106: Alex Spotanski, Shelton (27-20) vs Nolan Osborn, Twin Loup (43-16)
Osborn navigated a loaded 106 pound bracket D1 district to finish in fourth and qualify for state. He now will take a shot at Alex Spotanski of Shelton who was the D3 district champion. If Osborn can win this match the rest of the bracket sets up nicely for him to secure a medal.
113: #6 Braxton Volk, Pender (20-8) vs #8 Brayden Brecka, East Butler (28-10)
Both wrestlers have wrestled Zack Harlt of Elkhorn Valley this year. While Volk and Hartl split, Hartl beat Brecka 5-3. Expect this to be a really good match with the winner having a really good shot to make the semifinals.
120: Michael Polivka, East Butler(21-10) vs #6 Koby Smith, Elm Creek (27-6)
Both wrestlers have spent a majority of the year in the rankings. Smith finished as the district runner-up so he should come in with plenty of fire. Also for Smith there is a potential quarterfinal rematch with Marshall waiting in the wings. Polivka finished 3rd in a tough D2 district so he should be well charged and ready to go as well.
126: #7 Connor Wells, Anselmo Merna (28-6) vs #5 Doug Rainey, Southern (28-6)
Rainey beat Wells 4-3 in the finals at the Thayer Central Invite earlier this year. Both wrestlers have a very defensive style, so expect another low scoring match.
132: #3 Ryan Payne, Centennial (42-9) vs #8 Carter Buchheit, Hemingford (25-4)
Payne battled through a tough D2 district, where he ended up fourth. Buchheit won the D4 district. Payne may have finished 4th at his district but don’t count him out of this match. The winner of this match also has a good route to the semifinals.
138: Garett Jensen, Palmer (29-14) vs #8 Xavier Perez, Elm Creek (37-14)
Both wrestlers have spent most of the year in the rankings, with Jensen just dropping out in the last set. Palmer wrestles a pretty tough schedule that prepares there wrestlers well for matches like this. Perez has tons of raw talent and explosiveness. There is a ton of great first round matches at this weight but this one should have some fireworks.
145: #7 Chase Pawloski, Pleasanton (35-10) vs #2 Cody Hanvey, Creighton (34-7)
Hanvey dropped from 152 in the middle part of January and lit the weight on fire. He struggled a bit at districts where he finished fourth. Pawloski won his district and has faced most of the top competition this season, so he should be prepared for a match like this right out of the gates.
152: #1 Colby Coons, Twin Loup (43-1) vs #7 Ayden Molzahn, Alma (20-5)
Coons will obviously be favored in this one, but it’s definitely not a match that you can sleep on right out of the gates. Molzahn is a very tough opponent.
160: #1 Derek Gibson, Maxwell (35-2) vs #6 Matt Christensen, Plainview (28-7)
Gibson got upset in the district semifinals, which set this match up. Gibson, like most Maxwell wrestlers, is very dangerous and could end this match at anytime. Expect Christensen to have a good game plan ready to go in this one.
170: #6 Gunner Reimers, Palmer (38-13) vs #4 Benjamin Slaymaker, West Holt (29-9)
Slaymaker fell to Arehart of Ansley =-Litchfield in the district semifinals. Reimers lost to #3 ranked Borgmann of Stanton. Both wrestlers should come into this one pretty fired up coming off losses at districts.
182: Riley Kessler, Mullen (31-10) vs #7 Trevor Schumacher, Howells-Dodge (37-14)
Kessler has been just outside of the 182 rankings all year. Schumacher has been hovering around that 7 spot most of the year. This one could go either way but the winner is definitely in a better spot to get on the medal stand at state.
195: #3 Ty Kvanvig, Mullen (33-5) vs #4 Kayden Stubbs, Maxwell (38-4)
Kvanvig won this match 8-2 earlier this season. Expect another fairly close match in the opening round.
220: #8 Andrew Burnett, Anselmo-Merna (33-10) vs #4 Trenton Baier, Weeping Water (19-4)
Baier beat Burnett 1-0 in a tight match at Central Valley earlier this season. Expect another tight one here.
285: #7 Zacharia Kerwood, Meridian (24-10) vs #8 Carson Fehlhafer, Centennial (42-10)
Fehlhafer battled through maybe the toughest district in Class D at 285 and came away in 3rd. Kerwood reached the finals in the D1 district before falling to #3 Kerner. Fehlhafer has wrestled a very tough schedule this year so we’ll see how that benefits him in the opening round.
Other Matches to Watch:
106 Bout #4007: Dutch Yates, Garden County (31-12) vs Jesse Duba, Friend (18-17)
113 Bout #4015: Ben Klemesurd, North Central (28-16) vs Zack Hartl, Elkhorn Valley (24-14)
120 Bout #4019: Thomas Klemesurd, North Central (24-6) vs Oscar Medina, Harvard (25-7)
126 Bout #4026: Josh Spatz, East Butler (29-8) vs Javier Marino, High Plains Community (20-17)
132 Bout #4039: Jon Peterka, Sutherland (30-8) vs Art Escalante, Winside (38-4)
138 Bout #4041: Dennis Vogl Crawford (25-10) vs Luke Henn, Elgin Public Pope John (10-3)
145 Bout #4054: Spencer DeNaeyer, Mullen (36-19) vs Roy Guzman, Palmer (40-14)
152 Bout #4062: Aiden Kuester Neligh-Oakdale (39-7) vs Brody Dickinson, Freeman (39-9)
160 Bout #4070: Haydon Olds, Minatare (32-7) vs Levi Belina, Howells-Dodge (44-5)
170 Bout #4074: Wyatt Hegemann, Howells-Dodge (41-12) vs Hunter Arehart, Ansley-Litchfield (30-9)
182 Bout #4084: Bryan Zutavern Sandhills/Thedoford (31-5) vs Justin Kuta, Palmer (9-4)
195 Bout #4094: Wyatt Haverluck, Meridain (21-6) vs Sutton Pohlman, Stanton (22-12)
195 Bout #4095: Colton Thielde, Summerland (36-11) vs Sid Miller, Anselmo-Merna (22-14)
220 Bout #4102: Delton Haines, Dundy County Stratton (20-16) vs Colton Klabenes, Neligh-Oakdale (22-8)
220 Bout #4103: Remington Hodges, Hitchcock County (35-10) vs Jacob Busch, Burwell (25-12)
285 Bout #4106: Brayton Branic, Sandhills/Thedford (30-9) vs Payton Christiancy, Superior (29-13)