By Dru Kastler (@KastlerDA)

C1 District at Aquinas Catholic High School

This district appears to be a five team race. The current favorite to win the district is most likely #5 ranked Battle Creek. They have a full lineup of quality wrestlers and have wrestled a very difficult schedule, winning several tournaments along the way. #4 O’Neill is set up better for a state tournament run, but they should be able to eclipse the 100-point mark and remain competitive based on their quality wrestlers. Aquinas may be the biggest challenger to Battle Creek, as they have 11 out of 14 weights in the lineup with winning records and a ‘home mat’ advantage. They have already finished ahead of O’Neill in a tournament this year. Wilber-Clatonia has been wrestling very well lately and has a full lineup. Bishop Neumann had a narrow 1-point dual loss to Wilber-Clatonia earlier this year and should be in contention as well. Every point is important, as is filling every weight class in order for teams to position themselves into the state dual tournament. The great thing about district tournaments is that they are very unpredictable and a preview such as this will not determine the field in Omaha. There are always wrestlers that fly under the radar and qualify for the state tournament. There are a total of 18 wrestlers currently ranked in the C1 district. Good luck to all!

#1 McCracken vs #2 Brandenburg will likely meet in the district finals at this weight and perhaps again in Omaha since they will be on opposite bracket sides. They do have a common opponent in D#2 Russell from High Plains where Brandenburg has split with him and McCracken won 3-2. Look for this match to be a close one if it happens. Curtis from Fort Calhoun has a great record and reversed one of those two losses with a major decision win. The 4th spot appears to be up for grabs. Schmitt from Wilber-Clatonia has two head to head wins over Eggleston from Johnson County, Eggleston has a common opponent on Kaup from Logan View. Kaup has a head to head win over Hansen from Stanton. Sam Tourney from Shelton/Kenesaw should factor in here as well.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #1 Caydon McCracken (Battle Creek) 33-2
2. #2 Koby Brandenburg (Central City) 27-3
3. Tyler Curtis (Fort Calhoun) 27-2
4. Conner Scmitt (Wilber-Clatonia) 17-7

Other Contenders:
Caleb Egglston (Johnson County Central) 17-12
Beau Kaup (Logan View) 17-10
Sam Tourney (Shelton/Kenesaw) 19-11
Zak Hansen (Stanton) 21-7

#6 Saldivar is the only ranked wrestler at this weight, but there are two other former state qualifiers in the field in O’Neill’s Eli Lorenzo and Logan View’ Hailey Schiermeyer. Schiermeyer has come on strong lately recently avenging a loss to Gavin Lampman from Wisner-Pilger. Lorenzo has been in and out of the lineup this year but does own a common opponent victory over Schiermeyer in his win over Petska from Ord (Schiermeyer lost 4-2 in OT). The top three are pretty clear cut at this weight and it will be a scramble to fill that fourth spot. Battle Creek’s Collin Burton appears to have just cracked the lineup at this weight, but does appear to be the front runner to qualify.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #6 Sam Saldivar (Johnson County Central) 24-3
2. Elias Lorenzo (O’Neill) 8-3
3. Hailey Schiermeyer (Logan View) 24-4
4. Collin Burton (Battle Creek) 13-5

Other Contenders:
Nathan Held (Twin River) 19-8

Battle Creek’s 5th ranked Owen Lade is a clear cut favorite at this weight after he has emerged in the second half of the season with a highlight win over D#1 Martinez from Elkhorn Valley. It’s a bit murky after this point. Theisen from Fort Calhoun has a loss to Logan View’s Luis Hernandez. Hernandez has lost to Moldenhauer from Wilber-Clatonia, and defeated Klug from Stanton. Tejeda from Central City doesn’t have as good of record as the others, but does hold a common opponent victory over Moldenhauer by defeating Gwin from Fairbury. Reyes out of Johnson County has only 13 matches under his belt, but has a close 10-8 defeat to Moldenhauer. It appears to be seven wrestlers vying for four spots.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #5 Owen Lade (Battle Creek) 18-2
2. Jackson Tejeda (Central City) 17-11
3. Tad Moldenhauer (Wilber-Clatonia) 23-8
4. Luis Hernandez (Logan View) 24-11

