2019 marked a year of change for the State Duals. For starters, the date of the State Duals was moved up in the season and will now take place prior to the District Tournaments and State Tournament. Secondly, the qualifying criteria was changes to a wildcard point system similar to what is used in other NSAA sports.
There wasn’t much surprise when the final wildcard standings came out for these qualifiers. Every team but Papio South has been ranked in the top 10 all season. Papio South attended four dual tournaments this season including the York Duals, the Flatwater Fracas, the Metro Duals, and the Monarch Duals. Kearney is undefeated heading into Saturday’s competition, while Columbus is seeded 7th despite beating 2nd seed Millard South at home. Lincoln Pius X was the next closest team to qualifying for this tournament.
In past years, there are typically top wrestlers from various teams who are not in the lineup for State Duals. However, due to the change in the date of the tournament, teams should hopefully be at full strength. Keep in mind, that lineup shifts may occur to strengthen lineups and add points that could shift the dual in another team’s favor, but that is not accounted for unless mentioned.
Teams Competing (Dual Record) Power Points
1. Kearney (15-0), 47.8000
2. Millard South (20-2), 46.0000
3. Omaha Burke (26-3), 45.6552
4. Grand Island (10-1), 45.4545
5. Lincoln East (11-3), 45.2857
6. Papillion- La Vista (22-3), 44.7200
7. Columbus (25-5), 44.1667
8. Papio South (18-9), 43.2222
Projected Lineups:
No. 1 – Kearney Bearcats (15-0)
106- #2 Archer Heelan
113- #5 Hunter Nagatani
120- #5 Rylie Steele
126- Gage Ferguson
132- #1 Phillip Moomey
138- #3 Gauge McBride
145- #1 Nick James
152- #6 Colton Kowalek
160- #5 Carter Abels
170- #4 Gus Franzen
182- Josh Pierson
195- Bronson Amend
220- Dario Rodriguez
285- Peter Kreutzer
No. 2 – Millard South Patriots (20-2)
106- #5 Caleb Coyle
113- Blake Jackson (previously ranked #3 before injury)
120- Jeremy McKee
126- #1 Conor Knopick
132- #3 Antrell Taylor
138- #2 Tyler Antoniak
145- Blake Smith
152- Alex Vacha
160- Isaiah Jackson
170- Krew Tran
182- #1 Isaac Trumble
195- #2 Josh Trumble
220- #3 Gavin Peitzmeier
285- Chris Wortman
No 3. – Omaha Burke Bulldogs (26-3) 
106- #6 Nate Rubino
113- Colin Koeneman
120- #1 Jakason Burks
126- Jayden Looney
132- #6 Trey Nielsen
138- Blaine Miller
145- #5 Trey Nielsen
152- #3 Deson Stapleton
160- #1 James Burks
170- Jaxon Kelley
182- Austin Dougherty
195- #1 Dillyn Miller
220- Dylan Sales
285- #5 Deangelo Stapleton
No. 4 – Grand Island Islanders (10-1)
106- #4 Juan Pedro Jr
113- #3 Blake Cushing
120- Kael Kingery
126- Brody Arrants
132- Kolby Lucasiewicz
138- Tyler Salpas
145- Iziah Deras
152- Jacob Sheldon
160- Aidan Williams (previously ranked #4 before injury)
170- Alexziah Deras
182- #5 Oscar Richter
195- #6 Daylone Keolavone
220- Elmer Garay
285- #4 Ethan McPhilips
No 5. – Lincoln East Spartans (11-3)
106- #3 Brandon Baustert
113- Nic Swift
120- #2 Nathan Rizek
126- Shaemon Erb
132- #5 Breckin Sperling
138- #1 Maxx Mayfield
145- Caidell Davis
152- #1 Chance Fry
160- Edward Lankas
170- #3 Grant Lyman
182- AJ Muthersbaugh (previously ranked #3 before injury)
195- Noah Sprieck
220- Chris Karmazin/Blake Pieper
285- Gege Creighton
No. 6 – Papillion- La Vista Monarchs (22-3)
106- Ben Kroeger
113- Jordan Bobier
120- Ian Rudner
126- #3 Cody Niemiec
