With Regionals going on all over the country in Division II and III, many former Nebraska high school wrestlers saw action this past weekend. 23 Nebraska natives wrestled across the two divisions. They represented schools from Nebraska to Illinois and everywhere in between.
Starting in the D2 Region IV in St Louis, Missouri. This region saw four Nebraska kids competing. Maryville Redshirt Sophomore, Logan Radik from Gretna made finals at 285 and finished runner up. He advanced to Nationals. Also advancing was junior John Feeney. A native of Omaha Northwest, 133 pound Feeney knocked off the number 10 wrestler in the country in the quarterfinals. He fell to the the number seven wrestler in the finals to finish in second. Also competing in St. Louis was Cole Zebley and Erick Vargas. Zebley, a 133 pound True Freshman from Millard West, had his Redshirt removed this week. His first varsity competition was Regionals. He won his first match 11-5 before falling in the quarterfinals. He received a bye on the backside before falling in consolation quarterfinals 4-2. Vargas, a Redshirt Junior from Omaha Westside, lost in the quarterfinals. He fought his way back to the consolation semifinals where he fell again. Vargas was able to finish his day in fifth place at 125 pounds.
In D2 Region V, four more Nebraska wrestlers competed. Chance Helmick, a Senior from Beatrice, wasted no time at all on his way to first place finish at 184. He finished with a pin, major decision, and a 7-3 decision in the finals. Bennington native, Brett Velasquez, also finished in first place on the day. After a hard fought 4-2 win in the quarters, the Senior won 12-4 in the semifinals and 10-5 in the 125 pound finals. Northern State True Freshman Caden Moore from O’Neill came into the tournament ranked number seven in the country. The 149 pound Moore made it to semifinals before falling. He fell in the consolation semifinals and finished in sixth place. Another True Freshman Lance Jarrett, from Gretna, competed at 184 pounds. Jarrett gave up a quick six points in his first match, but dominated the second and third period. It was not enough though, as Jarrett fell 9-6. The freshman would go on to lose in the consolation quarterfinals.
D2 Region VI was held right in our backyard. Six Nebraska natives competed back in their home state. Wes Dawkins, a Lincoln High native lead the way from that group. The Redshirt Sophomore Dawkins made the finals before falling to the second rated D’Andre Brumfield from Colorado State Pueblo. He will still be competing at nationals at 133 pounds. Another Kearney wrestler, Jarrod Hinichs, also made Nationals. Hinrichs a Junior from Fillmore Central, finished in third on the day. Hinrichs fell early as the top seed. He went on to win four straight matches to punch his ticket to Cleveland. 133 pounds saw another Nebraska native, this time by way of Hastings. Junior Brandon Kile lost in semifinals. He wrestled his way back to the third place match, he just barely missed Nationals as he lost 5-1. 141 pounds saw Jonathon Killingsworth, From Lincoln Southeast, also make the third place match. Killingsworth made it to semifinals before he lost his first match. After wrestling back to the third place match, he ultimately fell 9-4. Two Seniors competed in Kearney in their final tournament of their careers. Bellevue West alum Prestin Lauterbach competed at 174 pounds for Colorado State Pueblo. After making semifinals, Lauterbach finished his day in sixth place. Kearney native and Nebraska-Kearney Senior 197 pound wrestler Trey Schlender made the semifinals before finishing his career with a 6:59 pin in the fifth place match.
In D3 Upper Midwest Regional, Isaac O’Dell was the only Nebraska native competing. O’Dell a graduate from Lincoln East, entered the tournament as the fifth rated 184 pounder in the country. O’Dell made semifinals before ending up in the third place match. He lost a heart breaker, and a place at Nationals, 7-6.
The final competitors wrestled in Dubuque, Iowa. Nebraska Wesleyan had eight Nebraska natives wrestling for them last weekend. Eron Haynes a 125 pound redshirt Freshman from Omaha Central, finished runner up on Sunday. He picked up two falls, and a decision along the way before losing a close 7-6 match in the finals. Bellevue West native Ryan Smales went 1-2 on the day. Pius natives Jarod Nickman, Alex Kerr and Matt Fricke also competed in Dubuque. Nickman won his first match before falling in his next two at 157 pounds. Fricke went 0-2 on the day at 174, and Kerr went 1-2 at 184. Waverly native, Justin Hennessy won his first match, before falling. He would end up in eighth place at 285 pounds. Kendrick Frazier from Lincoln Northeast went 0-2 and Ben Lodema from Raymond Central also went 0-2.