Other Contenders:
Jack Theisen (Fort Calhoun) 23-9
Diego Reyes (Johnson County Central) 9-4
Gage Klug (Stanton) 21-13

#4 Damien Kersten will be the top seed at this weight and there are only three other wresters at this weight with winning records so at the moment things seem pretty clear cut as to who will qualify. DeVries from South Central has a one-point win over Wilber-Clatonia’s Riley Wehrer earlier this year. Emswiler from Aquinas has common opponent over DeVries with a victory over Spike from Doniphan-Trumbull.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #4 Damien Kersten (Battle Creek) 28-7
2. Connor Emswiler (Aquinas) 21-11
3. Chase DeVries (South Central Unified #5) 27-7
4. Riley Wehrer (Wilber-Clatonia) 23-7

#4 Ty Heimes is the only ranked wrestler at this weight. However, he may not be the top seed in this district. Hohn from Bishop Neumann has two wins over class D McNeill from Oakland-Craig and Heimes has a recent loss to him. Davis from Wilber-Clatonia has defeated Hohn head to head, but has lost to two other competitors in this district; Ives from South Central and Valencia from Logan View. Valencia has been defeated by Heimes. This will be a dog fight to go to state and one very high quality wrestler will stay home. Ives has been out of the lineup since before the holiday break, so it’s possible he may not compete.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #4 Ty Heimes (Battle Creek) 21-9
2. Armando Valencia (Logan View) 31-5
3. Kadin Davis (Wilber-Clatonia) 21-6
4. Max Hohn (Bishop Neumann) 24-8

Other Contenders:
Tanner Ives (South Central Unified #5) 13-2
Reece McFarland (Crofton-Bloomfield) 28-13

Former class B state champ and 2nd ranked Jeff Heinz highlights a very strong field at this weight and owns a 2-0 over Eickmeier from Aquinas. Former medalist Bussey of Battle Creek appears to be in line for the 2 seed. Haberman from Neumann has common opponent over Searle from South Central and lost to Eickmeier head to head. The potential semifinal match between Eickmeier and Bussey will likely be a very close match. Peterson from Central City has head to head win over Honeywell from Crofton-Bloomfield. The top four have earned their projected seeds, but there are several other competitors here capable of pulling off an upset and punching their ticket to Omaha.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #2 Jeff Heinz (Fort Calhoun) 29-0
2. Preston Bussey (Battle Creek) 26-8
3. Anthony Eickmeier (Aquinas) 18-6
4. Luke Haberman (Bishop Neumann) 24-7

Other Contenders:
Luke Peterson (Central City) 19-12
Luke Searle (South Central Unified #5) 19-9
Levi Honeywell (Crofton-Bloomfield) 26-14

Top ranked Moore from O’Neill already has a tech fall victory over one of the top potential qualifiers in this weight in Hartline from Fort Calhoun. Hartline has been back and forth between 138 and 145 this season so keep an eye on where he may wind up. Ingwersen of Bishop Neumann has a head to head win over Shonka from Aquinas as does Hartline. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a wrestler from 138 try their hand at 145. Seth Kment from Stanton of Dakota Tegeler from Battle Creek could factor in here as well. Kment has common opponent between the two but will need to win a few more matches before districts to be seedable.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #1 Caden Moore (O’Neill) 29-1
2. Dylan Hartline (Fort Calhoun) 26-5
3. Ian Ingwerson (Bishop Neumann) 24-10
4. Nicholas Shonka (Aquinas) 18-16

