The East Butler wrestling team was undaunted by its lack of numbers all year. The Tigers competition at the NSAA Wrestling Championships at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha on Saturday wasn't any different, with three of the four qualifiers earning medals.
Brandon Rezac got his second silver in a row at 195 pounds. He lost a 4-1 decision to Seth Racicky (35-6) of Ansley/Litchfield. Rezac had a full hard fought tournament experience, winning three decisions, two by the score of 3-1.
Dalton Bohac (39-7) placed third at 145 pounds. He was tripped up by a 7-2 semifinal loss to Colby Coons (41-3) of Twin Loup. He won a tough 6-5 decision over Brett Riggs (50-4) of Maxwell for third place. Bohac was a fifth place finisher at 126 pounds as a sophomore.
Ryley Spatz (50-5) placed third for the second year in a row at 138 pounds. He had to come back from a quarterfinal loss, a 7-4 decision, to Cameron Riggs (57-0) of Maxwell.
Spatz secured third with a 14-4 major decision of Seth Simants (44-9) of Stapleton.
Coach Doug Glasshoff was pleased with the team's 7th place finish, but more with the character of the qualifiers.
"We will certainly miss our seniors after this season," Glasshoff said. "Each of them had the goal of standing on top of the medal stand this year. Even though each fell short of that goal, we as coaches are very proud of their accomplishments."
A second silver for a wrestler is quite a feat.
"Brandon was able to reach the finals and participate in the parade of champions again this year. Finishing runner up two years in a row is quite the accomplishment," he said. "Dalton and Ryley were able to finish third, after disappointing losses, both showed character and heart to be able to wrestle back and placed third.
The state experience helps young wrestlers make progress, medal or not.
"Colten Ratkovec had a great tournament and was one match away from medaling. He should be able to take that momentum in to next year as our lone returning state qualifier, we will look to him to lead a young team next year."