By Alan Carman
The Imperial Republican
The Ogallala duals proved to be a difficult task for the Imperial wrestlers Saturday. With five open weights it is difficult to match up against the larger towns with nearly full rosters.
Imperial competed in pool play action against Mitchell, Hershey, Gordon-Rushville and North Platte High. The Longhorns went 1-3 in the duals tying for third place with Hershey and Gordon-Rushville.
In the criteria for the tie breaker all three teams had identical records and each had one win and two losses over each other so the team with the most pinfalls would take the third place spot. Gordon-Rushville edged out Imperial by one fall to take third with Chase County fourth and Hershey fifth.
Meanwhile in the auditorium across town the other five teams including Kearney, Wray, Kimball, Ogallala and Valentine dualed it out.
The first place team from these duals would wrestle the first place team from the duals held in the high school gym. Ogallala, Wray and Kimble all tied for third place with Ogallala winning the tie breaker, Kimball in fourth and Wray taking fifth.
This matched Chase County with a district foe, Kimball for the finals.
This match proved to be a very close and controversial match to end the day.
In Chad Cochran’s final match of the day, Cochran had built a large lead when Tatum Morgan suffered a shoulder injury. Morgan was unable to continue in the match and the referee had determined the injury was sustained by an illegal hold which caused Cochran’s disqualification.
After much discussion it was determined that the hold was not illegal but just endangered the other wrestler which would call for the hold to be broken and the match continued. However, Morgan was unable to continue so the match ended with the outcome uncertain.
In the official scoring received after the match, Cochran was credited with the win which also gave Chase County the dual win.
Coach Matt Vlasin said, “Our boys came out a little sluggish at the start of the day.”
Not sure if it was the holiday break or the early morning start or both, Coach Vlasin noted that by the third dual all the wrestlers seemed to come around and wrestle a little better.
The break didn’t seem to phase one of the Longhorns. Nathan Hinojosa stormed through the heavyweight division, pinning every wrestler he met, the most exciting of which was against North Platte’s Bo Myers. Hinojosa brought the crowd to life when he picked up the 285 pound Myers and brought him straight down to his back and got the pin.
Chase County was able to see some of its district competition at this meet. Mitchell, Hershey, Kimball and Gordon-Rushville are all in the same district so it was nice to see where the Longhorns stand against those teams, Vlasin said.
In the duals for the day, Chase County went 2-3.
Starting with a very tough Mitchell team, Chase County lost 28-54. Coach Vlasin noted there are five to six state ranked wrestlers for Mitchell’s team with several having state tournament experience.
The next dual saw action against SPVA foe Hershey. Hershey won a close contest 30-36.Vlasin thought Chase County could have improved on this match and is looking forward to meeting them again in SPVA conference action next month.
The third dual of the day was against Gordon-Rushville. Chase County was able to take the win 33-28. With both teams having five open weights it made for a very competitive dual.
The final dual in pool play brought in North Platte High.
Chase County seemed a little overmatched and lost 15-59. This gave Chase County the fourth seed for the final dual of the day against the fourth-seeded Kimball Longhorns. Chase County pulled out the win 36-30 to finish up the days action at 2-3.
Individual records on the day were: Keithan Cochran 3-2, Misael Garcia 1-4, Michael May 3-2, Jeremiah Lueth 2-3, Steven Way 1-4, Andrei Rodriquez 1-4, Trevor Fuehrer 3-2, Tyler Roenfeldt 4-1 and Nathan Hinojosa 5-0.
twice this week
Next action for the Longhorns is a home dual Thursday night versus Ogallala at 6:30 in the Longhorn gym. This is the only home dual of the season. Coach Vlasin thinks the Longhorns should match up well against the Indians.
Saturday will see 12 to 13 teams compete at the Chase County Invitational. Saturday’s meet will see junior varsity and varsity action starting at 9 a.m. Vlasin expects Sidney and Chadron to bring very tough teams along with a host of others. Vlasin is hoping the addition of Tyler Roenfeldt off his injury will help to boost the team up a few spots.