132- #4 Nolan Niemiec
138- #6 Landon Roberts
145- #2 Creighton Baughman
152- #4 Cole Price
160- Konner Reincke
170- Jake Koory
182- Carson Maas
195- Alek Abels
220- Bryent Barthuly
285- Wolfe Bonewell
No. 7 – Columbus (25-5)
106- Caine Stenger
113- #5 Clay Cerny
120- Tanner Kobza
126- Levi Bloomquist
132- #2 Carter Kucera
138- Alex Korte
145- Camdyn Iwan
152- Cade Fullner
160- #3 Avery McMeekin
170- #5 Blayze Standley
182- #2 Carson Zwingman
195- #3 Anthony DeAnda
220- #1 Kasten Grape
285- Eddie Loredo
No. 8 – Papio South (18-9)
106- Parker Schendt
113- Liam Barlow
120- Stone Sindelar
126- Andrew Murray
132- John Enzolera
138- Ryan Needham
145- #6 Caleb Connor
152- #2 Alex Irizarry
160- Cade Schendt
170- Ty Skidmore
182- #3 Trajen Linear
195- Devon Krecklow
220- Tyler Robinson
285- Aaron Thiemann
The Predictions:
#1 Kearney vs. #8 Papio South
This is Papio South’s first year qualifying for the state duals and has 3 ranked wrestlers with 3 losses or less including Caleb Connor (6th at 145), Alex Irizarry (2nd at 152) and Trajen Linear (3rd at 182). Irizarry and Linear are favored in their matches, while Connor will face returning state champion and top ranked Nick James. Kearney has a wrestler ranked in 9 of the first 10 weight classes, and should have a considerable lead heading into 182 where Linear (33-0 record) should get a bonus point win for the Titans. None of the wrestlers on either team at 192, 220 and 285 are ranked, so even if the Titans win these 3 matches, Kearney will be too much for them from 106-170.
Projected Winner: Kearney
#4 Grand Island vs. #5 Lincoln East
While these teams haven’t faced each other in a dual this season, plenty of head to head matches have occurred at the Council Bluffs Classic, Kearney High Invite and the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament. This dual should come down to the wire, with 113, 182 and 195 being the most intriguing. At 113, Blake Cushing has had an excellent season, and he and Swift have not met this season. Swift has the knack to wrestle well in tight team races, and would really give the Spartans a boost with a win over #3 Cushing. At 182, Oscar Richter has had a solid season and has been ranked most (if not the entire) season. Muthersbaugh saw his first action of the season this week in duals. At 195, Noah Sprieck (East) and Daylone Keolavone (GI) have both beat each other 3-2. Keolavone won their latest matchup and looks to have the edge over Sprieck.
Projected Winner: Lincoln East by 1 point
#3 Omaha Burke vs. #6 Papillion- La Vista
The Bulldogs won 52-20 when these two faced each other on January 3rd, with the Monarchs forfeiting 3 weight classes (160, 195 and 285). The Bulldogs have 3 ranked wrestlers at those weights including returning state champions James Burks (160) and Dillyn Miller (195) who would’ve surely earned falls anyway. The Monarchs controlled the matches from 126 to 145 in the dual, and look for that to happen again. Price does have a 5-4 win over Stapleton this season at 152, but Stapleton has pinned Price twice this season. 113 and 182 are matches where Monarchs should win, which means they could win as many as 7 matches against the Bulldogs. It’s not a far reach to expect the Bulldogs to earn falls in 6 of the 7 matches they are heavily favored in. The Monarchs will make things interesting, but the Bulldogs will prevail.
