#1 Valentine solidified themselves as the team to beat this season after finishing ahead of #2 Broken Bow and #4 David City at their home invitational.

#3 Battle Creek had their first in state tournament at Logan View and finished 3rd without ranked 132 Lade in the lineup. Battle Creek is built for the state tournament with six ranked wrestlers, four of which are in the top three.

#5 Aquinas has won all three tournaments they’ve been in this season. Most recently they won the Wahoo Invite over B#3 Lexington and B#5 Wahoo. It looks like they have the potential to have the most qualifiers in class C and may even be the front runner for state duals.

#6 Arlington won the Kearney Catholic Duals, winning all of their duals by 20 or more points.

#7 Logan View won their home invitational over B#8 Lakeview and C#3 Battle Creek. Like Aquinas, they have a very deep team capable of qualifying 10 or more to Omaha.

After the top 7 it becomes a little muddier as to what teams are going to crack the top ten. Ord lost former #1 Gabriel for the season with injury while Centennial lost #6 @ 195 Cast. While both teams are still in the mix for a top ten finish they are definitely hindered by those injuries. Ord still has four ranked wrestlers but none in the top four. Those state points would be outweighed by teams like North Bend who could potentially have two state finalists. Wood River looks like a strong top ten contender with possible medalists at 106, 113 and 152 along with #1 Waddington at 138. Milford won the Axtell Invite last Tuesday for their first team title since 1992. They also welcomed back state medalist Zegers at 126 at the Logan View Invite. They are very strong in the lower weights and are on the verge of cracking the top ten. Malcolm and Sutton both have 3 or more medal caliber wrestlers as well. Pierce is working their way up with potential medals at 106 and 160 and some other young talent in the lineup along with state champ Fuchs. It will be interesting to monitor these teams throughout the season to see who can separate themselves from the pack. Who else will make an impact as the season progresses?

Weight breakdowns:
The line starts behind Bridgeport’s Benavides as he’s the lone returning medalist. We’ll see a major shakeup in the rankings at this weight after this past weekend. Vandenberg from Aquinas has losses to both Ancheta from Wood River and Reyes from Johnson County. However, Vandenberg finished ahead and earned common opponents over both #2 Schoepf and #5 Arlt at the Wahoo Invite. Pierce’s Brock Bolling lost 4-2 to O’Neill’s Rainforth compared to a 15-0 loss for #4 Battershaw. Bolling’s lone in state loss was to Reyes by pin in what was a close match prior to the fall. Milford’s Schluckebier remains undefeated on the season, with all of his wins by pin or tech-fall.

Valentine’s Chris Williams further cemented his status as #1 after a win over B#1 Chavez at the Valentine Invite. #2 Zitek is undefeated on the season and has also notched wins over #3 Mueller and #4 Thompson. Mueller has wins by similar score over #5 Cooley and #6 Bridgmon. Cooley won in OT over Conner Schmitt from Wilber-Clatonia last weekend, so Schmitt is knocking on the door at this weight. Milford’s Eli Vondra has been putting together a solid season as well. Looks like Broken Bow’s Garey is locked in a 120 for the season. Not as much depth here as 106 so maybe some of the 106 lb wrestlers will try their hand at this weight.

Caydon McCracken earned his 150th win last weekend on his way to a tournament title at Logan View. He notched a 13-2 win over #4 Hernandez-Jimenez in the finals. #2 Gaffney dropped his first matches of the seasons both close losses to ranked B opponents and finished 4th at Valentine. Arlington’s #3 ranked Gilmore went 5-0 in duals last weekend. Hernandez-Jimenez does own a win over #5 Scott. #6 Patak went undefeated at the KC duals. Malcolm’s Zoucha is down to 120 and will enter the rankings conversation at this weight. Tons of other contenders at this weight: Wyatt Schmit from HTRS has yet to lose to a class C opponent this season. Kimball state qualifier Jordan Cluff is now down to 120 making the C4 district loaded with talent: Gaffney, Cluff, Olson, Heath, Musser, Cooper.

