Team Race Preview and Predictions

Plainview has had an unbelivable season following last years state championship. They could put 5-6 guys in the finals pretty easily which right now projects them to score twice the amount of team points as anyone else. They very will could have the team title wrapped up after the Thursday session. Where the team race could be interresting is the race for second. Right now Mullen and Howells Dodge are tied for second place. That doesnt take into consideration the team points they could get from guys that wind up winnint matches on the back side that dont reach the podium on Saturday. Mullen could get extra points by sneaking a guy like Eli Paxton on to the podium at 113 or him simply getting to Friday night in the wrestle back if he fails to make the semifinals. They also could get points from guys like Durfee, DeNaeyer, Neal and Hessler all of which could win a few matches. Much like Mullen Howells-Dodge could get a boost in the team race if they can get Jestin Bayer or Trevor Schumacher on the podium. Then there is Neligh Oakdale that is currently right on their heels in fourth place. They could get boost if they can get Austin Rudolf or Colton Kalbenes on the podium or if Kuester can get to the finals at 152, which he very well could. After these 3 teams there is another teir of teams that will battle for 5-10. Those teams right now are seperated by a total of 6 placement points. Teams like Burwell and Maxwell sit just out side the top ten and if they didnt lose some key guys at districts that could have scored some potential team point in points in Omaha they would be right in the mix as well. This team race is going to be a fun one to watch unfold and upsets will happen that make this thing even tighter. 

Top Ten Team Predictions (# of medalists) 

  1. Plainview (7)
  2. Mullen (4) 
  3. Howells Dodge (4)
  4. Neligh-Oakdale (4)
  5. Elkhorn Valley (3) 
  6. Twin Loup (3)
  7. Central Valley (2)
  8. Ansley/Litchfield (3)
  9. Thayer Central (3)
  10. Weeping Water (3)

Individual Weight Class Preview and Predictions: 



Top Half: Ashton Dane of Plainview and Hunter Bennett should meet in the semifinals. These two have’t wrestled each other since Bennett won 6-1 the opening weekend of the season. Dane’s other three losses are to teammate Lanham. 

Bottom Half: If Osborn can get past his first round opponent in Spotanski of Shelton his projected quarterfinal opponent would be Kocian of East Butler. Lanham is the favorite to not only reach the finals off the bottom side, he is also the favorite to win back to back titles at 106. 

Projected Finish:

  1. Eli Lanham, Plainview (Jr.) 
  2. Hunter Bennett, Elkhorn Valley (Jr.) 
  3. Aston Dane, Plainview (Fr.)
  4. Tristina Grooms, Mullen (So.)
  5. Nolan Osborn, Twin Loup (So.)
  6. Reece Kocian, East Butler (Fr.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Lane Bohac, East Butler (Fr.)



D113Top Half: Ashburn and Ellis appear to be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals. Ashburn won that match 10-0 at the state dual tournament 2 weeks ago in Kearney. Ashburn will likely need to get past Peterson in the quarterfinals, and Ellis will likely need to beat Fox. Ashburn is the favorite to reach the finals where we would have a likely rematch with Sauceda of Shelton who he beat 1-0 earlier this season at the Amherst Invite. 

Bottom Half: Paxton wrestling 113 at districts throws a nice little wrinkle in the bottom half of this bracket. The winner of the Brecka Volk first round match will likely get Paxton in the quarters. Who ever comes through that quarter match will be an underdog against Sauceda in the semifinals. 

Projected Finish:

  1. Scout Ashburn, Plainview (So.)
  2. Jesse Sauceda, Shelton (Sr.)
  3. Cayden Ellis, Winside (So.)
  4. Logan Peterson, South Loup (Jr.)
  5. Zack Hartl, Elkhorn Valley (So.)
  6. Brayden Brecka, East Butler (So.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Eli Paxton, Mullen (Fr.)




Top Half: The top side of this bracket has a lot of interesting matches. It start right way first round with Polivka and Smith. The winner of that match will likely get Marshall in the semifinals. Marshall beat Smith 8-2 earlier this season but that match was really closer than the score appeared. In the bottom quarter of the top side things should be exciting right away with Medina and Klemesurd in the opening round. The winner of that match gets Phillips in the quarters. Klemesurd upset Phillips earlier this season at the Burwell invite, but Phillips appears to be wrestling much better since then. Marshall and Phillipps havent wrestled this season but if they meet in the semifinals Marshall would be the favorite to win that. 

