Team Race Preview and Prediction:

At the beginning the season, the firepower that Gretna returned put them almost 30 projected points ahead of Lincoln East and Kearney. As a typical season goes, teams get banged up, and all 3 teams lost considerable point scorers to injuries. Kearney and Lincoln East could both have 4 finalists each, while Gretna could have 6 finalists. Lincoln East’s depth looks could be the difference, as they bring 14 qualifiers and 8 district champions into the tournament. Most of the projected finalists (from all 3 teams) will score bonus points on their way to the finals and should cancel each other out. Millard West, Millard South, and Omaha Burke are projected to score in the low-mid 70’s. It should be a battle all weekend for 4th place.

Predicted Team Champion: Lincoln East
Darkhorse Top 5 Team: Omaha Burke

Top 5 Teams:
1. Lincoln East
2. Gretna
3. Kearney
4. Millard West
5. Millard South

Individual Preview and Predictions:

Top Half:
Eliceo Ramirez and Juan Pedro of Grand Island had split time at 106/113 during the regular season, and Ramirez manned the 106 spot at the A1 District. Ramirez was ranked #2 at 106 at one point, but Caleb Coyle slid up to #2 when Ramirez was thought to be going 113 the rest of the year, so a potential quarterfinal match between them should be dynamite. The winner of that match will be the favorite to advance to the finals, as Clay Cerny of Columbus is the only one with less than 16 losses and could be the other quarterfinal winner.

Bottom Half:
The most likely semifinal matchup between #3 Nic Swift and #1 Jakason Burks would be a rematch from the first tournament of the season where Burks won 14-3. That match with Swift was his closest match against a Nebraska opponent this season. Burks will likely see #5 Quentin Donald in his quarterfinal match, with Swift likely seeing fellow freshman Ian Rudner or senior Bryce Alderette.

Predicted Champion: Jakason Burks (Omaha Burke)
Darkhorse Medalist: Ian Rudner (Papillion-LaVista)

Projected Top 6:
1. Jakason Burks (Omaha Burke)
2. Eliceo Ramirez (Grand Island)
3. Caleb Coyle (Millard South)
4. Quentin Donald (Omaha Benson)
5. Nic Swift (Lincoln East)
6. Clay Cerny (Columbus)

Top Half:
The top quarterfinal favorites are Corbin Harrington and #3 Blake Jackson who have not met this season. The winner will likely face either #5 Darian Diaz or #4 Brayden Smith for a shot at the finals.

Bottom Half:
Ladamien Sturdivant will have a stiff test in Tanner Kobza first round and also with Juan Pedro in the quarterfinals. #1 Emilio Haynes will likely face Jaxon Morrow in the other quarterfinal.

Predicted Champion: Blake Jackson (Millard South)
Darkhorse Medalist: Jaxon Morrow (Lincoln Southwest)

Projected Top 6:
1. Blake Jackson (Millard South)
2. Emilio Haynes (Omaha Central)
3. Darian Diaz (North Platte)
4. Brayden Smith (Kearney)
5. Ladamien Sturdivant (Omaha Bryan)
6. Juan Pedro (Grand Island)

NOTE: There are THREE Fargo All-Americans in this bracket:
Maxx Mayfield, 4th place at 113 in Cadet Freestyle
Conor Knopick, 2nd place at 113 in Cadet Greco
Camden Russell, 7th place at 113 in Junior Greco

Top Half:
#1 Maxx Mayfield should cruise to the semifinals with #6 Jordan Barber being his likely quarterfinal opponent. #2 Conor Knopick and #4 Cody Niemiec should collide in the other quarterfinal and whoever wins should give Mayfield all he wants in the semis. Knopick hasn’t faced Mayfield this season, while Niemiec lost 5-0 to Mayfield.

Bottom Half:
Arman Erickson and #3 Cody Fielder should meet in the top quarterfinal. #5 Camden Russell should receive a tough test from Rylie Steele even though Steele has only had 13 matches this season. Colton Kinen pinned Knopick at districts, and should see the winner of Russell vs Steele in the quarterfinals.