#1 Carlson and #2 Faulkenberry right now is probably a flip of a coin on who is considered the top guy until it’s all settled in Omaha. Carlson wrestled up at 132 last weekend, likely because there were only two wrestlers at 126. #2 Faulkenberry won the Valentine Invite with a finals win 6-1 over #4 Harris. Milford state qualifier Ethan Zegers saw his first action of the season finishing runner-up at Logan View. He picked up a win over #5 Valencia in the process. Battle Creek freshman Carter King also had a win over Valencia to capture 3rd place. King has only one loss to a Nebraska wrestler so far this year and should be considered an individual medal contender now and a big boost to Battle Creek’s team aspirations. #6 Boyce finished 4th at Valentine. Shonka of Aquinas won the Wahoo Invite with a 12-5 win over Schernikau from Centennial. Shonka and Boyce didn’t meet at Wood River earlier this season due to match limit. Wilber-Clatonia’s Tommy Lokken has some solid wins this season. With the overall lack of depth at 126 compared to 120 and 132 keep an eye on wrestlers moving weights to land here.

A 1 vs 2 matchup between Krolikowski and Powers didn’t happen at Valentine. Krolikowski was the tournament champ while Powers finished 5th. Powers did notch a win over #5 Valentine from David City. #6 Rowse didn’t compete at Valentine. At Logan View neither #3 Lade or #4 Schram wrestled. The weight was won by state qualifier McNulty from Logan View. McNulty’s losses so far are just to wrestlers from other classes. He also has a common opponent now over #5 Valentine from David City. Milford’s Scdoris finished 3rd at Logan View. Cross County freshman Cameron Graham remains undefeated on the season at 16-0.

Top ranked Waddington has been dominant this season. His wins have come by fall and he’s only been in the second period once this year. #2 Kersten hasn’t had an in-state loss this season and pinned his way through the Logan View Invite this past weekend. #3 Mues is undefeated on the year going 5-0 at the Kearney Catholic Duals as did #4 Shiers as the two didn’t meet up. #6 @ 145 Widener from Bridgeport is now down at 138. #5 Creighton Redler finished 2nd at Wahoo. #6 McGinley won the Valentine Invite pinning SQ DeVries from SCNU#5 and winning in OT over B#4 Johnson. Norfolk Catholic’s Wyatt Smydra and Sutton’s Cory Carlson are down from 145 adding some depth to the weight class. Ambler from Broken Bow is off to a good start this season. The list is long at this weight of talented wrestlers. Jaxson Jones, Grady Belt, Bryce Reed and Beau Kaup are just a few of the others knocking on the door.

#1 White won over #2 Olson in the UTB rideout in the Valentine Finals. #3 Miller went 5-0 at Kearney Catholic with a 9-1 win over SQ Anderson from Southern Valley. #4 Copley finished 2nd at Logan View. 5th ranked Rogers from Kearney Catholic went undefeated in his home dual tournament on Saturday. With Widener moving down a weight this opens up the 6th spot. Returning 138lb SQ Mason Schleis is down to 145 now. Oakland-Craig’s Jefferson McNeill has just one loss on the season so far.

Top ranked Heimes pinned his way through Logan View on Saturday. #2 Styskal beat B#4 Hoffmaster and SD-B#3 Peters to win the Valentine Invite. The two could meet at the High Plains Invite in January. Ord’s Kluthe had two narrow losses to Hoffmaster in Valentine and notched and impressive win over #3 Ulmer. Ulmer has pinned Wood River’s 5th ranked Thompson who has an OT win over #6 Smith. Smith has beaten Kearney Catholic’s Daake. To complete the circle here Daake has a win over Kluthe. #4 Hinrichs of Sutton is still undefeated. Bishop Neumann’s Max Hohn has just one loss so far this season. Cross County’s Sterup has been hard to figure out as he has wins over Daake and Schleis but has a few puzzling losses to go along with those nice wins. For now the top two seem pretty clear, but many others vying for a medal including some not mentioned above.