Other Contenders:
Dakota Tegeler (Battle Creek) 23-19
Seth Kment (Stanton) 15-17

The top four in this weight are all potential state medalists. Likely top seed Bates from Wilber-Clatonia does have head to head 3-1 win over Buschkoetter. O’Neill’s Shaw has head to head over Moles from Crofton-Bloomfield with a 7-2 win. Since Bates and Buschkoetter do not have any commons with Shaw and Moles, it appears as if they will be 1st and 2nd seeds based off of records. That may change the last few weeks of the season. Moles has a recent win over D#1 Kulhanek from Howells-Dodge. This weight is definitely one of the bigger ‘toss-up” weights of the district. Moles has common opponent over Heller from Battle Creek. Heller has head to head over Borgmann.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #5 Cooper Bates (Wilber-Clatonia) 29-1
2. Gavyn Buschkoetter (South Central Unified #5) 34-2
3. Cauy Shaw (O’Neill) 26-4
4. Quentin Moles (Crofton-Bloomfield) 30-6

Other Contenders:
Blake Heller (Battle Creek) 25-9
Isaiah Borgmann (Stanton) 25-15
Brady Hull (Logan View) 24-14

Returning state finalist and 3rd ranked Kyle Petree of Aquinas has been hot and cold this year, and will have his hands full trying to win the district. He narrowly defeated Andrew Hart from Bishop Neumann 7-6 at their conference tournament. Hart’s only class C losses are to the top three ranked wrestlers. Petree also owns a head to head win over #4 Stephen Duffy from Shelton/Kenesaw by fall, however they do appear to be evenly matched. Janssen from Crofton-Bloomfield has had a successful season thusfar and could honestly win the district. It doesn’t appear that he has any common opponents with the other top three wrestlers so it’s hard to compare. Janssen does have a tech fall win over King from Stanton, who is having a great season. Schroder from Twin River also owns a win over King. Central City’s Tucker Schneiderheinz has defeated Schroder recently 7-3 and appears to be the best bet outside of the top four to snag a qualifying spot. Johnson from Battle Creek has just two losses in limited action, one a 7-2 loss to Janssen.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #3 Kyle Petree (Aquinas) 24-7
2. #4 Stephen Duffy (Shelton/Kenesaw) 26-3
3. Andrew Hart (Bishop Neumann) 32-7
4. Jaden Janssen (Crofton-Bloomfield) 26-6

Other Contenders:
Tucker Schneiderheinz 30-8
Jaydon Schroder (Twin River) 22-8
Mason King (Stanton) 30-6
Weston Johnson (Battle Creek) 11-2

Daniel Duffy is having a great year so far and has yet to lose to a class C opponent and owns a quality win over B#2 Bryant Wilson from Alliance. He will have his hands full with several tough opponents at this weight. Parry from Twin River has a head to head win over Cloyed from Bishop Neumann and has split matches with Heese from Pender so he would have common opponent over Frisch from Battle Creek. Cloyed holds two one point wins over Pomajzl from Wilber-Clatonia. Based on current records it looks like Frisch would fall into the third seed. He does have a mutual opponent compared to Cloyed and won more convincingly. It appears to be three wrestlers vying for the last two spots. This could be a big weight for Wilber-Clatonia’s state dual aspirations.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #5 Daniel Duffy (Shelton/Kenesaw) 25-3
2. Sergey Parry (Twin River) 32-7
3. Steven Frisch (Battle Creek) 15-3
4. Tristan Cloyed (Bishop Neumann) 30-8

Other Contenders:
Bradley Pomajzl (Wilber-Clatonia) 26-5

2nd ranked Joseph Reimers has had a fantastic sophomore season, his only loss to B#6 Eason from Norris. It will be quite a battle for the remaining qualifying spots. Hull from Logan View has head to head wins over Henne from JCC, Hawthorne from Battle Creek and Hegge from Ponca. Poppe from Crofton-Bloomfield has head to head over Hegge and common opponent over Hawthorne. Henne has common on Hawthorne and I believe an injury win over Albertson from Fort Calhoun that should count for seeding purposes. Hawthorne owns a win over Hegge. A few of the wrestlers at this weight have missed a few weeks of the season. There is a lot of depth at this weight so there will be some extremely competitive matches early on.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #2 Joseph Reimers (Aquinas) 27-1
2. Ethan Poppe (Crofton-Bloomfield) 17-3
3. Brett Hull (Logan View) 24-11
4. Ronnie Albertson (Fort Calhoun) 16-5