Predicted Champion: Maxx Mayfield (Lincoln East)
Darkhorse Medalist: Jordan Barber (North Platte)

Projected Top 6:
1. Maxx Mayfield (Lincoln East)
2. Camden Russell (Millard West)
3. Conor Knopick (Millard South)
4. Cody Niemiec (Papillion-La Vista)
5. Cody Fielder (Fremont)
6. Colton Kinen (Papio South)

Top Half:
#6 Caelan Hester doesn’t get a warmup match, as he’ll have Nathan Rizek right off the bat. If Rizek can make his way to the semifinals, it will be monstrous in helping Lincoln East win the team title. Jeromy Nielsen and Jayson Scott should also be a battle, as both wrestlers have accrued 30+ wins this season. #3 Nolan Niemiec and #4 Cole Zebley should meet in the other quarterfinal. These two have wrestled four times in the last 2 years and Niemiec has won 3 of those, including a 5-1 win at the Metro Conference Tournament this season.

Bottom Half:
It would be a big surprise if #4 Carter Kucera and #1 Phillip Moomey don’t meet in the semifinal. Izzy Miranda will likely be Kucera’s quarterfinal opponent, while Peyton Meink should get a chance to derail Moomey in the other quarterfinal.

Predicted Champion: Phillip Moomey (Kearney)
Darkhorse Medalist: Caelan Hester (Bellevue East)

Projected Top 6:
1. Phillip Moomey (Kearney)
2. Nolan Niemiec (Papillion-La Vista)
3. Cole Zebley (Millard West)
4. Jayson Scott (North Platte)
5. Carter Kucera (Columbus)
6. Nathan Rizek (Lincoln East)

Top Half:
There are land mines everywhere in this bracket. Creighton Baughman should face either Breckin Sperling or Jerryd Hernandez in the quarterfinals, while Trevor Fauver should face either Cody Carlson or Caleb Connor in the other quarterfinal. Carlson beat Connor 7-6 the first match of the season, and Connor has wrestled many elite opponents to close matches this year.

Bottom Half:
Seniors Jack Huffman and Jake Oltman should scrap in the top quarterfinal, with Zack Kuta and Corbin Sindel facing off in the other quarterfinal. Huffman has the best resume in the weight and has avenged his early-season loss to Carlson, but you could wrestle this weight 8 times and get almost completely different results each time.

Predicted Champion: Jack Huffman (Millard West)
Darkhorse Medalist: Jake Oltman (Lincoln Southwest)

Projected Top 6:
1. Jack Huffman (Millard West)
2. Trevor Fauver (Gretna)
3. Creighton Baughman (Papillion- La Vista)
4. Corbin Sindel (Lincoln Northeast)
5. Zack Kuta (Grand Island)
6. Cody Carlson (Fremont)

Top Half:
Senior Adam Kinnaman looks to make his first appearance in the state finals, and will have to go through #6 Kevin Castle in the quarterfinals and #1 Nick James in the semifinals to get there. James has beaten #3 Kinnaman twice this year, but Kinnaman narrowed the gap in their last meeting.

Bottom Half:
#2 Tyler Cunningham looks to return to the state finals and win his second state title. Although he’s lost to Nick James twice, he has made adjustments each match and has the style to slow James down. He’ll likely have #5 AJ Salinas in the quarterfinals, and freshman phenom #4 Deon Davis in the semifinals. Cunningham upended Davis 8-4 in a dual late in the season.

Predicted Champion: Tyler Cunningham (Gretna)
Darkhorse Medalist: Quinn Thew (Lincoln High)

Projected Top 6:
1. Tyler Cunningham (Gretna)
2. Nick James (Kearney)
3. Adam Kinnaman (Lincoln East)
4. Deon Davis (Omaha Central)
5. AJ Salinas (Papillion- La Vista)
6. Kevin Castle (Omaha Burke)

Top Half:
Teontae Wilson will likely face the winner of Levi May and Josh Benak in the quarterfinals. #5 May lost to Benak at the Metro Conference Tournament, but has been more consistent throughout the season. Wilson is the favorite to advance to the semifinals against either returning state champion #2 Ronniel Wells or #3 Derek Wagstaff. Both of whom are seniors who only have 1 loss each on the season.