Bottom Half: Wells and Kester should meet in the quarterfinals. Wells beat Kester earlier this season 9-2 at the twin loup invite when both where up at 126. in the other quarterfinal it appears Smith of Elkhorn Valley and Kuehn should meet up. Kuehn beat Smith at the Neligh-Oakdale 6-3 earlier this season. Wells and Kuehn havent met this season but Wells would be a heavy favorite to reach the finals. If Wells and Marshall both reach the finals, Wells would be the favorite as he has beat Marshall head to head twice this season. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Cyrus Wells, Anselmo-Merna (So.)
  2. Teven Marshall, Mullen (Sr.)
  3. Tate Phillips, Burwell (Sr.)
  4. Koby Smith, Elm Creek (Jr.)
  5. Brock Kester, Neligh Oakdale (Jr.)
  6. Nickolas Kuehn, Kenesaw (Fr.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Michael Polivka, East Butler (Jr.) 




Top Half: Right out of the gates we cant be fooled by Marino’s 20-17 record, He will give Spatz all he wants in the opening round. Pending that Spatz gets past Marino his likely quarters opponent would be Foster. Foster for the second year in a row comes into that state tournament with an undefeated record. and would be the favorite to reach the semifinals. Schernikau and Miller should be a quarterfinal match to keep an eye out for. Miller would be the favorite after Schernikau just lost to Wood in the district finals, who Miller beat earlier this season. Miller looks like the favorite to reach the finals on the top side of the bracket. 

Bottom Half: On the Bottom side we get a great first round match with Wells and Rainey right off the bat. Rainey won that match 4-3 earlier this season at the Thayer Central Invite. Expect that match to be really tight again as both wrestlers have a very defensive style. The winner of that likely get Barton in the quarterfinals, a match both wells or Rainey would be favored in. The likel semifinal opponent is defending State Champion Shaye Wood. Wood likes the turn it on win the lights are the brightest as we seen last year when he nagivated a loaded 120 bracket. Wood will likely see McLaughlin in the quarters who has missed most of the season with an injury before competeting at districts. Like mentioned before Miller does have a head to head win over Wood, but Wood also wrestles really well in Omaha. 

Projected Finish:

  1. Adam Miller, Elkhorn Valley (Jr.)
  2. Shaye Wood Central Balley (Sr.)
  3. Gaven Schernikau, Centennial (Sr.)
  4. Samuel Foster, Sutherland (So.)
  5. Brenner McLaughlin, Thayer Central (So.)
  6. Doug Rainey, Southern (Sr.) 

Dark Horse Medalist: Javier Marino, High Plains (So.)




Top Half: Right away first round we get an interesting 1-4 match-up with Payne and Buchheit. Payne a returning medalist from Class C a year ago is probably a slight favorite to win that match. The winner of that match likely get Mosel in the quarters and Reimers and in the semifinals. Reimers will need to get past the winner of the Gruntorad/Grint match in the opening round. Reimers is the favorite to reach the finals from the top side. 

Bottom Half: Opening round get Escalante and Peterka in what should be an exciting match, the loser of this match may be in better shape to reach the podium. The winner of that gets Larson in the quarterfinals, in a match Larson is the heavy favorite in. In the semifinals Larson should see Blevins. Larson and Blevins haven’t met yet this year, but Larson has beat Reimers and Blevins has lost to Reimers twice. Blevins will need to get past Latimer most likely in the quarterfinals. Larson is the favorite to not only make the finals on for the bottom side but the favorite to win the weight. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Jeremy Larson, Brady (Jr.)
  2. Ruger Reimers, Palmer (Jr.)
  3. Nolan Blevins, Weeping Water (Jr.)
  4. Garrett Latimer, Southwest (Jr.) 
  5. Ryan Payne, Centennial (Jr.)
  6. Jon Peterka, Sutherland (So.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Keagan Mosel, Plainview (Jr.)




