By Alan Carman
The Imperial Republican
It could have been better, but Head Coach Matt Vlasin said he was satisfied with qualifying three Longhorn wrestlers for this week’s state tournament.
After the drought Chase County has suffered for the last couple of years, it is nice to break through and have some kids qualify, he said.
Saturday morning was a terrible round for the Longhorn wrestlers.
After having three wrestlers eliminated in the Friday evening session, Chase County was looking all right with three wrestlers having only one loss and the other three still undefeated.
However, Saturday morning would see the first five matches end in defeat for the Longhorns before freshman Aaron Hinojosa turned it around with an overtime win over Alex Wamboldt of Bayard.
In the first overtime period which is a one minute sudden victory period, both wrestlers start out on their feet and if someone is able to score in that minute, they win the match.
After tying up at the start of the period, Wamboldt tried to get a takedown with a headlock, but on the way to the ground, Hinojosa slipped his head out and got behind Wamboldt with control, ending the match at 5-3 in favor of Hinojosa.
That victory seemed to spark life into the two other remaining Longhorn wrestlers, Bryson Fisher and Jake Lueth.
Fisher bounced back in the heartbreak round and wasted no time with Southern Valley’s Dalton Vanover. Both wrestlers went to the mat and it appeared Vanover may have been in control when Fisher got an arm behind his head and promptly pinned Vanover in just 55 seconds to secure a spot at state.
Directly following that match, Lueth found himself facing another Southern Valley wrestler in Chase Becker. After controlling Becker for most of the first period, Lueth stuck in a double chicken wing and pinned Becker at the 3:22 mark, assuring Lueth a spot in the bus to Omaha.
Unfortunately, all three wrestlers seemed to have a bit of a letdown after assuring themselves a place in the state tournament and all three lost in the final round.
Hinojosa brought home a second place finish, while Fisher and Lueth both settled for fourth.
Hunter Dillan, Jorge Cervantes and Zach Space came up just short, getting eliminated in the third round of consolations to end their seasons.
Freshmen Blake Schilke and Caleb Weiss, along with sophomore Colton Burpo, all gained valuable experience from the meet to bring back next year for another shot.
As a team, the Longhorns finished in 10th place out of 16 teams at last week’s C-4 district meet in Mitchell. Coach Vlasin said if a couple of matches that he expected to win Saturday would have panned out, the team could have easily jumped a few places higher.
“Looking at the season, we have come leaps and bounds from where we were two years ago,” Vlasin said. “Hopefully we can keep growing and improving in the future.”
Valentine 228.5, Southern Valley 118, Bayard 115, Arcadia-Loup City 114, Sargent/Burwell 109, Bridgeport 89.5, Mitchell 86, Hershey 70, Kearney Catholic 60.5, Chase County 60, Ainsworth 53, Minden 48.5, Gordon/Rushville 43.5, Ravenna 36, Loomis/Bertrand 30 and Kimball 27.
126: Colton Burpo pinned by Jason Palmer (LB) 3:36, bye, pinned by Peyton Baumann (Bri) 2:52.
132: Caleb Weiss pinned by Mckway Scott (ALC) 5:23, pinned Tanner Douglas (RAV) 1:48, pinned by Carter Fleshman (KC) 1:54.
138: Hunter Dillan pinned Ty Richardson (AIN) 1:24, decisioned by Joe Weibert (Bri) 2-3, pinned Justin Hilliker (G/R) 4:04, decisioned by Cale Abramson (L/B) 5-10.
145: Bryson Fisher pinned Dalton Harter (BAY) 1:05, pinned Brandon Treffer (RAV) 3:55, tech-falled by Jacob Hand (VAL) 3-18, pinned Dalton Vanover (SV) 0:55, decisioned by Joseph Feldner (KC) 0-7 for fourth place.
152: Jorge Cervantes bye, major decisioned by Lawrence Schneider (Bri) 1-9, decisioned Ben Palmer (KC) 5-3, pinned by Shane Child (G-R) 1:45.
160: Jake Lueth pinned Jaret Hiemstra (KC) 0:24, pinned Ephraim Blanco (Mit) 1:18, decisioned by Thomas Spilinek (A-LC) 0-3, pinned Chase Becker (SV) 3:22, lost in fourth overtime to Micah Scherbarth (G-R) 2-3 for fourth place.
170: Blake Schilke pinned by Tre Norman (SV) 0:31, bye, pinned by Hunter Nickless (AIN) 0:32.
182: Zach Space bye, major decisioned by Jerrod Fedorchik (Bri) 2-11, decisioned Jacob Nelson (AIN) 12-9, pinned by Tori Huffman (S/B) 2:32.
195: Aaron Hinojosa bye, pinned Marc Vasquez (Bri) 0:42, decisioned in Sudden victory Alex Wamboldt (BAY) 5-3, pinned by Lane Helgoth (S/B) 1:27 for second place.
Wrestling in Omaha will begin today (Thursday) at the Centurylink Center at 3:30 p.m. MT for classes B and C with first round matches and the quarter finals.
On Friday, the first and second round consolation matches will be held at 11:30 a.m., followed by the semi-finals and third round consolations Friday at 4 p.m.
Saturday morning, the consolation semi-finals and the third and fifth place matches begin at 8:30 a.m. followed by the finals at 2 p.m.
Here are Chase County’s first round matchups:
Bryson Fisher (31-12), sophomore, will face Corey Rowse (25-7), senior, from O’Neil.
Jake Lueth (22-7), senior, faces David Gross (33-1), junior, from St. Paul.
Aaron Hinojosa (27-10), freshman, will square off against Kalen Garrett (38-6), senior, of Doniphan/Trumble.
The finals of all classes will be broadcast Saturday on NET live.