Bottom Half:
#1 Chance Fry should have no problems advancing to the semifinals, with his quarterfinal opponent being Cole Price who pinned his first round opponent Austin Filliez earlier this month. The bottom portion is fairly even, with #6 Garett Svoboda being the favorite on paper to make the semifinals, but Towey has been ranked this season, and Via is a game opponent.

Predicted Champion: Chance Fry (Lincoln East)
Darkhorse Medalist: Josh Benak (Papio South)

Projected Top 6:
1. Chance Fry (Lincoln East)
2. Teontae Wilson (Kearney)
3. Ronniel Wells (Omaha North)
4. Derek Wagstaff (Bellevue East)
5. Levi May (Millard West)
6. Garett Svoboda (Millard South)

Top Half:
#2 Cole Huss is the favorite to make the semifinals against #1 DaShawn Dixon. Huss will likely have to beat Avery McMeekin in the quarterfinals, and Dixon will likely face #4 Tre’Vion Williams in the quarterfinals.

Bottom Half:
Freshman Deson Stapleton has been coming on lately, and will likely face Betancur in the quarterfinals. The winner will probably face #3 Kolton Sliva of Grand Island in the semifinals.

Predicted Champion: DaShawn Dixon (Lincoln East)
Darkhorse Medalist: Avery McMeekin (Columbus)

Projected Top 6:
1. DaShawn Dixon (Lincoln East)
2. Kolton Sliva (Grand Island)
3. Cole Huss (Gretna)
4. Tre’Vion Williams (Omaha Central
5. Braxton Betancur (Lincoln Southeast)
6. Brayden Splater (Norfolk)

Top Half:
Right off the bat, Liam Kirk and Tyler Nawrocki will battle for a spot in the quarterfinals against #2 Isaac Trumble. #1 Cody Everhart will likely face Cade Schendt in the quarterfinals, as Schendt has pinned Matt Pray 3 times this season. Everhart and Trumble haven’t met, but both have solid positioning and it could be a low scoring affair.

Bottom Half:
#4 Cade Kammerer is the favorite to advance to the semifinals against returning state champion James Burks, but he should get a solid test from Gus Franzen or Dorian Franklin. Burks will likely face #6 Preston Gallegos in the quarterfinals.

Predicted Champion: James Burks (Omaha Burke)
Darkhorse Medalist: Preston Gallegos (Lincoln Southeast)

Projected Top 6:
1. James Burks (Omaha Burke)
2. Cody Everhart (Gretna)
3. Cade Kammerer (Lincoln East)
4. Isaac Trumble (Millard South)
5. Dorian Franklin (Omaha Northwest)
6. Liam Kirk (Elkhorn South)

Top Half:
#2 Isaiah Alford has been dominant this year, and he gets rewarded by getting the toughest possible route to a title. He’ll have to dispatch of #3 Braiden Ruffin for the second time this year in the quarters, and beat #1 Matt Sorich in the semifinals. Sorich beat Alford last season, but Alford has trained and competed at an elite level since last year’s state tournament. It will be a tall order for anyone to knock him off his course.

Bottom Half:
Carson Zwingman and Kobe Everson will likely meet in the top quarterfinal, but don’t count out M A Yah of Millard North. Grant Lyman and Josh Trumble should meet in the other quarterfinal.

Predicted Champion: Isaiah Alford (Lincoln High)
Darkhorse Medalist: Tyler Neeham (Papio South)

Projected Top 6:
1. Isaiah Alford (Lincoln High)
2. Kobe Everson (Gretna)
3. Matt Sorich (Millard West)
4. Braiden Ruffin (North Platte)
5. Carson Zwingman (Columbus)
6. Grant Lyman (Lincoln East)

Top Half:
#6 Nolan Johnston and #4 Trajen Linear should square off in the top quarterfinal, with the winner getting a shot at taking out #1 Lance Jarrett. Jarrett’s only loss is to Class B #1 Gavin Eason, and has been utterly dominant this season.