Top Half: The very first match in 138 is interesting Vogl of Crawford has been sold al season long and draws Henn right away. Henn has missed most of the year with an injury and just came back a few weeks ago. The winner of that match gets the winner of Perez and Jensen in the Quarters. Again that is another very interesting match to keep your eye on in the opening round. Honest anyone of those four wrestling could make the semifinals and face the winner of the biggest quarterfinal match in Class D between Christensen and Martinez. Martinez ranked #1 was upset in the district finals but does own a head to head win over Christensen. The winner of that quarterfinal should have no problems making the finals. 

Bottom Half: On the bottom side there shouldn’t be many fireworks in the first round, but the quarterfinals should bring plenty of heat. the first quarterfinal should be between Escalante and Sonderup. Sonderup made the late season drop to 138, and Escalante had a huge upset win in the district final over Martinez. Sonderup also beat Martinez earlier this season when he was up at 145. The other quarterfinal should be Rudolf and Klingsporn. Klingsporn and Rudolf havent met this year but Klingsporn does have a common opponent win over him. Klingsporn and either Escalante or Sonderup should be a really good semifinal match. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Enrique Martinez, Central Valley (Sr.)
  2. Dustin Klingsporn, Axtell (Sr.)
  3. Nate Christensen, Plainview (Sr.)
  4. Connor Sonderup, Fullerton (Sr.)
  5. Gabe Escalante, Winside (So.)
  6. Xavier Perez, Elm Creek (Jr.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Luke Henn, Elgin Public Pope John (Sr.)




Top Half: There should be two really good quarterfinals on the top side. Van Pelt and Coons should meet in the first quarterfinal. Coons beat Van Pelt opening weekend, but since then Van Pelt has really been impressive and was the top ranked wrestle at this weight at one point during the season. The other quarterfinal should give us Holthus and Wortman. Holthus has been solid since dropping down from 152 including a win over Van Pelt 3-1. Wortman had really struggled at times during the season but has really came on as of late and appears to maybe be peaking at the right time in the year. With the success Holthus has had though this season is hard to pick against him making the final. 

Bottom Half: Right way on the bottom half we get Pawloski vs Hanvey. Before this past weekend Hanvey would have been the favorite in this match, but right now the slight edge goes to Pawloski. In the quarterfinal Pawloski should get Guzman who he beat head to head earlier this season. In the bottom quarter we should see Lewis and Stewart. Stewart dropped to 145 shortly after Christmas and appears to be the favorite to make the finals off the bottom side. 

Projected Finish

  1. Colton Holthus, Garden County (Jr.)
  2. Dominic Stewart, Thayer Central (Jr.)
  3. Matt Van Pelt, Southwest (Jr.)
  4. Cooper Coons, Twin Loup (Sr.)
  5. Levi Lewis, North Central (So.)
  6. Chase Pawloski, Pleasanton (So.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Bode Wortman, Plainview (Sr.)




Top Half: This side of the bracket is pretty simple on paper is should be all Coons all the way to the finals. Coons will have to be ready right out of the gates and not look ahead though or he could be on upset alert right way with Molzahn. Coons should get Burch in the quarterfinal and most likely Tryon in the semifinals. Tryon will need to get past Randall in the opening round before a likely quarterfinal opponent of Bryner. 

Bottom Half: This side of the bracket isnt as clear after the opening round. Leonard and Kuester should meet in the top quarterfinal. They just wrestled a few weeks ago with Kuester winning 4-3. Gunning and Green should meet in the bottom quarterfinal. Green beat Gunning earlier this season, but Green lost to Kuester who Gunning has beat twice. If Green and Kuester wrestling in the semifinals Kuester could be a finalist as a freshman. If Gunning can avenge and earlier season loss to Green, he would be the favorite to reach the finals. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Colby Coons, Twin Loup (Sr.)
  2. Will Gunning, Plainview (So.)
  3. Aiden Kuester, Neligh-Oakdale (Fr.)
  4. Elijah Green, Nebraska Christian (Jr.)
  5. Jason Burch, Weeping Water (Jr.)
  6. Brett Tryon, Southwest (Jr.) 

Dark Horse Medalist: Christian Leonard, Bayard (Jr.)