Valentine’s Caleb Long and #2 Vodicka both competed at the Valentine Invite. The two didn’t meet as Vodicka finished 4th and Long won in OT to capture the title over SD#2 Kruger. #3 Ray finished 2nd at Logan View to B#2 Gerkensmeyer. For comparison’s sake Vodicka has split with Gerkensmeyer this season. #4 Verzani won the Osmond Invite. #5 Jones finished 3rd at Platteview and #6 Tinker finished 3rd at Osmond. Centura’s Kile Bentley went 9-1 at the Flatwater Fracas. Malcolm’s Adam Stewart finished 3rd at Wahoo with a win over B#6 Hancock.

In their second matchup already this season, top ranked Borer beat #2 Hull by fall. #4 McGinley beat #3 Duda in OT to win the Valentine Invite. Duda will have another tough test this weekend against Chase County’s Trevor Peterson. #5 Zoucha has just one loss this year so far. #6 Knott’s only loss this season is to Borer. Knott won two weekends ago 4-2 over previously ranked Wilkins and has a quality win over Burton Brandt from Syracuse. Brandt has been a bit under the radar but has some big wins over B#3 York and B#6 Behlen. Stanton’s Issiah Borgmann is undefeated on the season with a quality win over Byington from Elkhorn. Sutton’s Dusty Stone is also undefeated.

Reimers continue to pile on the bonus point victories this season and is an obvious favorite to win this weight. Treyvon Brooks has a win over B#3 Langan 5-3. Langan won over #5 Ulrich 3-2 at the Valentine Invite. Brooks and Ulrich could meet on Friday at the Broken Bow Invite. #3 Feldner has just the one loss on the season to Reimers. #4 Deinert beat B#2 Frenzen last week. This week he moved up to 195 and gave B#1 Kolterman one of his closer matches in the past two seasons, a 3-1 match. It remains to be seen which weight Deinert will settle at. #6 Booth finished fourth at his home invite dropping matches to Frenzen and D#4 Horejsi. Battle Creek’s AJ Hawthorne (#5 @ 195) is down a weight and beat Horejsi and finished 2nd to Frenzen. Look for him to enter the rankings at this weight.

Top Ranked Fuchs is undefeated so far this season. That includes a 6-1 win over #3 Remington Gay in week two. #2 Wood just saw his first action of the season at the Sutherland Invite knocking off #2D Bogard and #3D Hunter in the process. Hunter had just beaten top ranked D#1 Hassett before losing to Wood in the finals. #4 Fairbanks has yet to see the mat this season so that warrants being monitored. Like teammate Hawthorne, #4 @ 220 Marx from Battle Creek moved down a weight this week. He won the Battle Creek Invite with wins over SQ Eric French (Logan View) 2-1 in OT and SQ Derek Conety (Tekemah-Herman) by fall. Schwaninger from Lincoln Christian has had a good start to the season and also has an OT win over French. Broken Bow’s Colton Duda finished as runner-up at the Valentine Invite. #6 Cast is unfortunately out for the season.

New #1 Merten went unbeaten at his home dual tournament on Saturday. #2 Payne from Hemingford was runner-up last year at 285D. He has one loss to an out of state wrestler this year. Centennial’s 3rd ranked Bauers had some close matches with Merten last season and has just one loss this season to B#3 Pfeifer. #5 Bailey from Johnson County has won all matches by pin or tech this season. #5 Simmons went 9-1 at the Fracas over the weekend. He has a 3-2 win over Scheer from St. Paul, handing Scheer his only loss of the season. Many weights in Class C have a clear-cut favorite or two at each weight but at 220 it looks like there are a handful of wrestlers capable of making a run at this thing. Ord’s Gabriel will not compete this season due to injury.

Fillmore Central’s Moses holds the top ranking with just one loss this season. #2 Justyn Hale had a win by fall over #6 Schram. #3 Drake pinned #5 Hoevet in the Valentine Invite semifinals. Drake and Hale both had 1-point losses to D#1 Jerabek earlier in the season. #4 Bender is unbeaten on the year so far. Sutton’s Tyler Ohrman finished 2nd at the Thunderbird Invite last weekend. Earlier in the season he was leading Schramm late in the match before being pinned so he’s right there. Wilber-Clatonia appears to have two solid 285’s in Uden and Escobar. Winnebago’s Gilpin had a win over SD big school #8 Marshall. Lots of other contenders here so it will be fun to watch how this weight class materializes as the season progresses.

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