Projected Winner: Omaha Burke
#2 Millard South vs. #7 Columbus
The Discoverers beat the Patriots 30-27 in their home gym in an exciting dual on January 3rd. There will be a few lineup changes for each team, and also some matches where both teams can do some damage control. Caine Stenger will man the 106 spot for Columbus, and could help his team if he’s able to avoid giving up a major decision to #5 Caleb Coyle, who won 21-12 over Blake Cerny previously. Blake Jackson is back in the lineup at 113 to face Clay Cerny. On January 3rd, Cerny won 6-3 over Jeremy McKee who is now at 120 for the Patriots. Cerny is solid, but Jackson should win the match at 113, and look for McKee to give Kobza a run for his money at 120. Kobza won 11-4 over Garrett Carbullido in that January dual at 120, and McKee recently beat Carbullido in a wrestle off. Levi Bloomquist should take the mat for Columbus at 126, and his team will need him to avoid giving up the pin as he will battle #1 Conor Knopick. At 132, Kucera and Taylor should have another tight battle. Kucera won 8-5 in their January meeting in his home gym. Both teams will likely send out a different wrestler for 145 this time around. Previously, Iburg (Columbus) won by fall over Shane Quandt (Millard South), but this time we should see Camdyn Iwan (Columbus) battle Blake Smith (Millard South). We should see Isaiah Jackson take the mat at 160 for Millard South to face #3 McMeekin for Columbus. Jackson’s teammate Rakes gave up a pin in January, so limiting that to a major decision would be huge. A likely battle of #1 Trumble and #2 Zwingman should take place at 182. Can Trumble earn another major decision over Zwingman? At 195, Josh Trumble was on a mission to earn a major decision over then #2 DeAnda in January, but came up 2 points short winning 11-5. In January’s dual, Millard South sent out Chris Wortman to battle Kasten Grape at 220, but Wortman is now at 285. We should get to see a battle between #1 Grape and #3 Peitzmeier at 220. Although Grape has been a pinning machine this season, he will be hard pressed to duplicate that result against returning state finalist Peitzmeier. At 285, Wortman will face Eddie Loredo, who was pinned by Peitzmeier in January’s dual. Wortman and Loredo have similar body types and are pretty athletic, so this match won’t look like your run-of-the-mill heavyweight match.
Projected Winner: Millard South
#1 Kearney vs. #5 Lincoln East
Trying to predict the outcome of this dual is like trying to predict the winner of the World Chess Championships. Kearney won 34-29 in their dual on January 3rd by inserting Brayden Smith at 132 and bumping Phillip Moomey up to 138, Gauge McBride up to 145, and Nick James up to 152. 152 was the only “bumped up” match that Kearney only lost in that stretch. Kearney switched Josh Pierson and Gus Franzen around at 170/182, with Franzen earning a major decision at 182. With a healthy Muthersbaugh back in the lineup at 182 for the Spartans, that might be enough for them to win the dual should Kearney use the same “bump up” strategy. 106 should be hotly contested, as Baustert has consistently closed the gap in their 3 meetings this season. Heelan won 8-2, then 5-1, and most recently 3-1 in sudden victory.
Projected Winner: Lincoln East
#2 Millard South vs. #3 Omaha Burke
The Patriots upended the Bulldogs 42-25 at the Fracas in December, and also 37-28 at the Metro Duals in mid-January. If both teams keep their lineups as expected, nearly all of the matchups have already occurred this season. In their mid-December dual at the Fracas, Rubino (106) had a 2-1 match with Coyle in mid-December, and Wortman (285) won 5-2 over Stapleton. As most coaches prefer, both teams will rely on their hammers getting bonus points.
Projected Winner: Millard South by 1
 #5 Lincoln East vs. #2 Millard South
These teams have not faced each other in a dual this season, but some individual matchups did occur at the Council Bluffs Classic the first week in December. It should be a back and forth dual, as neither team’s highly ranked wrestlers are in grave danger of losing. Look for the Trumble brothers at 182 and 195 along with Peitzmeier (220) to surge at the end of the dual.
Projected Winner: Millard South by 3

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