Reactions to New NSAA Classifications

We caught up with coaches from 3 different classes to get their thoughts on the recent classification changes.

NSAA Director of Wrestling Ron Higdon

Class A Coaches

Gretna Head Coach Jake Smith (formerly Class B)
“We are excited for this upcoming season and have a strong returning class with good leadership. As far as moving up to class A, I feel that it will be fairly comparable to what we are used to seeing in Class B. However, there are always new challenges with changing classes. ”

Millard West Head Coach Scott Townsley
“I think it is awesome for the competition level. They will be competing for a state title right away, so I am excited to have them to compete against.”

Kearney Head Coach Ty Swarm
“Gretna has a very tough team coming back this year and will add to an interesting team race in class A.”

Lincoln East Co-Head Coach Jeff Rutledge
“Gretna will be a major force in class A. We look forward to the challenge of competing against the best.”

Class B Coaches

O’Neill Head Coach Bryan Corkle (formerly Class C)
“When you step out on that mat and the whistle blows, what class your school is in goes out the window. Good wrestling is good wrestling. So nothing really changes in terms of our our preparation. We enjoyed competing down the stretch against the teams in Class C for the last 6 years, and we will enjoy the new challenge of going back up to Class B. It’s new to this group of wrestlers, but I’ve spent the majority of my coaching career with O’Neill in Class B so the old is new again.”

Fort Calhoun Head Coach Drew Welchert (formerly Class C)
“We feel pretty good about moving to Class B. Our staff is excited to test our team against possibly some tougher district and state competition. Our mentality since coming in last year has been to hit people with everything we’ve got and see what they have in return, regardless of age, record, class, etc. At the end of the day it doesn’t change much for our team. We are all looking forward to getting back on the mat soon.”

Skutt Catholic Head Coach Chas DeVetter
“I am not extremely familiar with O’Neill yet, but look forward to them joining Class B. Gretna has a nice team coming back and could be in the mix in Class A. We have just been preparing the same way as usual trying help our guys to become the best individuals and team that we can be, regardless of who is in our class.”

Plattsmouth Head Coach Curtis Gocke
“The element of the unknown is always tough as a coach. Wrestling Gretna twice a year versus never seeing O’Neill, I think everybody has their questions about what you’re going to get. Having Gretna’s firepower out of B is selfishly exciting, but O’Neill will bring solid wrestlers as well.”

Class C Coaches

Nebraska Christian Head Coach Terry Elge (formerly Class D)
“I am excited for a new adventure. Change is good in Wrestling. We have a tough schedule already, and this only helps us progress with new competition.”

David City Head Coach Tahner Thiem
“I think Gretna moving up to Class A could make the top four or five teams in Class A pretty interesting! O’Neill is moving into Class B this year which will be a big change for Class C. For the past five years David City, Valentine and O’Neill have traded off team titles and dual team championships. Removing one of the traditional top three team programs will make for a different feel. I don’t think Class C will be weak by any means. Battle Creek, Aquinas, Broken Bow and North Bend all return a pretty tough line up from top to bottom.”

Valentine Head Coach Shane Allison
“The C4 district looks like it will stay in tact. It looks like the major changes occurred in A and B. Those changes will dramatically change the outlook for the state tournament in those classes.”

Wood River Head Coach Darin Waddington
“Class A got more interesting, but as in all classes, the level of wrestling in Nebraska has changed significantly. No matter the class, if you want to be the best, you had better come prepared both individually and as a team.”

Terry Elge, Nebraska Christian Head Coach
“I am excited for a new adventure. Change is good in Wrestling. We have a tough schedule already and this only helps us progress with new competition.”

Jake Smith Gretna Head Coach
“We are excited for this upcoming season and have a strong returning class with good leadership.  As far as moving up to class A, I feel that it will be fairly comparable to what we are used to seeing in Class B.  However, there is always new challenges with changing class. “
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