Top Half: This weight is going to be very good from the first match to the last match. This may be the most wide open weight in Class D, and should bring us alot of really good first matches. In the top quarterfinal it looks like Wichmann and Parsons should be the favorite to meet, a match in which Wichmann won earlier this season 6-1. In the bottom quarterfinal on the top side it should be Zutavern vs the winner of the Christensen/Gibson opening round match. Gibson lost in the district semifinals but had been really solid all season up to that point. The winner of that opening round match should be a slight favorite over Zutavern in the quarterfinal and probably a favorite to reach the finals. 

Bottom Half: This side is maybe a little more clear but still has some upset potential. It looks like Racicky and Fuelner should meet in the semifinals. Racicky will likely need to beat Belina in the quarterfinal after a first round meeting with Vortherms. Fuelner would likely see Coleman in the quarterfinals after a first round match with Slingsby. Racicky has been really solid all year with his only two losses coming to the same Class C opponent. Racicky is not only the favorite to reach the finals but is the favorite to win this weight as well. 

Projected Finish

  1. Blake Racicky, Ansley/Litchifeld (Sr.)
  2. Derek Gibson, Maxwell (Sr.)
  3. Jackson Fuelner, Thayer Central (Sr.)
  4. Levi Belina, Howells-Dodge (So.)
  5. Spencer Wichmann, Palmer (Jr.)
  6. Reece Zutavern, Sandhills/Thedford (So.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Jarrett Parsons, High Plains Community (Sr.)




Top Half: A couple first round matchups really jump out in this top side. Hegemann vs Arehart and Reimers vs Slaymaker should both be really good first round matches. Hegemann appears to be a slight favorite over Arehart and should meet McGill in the quarterfinals in a match he should be favored in. Before this past weekend Slaymaker would have been favored over Reimers, But now the slight edge in that match goes to Reimers. Reimers would then face Mejia in the quarterfinals, where Mejia is not only a favorite there but would be a favorite to reach the final. 

Bottom Half: All eyes on the bottom half of this bracket should be on the potential semifinal matchup between Borgmann and Soule. Borgamm will need to beat Duffy in the opening round before a likely quarterfinal match with Gideon. Soule gets smith in the opening round before a quarterfinal with White. Soule has been battle tested all year long and its hard to pick against him reaching the final. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Dylan Soule, High Plains Community (Sr.)
  2. Alizae Mejia, Plainview (Jr.)
  3. Issiah Borgmann, Stanton (Sr.)
  4. Wyatt Hegemann, Howells-Dodge (Sr.)
  5. Gunner Reimer, Palmer (So.)
  6. Hunter Arehart, Ansley-Litchfield (Jr.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Benjamin Slaymaker, West Holt (Sr.) 




Top Half: This side looks like a Russell/Zutavern semifinal. Russell gets Miller in the opening round followed by a quartefinal with the Evans/Senff winner. Zutavern has a tough opening round match up against Kuta, followed by a likely quarterfinal matchup with Kaup. In the semifinal match Russell would be the favorite as he has a head to head win over Zutavern with a 5-4 win earlier this season

Bottom Half: This should be Dawe on cruise control headed to the finals. Dawe will likely draw Larson in the semifinal and Schumacher in the quarterfinal after an opening round match with Brack. Larson will need to beat the Schroll/Meier winner in the quarterfinals after and opening round match with Hammer. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Corey Dawe, Burwell (Sr.)
  2. Daylan Russell, Alma (Sr.) 
  3. Bryan Zutavern, Sandhills Thedford (Sr.)
  4. Kolby Larson, Ansley/Litchfield (So.)
  5. Dawson Kaup, Neligh-Oakdale (Jr.)
  6. Cash Meier, Gaurdian Angles Central Catholic (Jr.)

Dark Horse Medalist: Bobby Evans, Cambridge (Jr.)




Top Half: This really feels like a weight that is a two horse race that are on a collison course to meet in the finals. Pofahl opens his state tournament with Wolfe and then will likely meet Hargett in the quarterfinals. Pofahl’s semifinal opponent is a little less clear. Bayer was hurt for most of the season after wrestling 160 opening weekend, when he came back a couple weeks ago he wrestled at 195, and competed there at districts. Bayer’s quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of what should be a really good opening round match between Kvanvig and Stubbs. Kvanvig won that match 8-2 earlier this season. Kvanvig and Bayer might be a coin flip quarterfinal. 

