Jaison Andrist from Gibbon, and Cole Fousek of St. Paul. They will look to challenge for a medal.
195 – Amherst’s #1 Dane Bogard is the favorite here but a potential finals matchup with fantastic freshman Ethan Gabriel of Ord may be one of the more exciting potential matchups of the week. Gabriel will need to go through Class C #5 Hunter Kocian from St. Paul whom he’s already bested once this season. Kocian may be challenged by Diego Guerrero from Wood River in the quarters.
220 – Returning qualifier Collin Smyth of Gibbon sits at the top of the field in this class. Several other wrestlers will be looking to break through with a tournament medal here as the field is comprised of mostly younger wrestlers, which is surprising for this high of a weight class.
285 – #4 in D, Jacob Peterson from Amherst is the lone wrestler in this class with an above .500 record. He will be a heavy favorite, but perhaps some other teams can get some valuable team points that they weren’t expecting to in order to challenge Amherst.