By Alan Carman
The Imperial Republican
Head Coach Matt Vlasin only entered four of his young squad in the varsity division at the Holdrege Invitational last Saturday. Vlasin decided to take six other wrestlers in the junior varsity division.
Out of the four wrestlers in varsity, three brought home medals. Sophomore Bryson Fisher placed highest for the Longhorns with a second place finish.
Freshman Aaron Hinojosa came home with third and Caleb Weiss brought home a fifth in his first action of the season.
Colton Burpo rounded out the varsity performance with a seventh place finish.
Coach Vlasin said he was pleased with the performance of his squad, despite having to make the trip in one of the route school busses.
Holdrege changed the format of the tournament to a split pool round robin type tournament. This gave the wrestlers a lot of mat time to hone their skills early in the season.
Fisher started the day with a bye in his first match, followed by three pins to put him in the championship match. The final match against Karson Sok of Northwest was fast-paced right from the start.
After an escape early in the match, Fisher went on the attack only to get caught in a cradle by Sok and pinned with just 41 seconds left in the first period.
Hinojosa was the only wrestler who was not a senior in the 195 pound division. Coach Vlasin noted that there was a lot of talk about how well the freshman held up to his older competitors.
Hinojosa had five matches on the day, winning three by pin, losing a close one by decision and getting pinned by Bailey Dishman, a 12-0 senior from Northwest.
Weiss saw his first action of the season. Weiss went 2-2 on the day, losing his first by pin, winning a decision, getting pinned in his third match, had a bye in the fourth and winning a 6-0 decision in the fifth place match over junior Phoenix Kalinski of Northwest.
Burpo started the day losing a 7-14 decision to Lucas Svoboda of Minden followed by three pins and a bye to finish in seventh.
Lincoln Southwest 223.5, Grand Island Northwest 214.5, Lexington 174.5, Holdrege 131, Broken Bow 124.5, Minden 69, McCook 67 and Chase County 43.
126 Colton Burpo decisioned by Lucas Svoboda Min 7-14, pinned by Zachary Hurlbert Hold 1:30, pinned by Jackson Knorr LSW 1:39, pinned by Wyatt Lilenthal NW 0:44 and a bye for seventh place.
132 Caleb Weiss pinned by Tomas Margritz Lex 3:30, decisioned Phoenix Kalinski NW 10-5, pinned by Devin Logston Hold 1:58, bye, decisioned Phoenix Kalinski 6-0 for fifth place.
145 Bryson Fisher bye, pinned Javier Rivas Lex 1:04, pinned Dylan Hogeland LSW 4:41, pinned Randy Wiggins Min 1:51, pinned by Karson Sok NW 1:19 for second place.
195 Aaron Hinojosa pinned Bryson Holsten Min 0:53, pinned Devin Smith Hold 0:59, decisioned by Derek Greenwald LSW 1-5, pinned by Bailey Dishman NW 0:19, pinned Armando Pinedo Lex 4:55 for third place.
The junior varsity division of the tournament was a round robin format.
Zach Space was the top finisher for the Longhorns, going 3-0 on the day to win first in the 182 pound class.
Jorge Cervantes finished in second going 1-1 on the day.
Third place finishers were Caine Haarberg at 1-2, Blake Schilke 1-2 and Jayden German 0-2.
Roper Cochran finished in fourth going 0-3.
Next action will see the Longhorn JVs competing at McCook today (Thursday) in a 9-10 only tournament. Action begins at 3 p.m. MT, in the high school gym in McCook.
On Saturday the wrestlers will travel to Sidney for their last action in the 2014 portion of the season. Varsity and JV action will start at 9 a.m. MT, in the two high school gyms.