The road to the State Wrestling Championships took a detour this season when the Nebraska School Activities Association announced there would be a subdistrict wrestling tournament.
Typically, the Swede wrestling team would have been spending this week preparing for that all-important meet with the goal of punching a ticket to Omaha on Friday.
Due to Covid and in an effort to decrease the number of people in one location at one time, wrestling teams across the state were divided into sub districts in which the top four finishers in each subdistrict weight bracket advanced to the district tournament.
The Swede wrestlers took on their subdistrict brackets in Ogallala on Feb. 6 and of the 13 wrestlers who competed, 11 advanced.
Head coach Tim Negley said that he took some time to speak with his team about challenges and keeping their eye on the prize as they took on the postseason tournaments.
“We talked about the adversity that we have faced all year both on and off the mat and how we just have to stay focused regardless of the distractions that go on around us,” he said. “If we can do that and just focus on wrestling we will be just fine.”
Negley went on to say that his team was helped along in the brackets by a couple of kids from other schools who didn’t make weight, which meant the Swede wrestler scheduled to take that disqualified wrestler on got a bye sending them into the next round of competition.
“I think they did a really great job of just focusing on one match at a time,” Negley said.
One of the wrestlers who did not advance saw the end of his high school wrestling career come to an end on Friday.
Riley Baker, who went 15-10 on his season, injured his shoulder during the Southwest Conference tournament and in his first match of the subdistrict tournament, reinjured that same shoulder.
“It was really heartbreaking for me to watch him give everything he had but just not be able to use one of his arms,” Negley said. “He was still hurting pretty good from the injury at conference and it didn’t take much to hurt it again. From that point on, he gave everything he could and fought through a significant amount of pain but the fact is that it is almost impossible to wrestle a match with one arm.”
Negley continued to say that he has really enjoyed Baker’s presence on the team.
“I have appreciated his leadership, attitude and work ethic more than words can express,” Negley said. “He will be missed as our program moves forward, I will miss him.”
Looking ahead to the next round of matches, Negley said that he’s confident it won’t be difficult to keep his wrestlers focused.
“They are going to have to wrestle even better than they did last week if they want to continue,” he said. “The stakes go up and the level of competition goes up as well. We will continue to work on individual areas that need improvement to do everything we can to get some of these guys to make the next step.”
The district wrestling meet is Feb. 13 in Gering with matches beginning at 10 a.m. MST.
NSAA Class B Subdistrict 4A Results - Feb. 6, 2020
Abel Flores (14-14) placed 3rd
Semifinal - Ashton Dane (GER) 13-2 won by fall over Abel Flores (GOTH) 14-14 (Fall 1:01)
3rd Place Match - Abel Flores (GOTH) 14-14 won by fall over Riley Picket Pin (ALL) 7-3 (Fall 1:31)
Ty Kreis (17-23) placed 4th
Semifinal - Pedro Carizales (OG) 25-3 won by fall over Ty Kreis (GOTH) 17-23 (Fall 2:13)
Cons. Semi - Ty Kreis (GOTH) 17-23 won by fall over Uzziah Schwartz (CHA) 2-28 (Fall 2:16)
3rd Place Match - Tory Picket Pin (ALL) 23-10 won by fall over Ty Kreis (GOTH) 17-23 (Fall 2:28)
Carson Stevens (10-24)
Quarterfinal - Quinton Chavez (GER) 39-1 won by fall over Carson Stevens (GOTH) 10-24 (Fall 0:51)
Cons. Semi - Logan Stephens (OG) 24-14 won by fall over Carson Stevens (GOTH) 10-24 (Fall 2:51)
Sawyer Therrien (14-20) placed 4th
Semifinal - Paul Garcia (SCBF) 36-3 won by fall over Sawyer Therrien (GOTH) 14-20 (Fall 2:46)
3rd Place Match - Cole Stokey (OG) 34-14 won by fall over Sawyer Therrien (GOTH) 14-20 (Fall 0:24)
Austen Chestnutt (10-28) placed 4th
Quarterfinal - Austen Chestnutt (GOTH) 10-28 won by fall over Max Mueller (OG) 13-29 (Fall 2:54)
Semifinal - Tyler Nagel (GER) 20-4 won by fall over Austen Chestnutt (GOTH) 10-28 (Fall 1:20)
3rd Place Match - Mason Wagner (SCBF) 28-16 won by fall over Austen Chestnutt (GOTH) 10-28 (Fall 2:46)
Abe Mendez (17-11) placed 2nd
Semifinal - Abe Mendez (GOTH) 17-11 won by fall over Merritt Skinner (OG) 28-20 (Fall 4:51)
1st Place Match - Nate Rocheleau (GER) 22-3 won by fall over Abe Mendez (GOTH) 17-11 (Fall 1:10)
Ty Hotz (22-20) placed 4th
Semifinal - Gage Stokey (OG) 41-4 won by fall over Ty Hotz (GOTH) 22-20 (Fall 0:39)
3rd Place Match - Albert Stone (GER) 33-3 won by fall over Ty Hotz (GOTH) 22-20 (Fall 4:32)
Brandon Schriner (16-21) placed 4th
Semifinal - Cameron Zink (OG) 44-3 won by fall over Brandon Schriner (GOTH) 16-21 (Fall 0:46)
3rd Place Match - Daniel Wellnitz (CHA) 28-9 won by fall over Brandon Schriner (GOTH) 16-21 (Fall 3:47)
Jameson Smith (23-18) placed 3rd
Quarterfinal - Jameson Smith (GOTH) 23-18 won by fall over Carmelo Timblin (GER) 14-19 (Fall 1:03)
Semifinal - Philip Halstead (ALL) 43-3 won by fall over Jameson Smith (GOTH) 23-18 (Fall 5:33)
Cons. Semi - Jameson Smith (GOTH) 23-18 won by fall over Blake Wyatt (OG) 10-19 (Fall 1:16)
3rd Place Match - Jameson Smith (GOTH) 23-18 won by fall over Rhett Cullers (CHA) 28-12 (Fall 2:40)
Riley Baker (15-10) place is unknown
Quarterfinal - Trae Skiles (OG) 16-22 won by decision over Riley Baker (GOTH) 15-10 (Dec 8-7)
Cons. Semi - Jayce Wilkinson (SCBF) 33-12 won by major decision over Riley Baker (GOTH) 15-10 (MD 14-2)
Jonah Shimmin (13-22) placed 4th
Semifinal - Kade Waggener (CHA) 33-3 won by fall over Jonah Shimmin (GOTH) 13-22 (Fall 3:09)
Cons. Semi - Jonah Shimmin (GOTH) 13-22 won by decision over Andrew Mount (GER) 13-21 (Dec 5-0)
3rd Place Match - Sebastian Boyle (SCBF) 18-11 won by decision over Jonah Shimmin (GOTH) 13-22 (Dec 11-6)
Jacob Olson (19-12) placed 2nd
Semifinal - Jacob Olson (GOTH) 19-12 won by fall over Iziah Blanco (GER) 22-16 (Fall 3:03)
1st Place Match - Colton Donason (OG) 29-8 won by fall over Jacob Olson (GOTH) 19-12 (Fall 2:25)
Ethan Libich (23-17) placed 2nd
Semifinal - Ethan Libich (GOTH) 23-17 won by fall over Blake Messervy (OG) 15-22 (Fall 1:17)
1st Place Match - Ryan Bickel (CHA) 28-4 won by decision over Ethan Libich (GOTH) 23-17 (Dec 6-4)