Bottom Half:
#2 AJ Muthersbaugh and Marcel Austin will likely meet in the top quarterfinal, with #6 Steven Berumen and #3 Kasten Grape face off in the bottom quarterfinal.

Predicted Champion: Lance Jarrett (Gretna)
Darkhorse Medalist: Steven Berumen (Kearney)

Projected Top 6:
1. Lance Jarrett (Gretna)
2. AJ Muthersbaugh (Lincoln East)
3. Kasten Grape (Columbus)
4. Nolan Johnston (Omaha Westside)
5. Trajen Linear (Papio South)
6. Marcel Austin (Lincoln High)

Top Half:
On paper, Anthony DeAnda is the heavy favorite to the semifinals in the top quarterfinal. Only TJ Huber has a winning record (11-10), as he has been behind previously #2 ranked Caloway Soucek (Gretna) before a concussion ended his season.

Bottom Half:
#5 Dalton Freiberg and Tony Pray should meet in the quarterfinals with the senior Freiberg being favored on paper. Pray is a hungry freshman, so don’t count him out. Returning state finalist #1 Dillyn Miller should have a tough test in the quarters against #4 Elliot Alexander, with the winner getting a crack at #2 Sean Jackson. Should Alexander beat Miller, it will set up an epic semifinal showdown with Jackson that will impact the team race between Lincoln East and Kearney.

Predicted Champion: Dillyn Miller (Omaha Burke)
Darkhorse Medalist: Chris Wortman (Millard South)

Projected Top 6:
1. Dillyn Miller (Omaha Burke)
2. Anthony DeAnda (Columbus)
3. Sean Jackson (Kearney)
4. Elliot Alexander (Lincoln East)
5. Dalton Freiberg (Norfolk)
6. Tony Pray (Creighton Prep)

Top Half:
Garett Rollag should cruise to the semifinals, but his quarterfinal opponent is hard to predict, as Micheal Vasquez and Dylan Sales both have 30+ wins on the season. #1 MJ Montgomery sports a 47-0 record, and should clash with Rollag in the semifinals.

Bottom Half:
Connor Fee and Gavin Peitzmeier haven’t met this season and only have 3 and 4 losses on their records respectively. Should Fee make the finals, it would be a huge boost to Gretna. Peitzmeier making the finals all but guarantees Millard South a top 5 team finish.
Predicted Champion: MJ Mongtomery (Norfolk)
Darkhorse Medalist: Name (School)

Projected Top 6:
1. MJ Mongtomery (Norfolk)
2. Connor Fee (Gretna)
3. Garett Rollag (Creighton Prep)
4. Gavin Peitzmeier (Millard South)
5. Caden Boesiger (Lincoln Southwest)
6. Micheal Vasquez (Omaha South)

Top Half:
Ty Reynolds shouldn’t have too much trouble advancing to the semifinals, where he’ll either see #2 Jack Hasz or #3 Conner Cowling. Hasz (43-3) and Cowling (42-3) have nearly identical records and have been ultra consistent this season. The winner between them will likely face Herrington in the state finals.

Bottom Half:
Lee Herrington is the unstoppable force in this weight class, and will likely face Drake Reinke in the quarters, and Jamel Young or Markell Jackson in the semifinals. Every year though, there’s a guy in this weight who hits his stride and makes noise when not many expect him to.

Predicted Champion: Lee Herrington (Kearney)
Darkhorse Medalist: Jamel Young (Omaha Burke)

Projected Top 6:
1. Lee Herrington (Kearney)
2. Jack Hasz (Creighton Prep)
3. Conner Cowling (Norfolk)
4. Ty Reynolds (Bellevue West)
5. Markell Jackson (Lincoln Southwest)
6. Drake Reinke (Lincoln East)

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

One thought on “Class A State Tournament Preview and Predictions”

Leave a Reply