Other Contenders:
Joey Henne (Johnson County Central) 18-11
Anson Hawthorne (Battle Creek) 19-14
Michael Hegge (Ponca) 11-4

Returning state champion and top ranked Bailey Thompson from O’Neil is a heavy favorite to win a district title. His only losses are to A & B wrestlers. The remaining qualifying spots are essentially up for grabs here. Johnson from Crofton- Bloomfield was in line to get the 2nd seed here, but has suffered some recent defeats that will likely drop his seed. Svoboda from Aquinas is likely to benefit from that as he now has a common opponent over him. Johnson does have common opponent over Marx from Battle Creek. Carlson from Central City has spent time at both 220 and 195, so we’ll see where he winds up for districts. This is by far the most difficult weight to select qualifiers from as there are very few common opponents and head to head matches, but a ton of winning records and wrestlers capable of qualifying. It’s hard to exclude anyone here especially as Alexander from Twin River even with a 14-23 record owns a win over Johnson by fall. Johnson does have a very good overall season so it’s hard to penalize him too much for a few iffy losses. Sander from Neumann owns two wins over Hooper from Wilber-Clatonia and Rademacher from SCU #5 also owns a win over him.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #1 Bailey Thompson (O’Neill) 26-3
2. Noah Carlson (Central City) 24-9
3. Kaleb Johnson (Crofton-Bloomfield) 26-8
4. Austin Marx (Battle Creek) 20-10

Other Contenders:
Brandon Svoboda (Aquinas) 12-6
Colt Rademacher (South Central Unified #5) 26-10
Conrad Sander (Bishop Neumann) 15-9
Tyler Hooper (Wilber-Clatonia) 15-11

O’Neill has another returning state champ in Hahlbeck who carries an undefeated record this season. It’s very possible he could see Neumann’s Welsh who he defeated in last year’s state finals matchup. Battle Creek’s de Jager will hope to close the gap against Hahlbeck as he has dropped an 11-1 decision to him this year. Welsh and de Jager should be a great semifinal matchup. Witter from Aquinas has common opponent over Bailey from JCC. Bailey has common opponent over Meyer from Logan View. This weight is much easier to line up due to all of the common opponents and head to head match ups. This is the only weight of the district featuring three ranked wrestlers.

Projected Qualifiers:
1. #1 Jason Hahlbeck (O’Neill) 29-0
2. #3 Evan Welsh (Bishop Neumann) 19-2
3. #4 Jan-louw de Jager (Battle Creek) 29-4
4. Jackson Witter (Aquinas) 20-9

Other Contenders:
Josh Bailey (Johnson County Central) 14-5
Grant Meyer (Logan View) 14-8

Homolka from Wilber-Clatonia will be hungry for a state title this year after finishing 3rd last year. He has defeated Rempe from SCU #5 already this year. Sauceda from Shelton/Kenesaw has a common opponent over Rempe, but the two appear to be set to battle in the semifinals. Thompson from Battle Creek has 2 wins over Hornback from Crofton-Bloomfield. Romshek was briefly down at 220 this year, but appears to be locked in at 285 and he does have common opponent over Hornback. Once again another weight with a clear cut top wrestler and several others capable of qualifying.

1. #2 Riley Homolka (Wilber-Clatonia)
2. Junior Sauceda (Shelton/Kenesaw) 15-6
3. Hunter Rempe (South Central Unified #5) 33-4
4. Thai Thompson (Battle Creek) 25-11

Other Contenders:
Grant Romshek (Aquinas) 17-14
Jared Hornback (Crofton-Bloomfield) 19-11

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