First Day Coach Reactions

Class A

Curtis Gocke – Bellevue West
“First day was great, tons of young kids in the room. We’ll get a lot of work done before Dec 4th when our football players will start practice. We talked about getting quality reps and that anyone can be a leader.”

Keenan McCurdy/Jeff Rutledge – Lincoln East
Good first day of practice that held a mix of experienced veterans and first year wrestlers. Senior leadership did a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the team, and also making practice fun. We are excited about this squad and what they can accomplish both on and off the mat.

Aaron Finley – Lincoln Southwest
Great first day of practice. We’ve got over 60 Southwest kids in our room picking up right where they left off during the summer and during open mat. The coaching staff is excited to see this group compete!

Scott Loveless – Millard North
We had a great first day. Our numbers were up quite a bit from the last 2 years, the most we have had in several years. With a full room and many new to wrestling, we weren’t sure how the first day would go. They came to practice ready to work hard and we were able to get more done than expected. We have a strong group of leaders that really make our jobs as coaches easier. We are excited to get this season started.

Nate Olson – Millard South
We were short a few of our guys because of football going so deep into the playoffs, but the guys who were there came to compete! What I’m most astonished by is the leadership of our seniors. It has been a long time since the coaches could trust that the seniors were going to lead by example and hold everyone accountable for doing everything they are supposed to do. I can’t wait to watch the team compete!

Scott Townsley – Millard West
We had a very productive first day. We were missing our football players, but the rest will allow them to come back rejuvenated. We are excited to see how the kids develop throughout the season.

Justin Grey – Norfolk Wrestling
55 panthers attacked the first practice with effort and attitude and we are excited for a great season!

Marcus Hilario – Omaha Benson
The Bunnies are off to a great start. We had our best preseason as a team and 30 wrestlers at the first day of practice. We return 6 starters from last season and we are excited to see who steps up to lead the team.

Jason Susnjar – Omaha Bryan
The Bears got after it day one! We are always happy to see the wrestling room full with so many eager grapplers. Can’t wait for day 2 and beyond!

Jimmie Foster – Omaha Central
“This year we want to be comfortable in Chaos”

Dan Carlson – Omaha North
Better days a head of us. Last year was a biggest learning experience I have had in my 16 years as a head coach. I learned a lot about myself and what I had to do to change a program. With coaching changes and a group of young energetic kids; this will definitely be a better year.

Michael Jernigan – Omaha Westside
“Out Work the World”

Chris Curry – Papillion LaVista 
This is the time to challenge our athletes to see where they are from the pre-season and we accomplished this on day 1. Our leaders and upperclassman rose to the challenge with great attitudes and that filtered down to the freshman. Now the tone has been set, we are moving forward.

Class B

Nick Myers – Alliance
“Focused intensity and tremendous team dynamic.”

Derek Keasling – Aurora
“It was just really exciting having all of the guys in the room. We have a veteran group of guys who want to work every second and are looking to get better each day. We have a lot of work ahead of us, is going to be awesome to see how far this group can go. “

Alan Pokorny – Bennington
The first day the guys were excited to get the season started. The energy was high and the intensity was good for the first day. If the kids can sustain this for the rest of the season they will have a great season.

Erich Warner – Blair
We had a great practice, the kids were excited to get started so the energy level was high from start to finish.

Darin Garfield – Central City
“We had a lot of energy and excitement in our room. There is something special about the first practice. It’s the idea that the journey is just starting and we control our own destiny!”

Keaton Gracey – Minden
We had a big increase in numbers – we had to roll another mat out in the cafeteria. KEEP GROWING THE SPORT!

Chas DeVetter – Omaha Skutt Catholic
It feels good to have a majority of the band back together (minus our football players). We had a great first day and the guys are really looking forward to an exciting season ahead!

Dustin Foutch – Platteview High School
We had one of the best first practices I have been apart of here at Platteview. We have some hard working young men and women in the room!

Jeremy Hlavac – Schuyler
The first day was great, glad to see kids on the mats again. The kids grinded hard and were ready to get going. There is no better sound then kids working hard and giving it their all, I wish everyone good luck this season!!

Jason Redmond – West Point-Beemer
“Goal Driven.”

Class C

Cody Wintz – Battle Creek
The Braves were hard at it yesterday with 20 dudes scrapping for a spot in the lineup. We’ll have a lot of new names in the lineup this year and I’m excited to see the growth of this team from now through February. The first day always brings that excitement and even though February seems far off right now, we know the year will go fast and we have to take advantage of every opportunity to improve. We plan to do just that.

Josh Majerus – Boone Central
Lots of experienced young wrestlers that came to work and beginners realizing how much there is to it. Good hard practice that flew by.