Bottom Half: On the bottom side sits Mundt whose only blemish this season came at the hands of a Class C opponent who he is actually split with. Mundt has beat Pofahl head to head twice this season. The opponents standing in Mundt’s way could be a little fluid. Opening round Mundt draws Nichols a match he will be a heavy favorite in. Mundt’s quarterfinal opponent could be Miller. Miller beat Thiele head to head earlier this season. In the semifinal it might be anyone’s best guess. McFadden started the season at 195 but then dropped to 170 before bumping back up to 195 for districts. McFadden should win his opening round match as he has head to head over Swartwood. In the quarterfinal McFadden will draw the winner of Haverluck/Pohlman. Pohlman got a late start on the season, and then when he came back he wrestled 182 until districts. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Carl Mundt, Nebraska Chrsitian (Jr.) 
  2. Kaleb Pofahl, Neligh-Oakdale (Sr.) 
  3. Ty Kvanvig, Mullen (Sr.)
  4. James Hargett, Southern Valley (Sr.)
  5. Wyatt Haverluck, Meridian (Sr.) 
  6. Reed McFadden, Sandhills/Thedford (Jr.) 

Dark Horse Medalist: Jestin Bayer, Howells-Dodge (Fr.)




Top Half: Hassett and Gale should be on a collision course to meet in the semifinal. Gale beat Hassett in 2OT at the South Loup Invite earlier this season. Hassett will open his state tournament with Dady, followed by a likely quarterfinal match up against Klover. Gale opens his state tournament with Anderson, before likely meeting Baier in the quarterfinal. Baier has a first round match to watch against Burnett, who he beat earlier this season 1-0 at the Central Valley Invite. 

Bottom Half: This looks like a Throener/ Howitt semifinal matchup. Howitt has gotten better and better each week this season, including an exciting district final win over Nebraska Football Walk on Klover. Howitt opens with Peatrowski, before likely meeting with Hodges in the quarterfinal. Howitt and Hodges have split matches this season so that could be a quarterfinal to keep an eye on. Throener opens his state tournament against Beck, before likely meeting Klabenes in the quarterfinal. 

Prjected Finish: 

  1. Carter Throener, Howells Dodege (Sr.) 
  2. Collin Gale, Plainview (Sr.) 
  3. Clayton Hassett, Mullen (Sr.)
  4. Luke Howitt, Maxwell (Jr.) 
  5. Braden Klover, Southern (Sr.)
  6. Remington Hodges, Hitchcock County (Sr.) 

Dark Horse Medalist: Andrew Burnett, Anselmo-Merna (Jr.) 




Top Half: Martin won this weight a year ago in Omaha, and is back looking to repeat. Martin opens the state tournament with Mayfield, before likely drawing Gonzales in the quarterfinal. In the semifinals Martin will likely see Kerner who he has beat twice head to head. Kerner opens the state tournament agianst Shoemaker who he has beat twice head to head this season. In the quarterfinal Kerner will get the winner of Branic and Christiancy. Kerner beat Branic earlier this season but has yet to meet Christiancy. 

Bottom Half: Cave will be looking to get back to the state finals where he fell to Martin last season. Cave opens the state tournament with Bateman, before likely facing Fehlhafer in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals it looks like Cave will likely get Pickhinkle. Pickhinkle opens the state tournament against Hathaway, and will likely get Garduno in the quarterfinal. Cave does own a common opponent win over Martin this season so expect a really good finals match here. 

Projected Finish: 

  1. Kien Martin, Overton (Sr.)
  2. Marcus Cave, Weeping Water (Sr.)
  3. Levi Kerner, Arapahoe (Jr.)
  4. Kyle Pickhinkle, Howells-Dodge (Sr.)
  5. Carson Fehlhafer, Centennial (So.)
  6. Zacharia Kerwood, Meridian (Sr.) 

Dark Horse Medalist: Payton Christiancy, Superior (So.) 

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