Ed Schaaf – Broken Bow
The first day is always an exciting time. The guys obviously worked hard. It is the goal for both the coaches and wrestlers to keep that excitement throughout the season. It’s gonna be a fun year!

Geoff Cyboron – Centura
The quote that you’d like us to add to the article- We don’t have a big team but the kids we have will do big things. Kids that choose not to wrestle, you are missing out.

Matt Carroll – Cross County/Osceola
Our first practice was spent on the football field playing against the
other half of our wrestling squad on the opposing team. Weird feeling
as a coach to have kids you care so much for on both sides playing in
a game of high stakes. I will be glad when we are all together again
on the mats! Best of luck to everyone this season!

Cale Streeter – Hershey
We had a phenomenal day 1 here in Hershey. There’s nothing that can prepare you for the transition from fall to winter season. Wrestling is a crazy animal and the only way to prepare is to be a crazy animal yourself in preparation. The road to Omaha has officially started and that can leave a lot of questions in your mind on whether you did everything you could in preparation leading into the season. You don’t have a choice but to be confident in your decisions because second guessing only hinders your mindset. Whether you did or did not, the only thing you can do is move forward one day at a time and be better each day because of it.

Matt Rogers – Kearney Catholic
It was a great sight to see a practice room full of wrestlers! The guys were high energy and excited to get the season started. We have a lot of new faces this year and it was good to see a high level of focus and effort. Overall great start to the season.

Dan Mowinkel – Logan View
“Man can we fit anymore extras in, just let us practice”

Joe Schluckebier – Milford
“Our guys had a lot of energy on the first day! Many have worked hard in the offseason, and they were ready to get after it.”

Jerod Spahr – Tri County
Moving from class D to class C the wrestlers are excited. Most of the team is coming off a really good football season and want to carry that enthusiasm into the wrestling season. The wrestlers have put in a lot of off season time in the weight room and at camps so it is time to watch some heads roll as they battle it out for varsity spots.

Kalin Koch – Twin River
“Today was a great first day of official practice filled with great attitudes and positive vibes! We are young again this year but have a very talented group with room to grow! Look forward to big things this coming season!”

Shane Allison – Valentine
We had a great first day. The men were focused and worked hard. They are all excited about the start, and are focused on getting better everyday. We spent the first practice knocking off rust and getting in wrestling shape. It looks to be a great year with 30 kids out, and tremendous leadership.

Josh Batenhorst – Wakefield/Allen
“We had a great first day. I challenged our kids right away and they responded by really getting after it. We have high expectations this year and we will rely on our work ethic to achieve our goals.”

Adam Tranmer – Winnebago
Year 5 of the Winnebago Program is off and running. We have 20 wrestlers out and look to fill at least 10 of the 14 weight classes. I am very excited to see what this year has to offer. We have a bunch of incoming freshman at the lower weights that are going to contribute a lot to the team. As the previous years we have a good group also in the upper weights. We will have 220 and 285 right there in the mix when it comes to qualifying for State and we will see how things shake out in the C-1 district. This season we are focusing on the little things set ups and great technique. The past few years have been very successful and I think the student-athletes see that so they want to be a part of something and wrestling is their calling. It is going to be a fun season.

Darin Waddington – Wood River
Great first day. 20 young men with the courage to compete in the hardest yet most rewarding sport! Not that common these days!

Class D

Phil Payne – Centennial
We had a very good practice, we went outside for our warm-up and some skills and drills on the football field because the weather was awesome. This is also the first time we have had the whole team healthy and starting on the first official practice date in a few years. After we were done the wrestlers did a great job setting up and working our Junior High quad. We hope to have a productive week of practice and finish the week off at Devaney watching the Huskers take on Wyoming.

Brian Jones – Howells-Dodge
I was excited about the leadership and intensity I saw on day one. We’ve got some great experience in the room with 4 seniors and an overall group of high character, hard-working kids. They’re a physical group and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to compete and get better.

Ryan Jones – Maxwell
I always am eager to see who steps up and shows great leadership in the wrestling room on day 1 of practice. This year we had several, which was very nice to see.

Chris L. Placek – Meridian
The best time of the year is now upon us. A great first day of practice, the kids really got after it and set a great tone for the rest of the year, let the good times roll.

Dean Boyer – Plainview
We have a tough group of guys and 2 girls. The boys have put in a great deal of time in offseason wrestling and the weight room. Six out of eight of the starters on the 9-2 football team were wrestlers, so a couple have minor injuries that will slow us at the beginning of the year. Without a state champion and a placer practicing on the first night the team is exciting to watch practice. This is going to be FUN!

Aaron Pistulka – Wilcox Hildreth
“Gotta love the first day of practice! The sky’s the limit!”

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