The Schuyler Central High School wrestling team tied a school record Saturday at the Class B-2 District Wrestling Meet in Beatrice. Nine wrestlers earned the right to compete in the state meet in Omaha this coming weekend.
As a result of the team’s depth, the Warriors finished third in the strong 12 team field with 147.5 points. Hastings came back to capture the district team title with 177.5 points, edging Grand Island Northwest's 176 points.
Jesus Maganda earned a district title in the 220-pound weight class while Rosel Diaz grabbed a second place medal; Caden Yrkoski, Isaac Hernandez, and Caleb Novak finished in third place; and Denillson Martinez, Miguel Roman, Michael Hernandez and Angel Rojo all earned fourth place finishes.
Schuyler Central head coach Jeremy Hlavac spoke of the depth that has propelled his team all season.
“I give credit to the team because every point and every match we wrestled all led to the final result," Hlavac said. "This season I talked about our depth many times, and finishing the season with 60 wrestlers out really helped lead our varsity wrestlers to the top. When you can create competition in your wrestling room then the top guys are going to get better each day.”
Maganda won by a fall over Geoffrey Zimmerman from Falls City at the 3:02 of his quarter-final match. In the semi-final round he won a tie-breaker 4-1 over Ashland-Greenwood's Erik Pike. In the championship match Maganda raised his season record to 34-3 with a thrilling 3-2 decision over Cooper Kiser from Grand Island Northwest.
Diaz made his way to the championship round, winning by fall at 1:48 of his 195-pound quarterfinal match against Cade McKibben from Waverly. He scrapped to a 13-6 decision over Ean Rasmussen in semi-finals. In the title match he ran into Grady Griess from Grand Island Northwest. Griess kept his perfect record intact at 51-0 when he pinned Diaz with 19 seconds remaining in the first period. Diaz takes a 28-12 record to state meet.
Yrkoski (33-9) won his third place match in the 152-pound weight class by pinning Carter Pursley from Aurora with only four seconds remaining in the second period.
Isaac Hernandez(26-19) won by forfeit over Trent Nafzinger from Ashland-Greenwood for third at 160 pounds.
Also winning a third place medal was Caleb Novak at 182 pounds. He pinned Dalton Neeman from Waverly at the 1:32 mark, improving his record to 27-12.
Martinez lost a 7-6 decision to place fourth at 120 pounds. In the 138-pound 3rd place match, Miguel Roman was pinned by Bennington’s Devin DeLancey 48 seconds into first period.
Michael Hernandez dropped a 7-3 decision to Elkhorn's Cedric Relford in the 170-pound 3rd place match, and Angel Rojo grabbed the last ticket. He lost a 5-4 decision to Damien Wylder of Waverly at 285 pounds.
The Warriors perched near the top of the pack after the opening day, then held on with an inspired effort throughout Saturday’s action. “After Friday night we still had 12 wrestlers in action on Saturday. I thought every one of those wrestlers had a chance to make it to state. We hit some hard draws in the consolation rounds but we still sent nine guys to the semi-finals,” Hlavac said. “Before the consolation semi-finals I told the kids that we didn’t wrestle all that well in the semi-final round. I told them that we worked too hard and have gone to the tough meets and wrestled tough kids. I reminded them that this should be just like any other meet and that it was our time to shine.”
Hlavac praised his assistant coaches for helping to maintain the powerful wrestling program at SCHS. “I want to give credit to my assistant coaches for all the hard work, time, and expertise they contribute to the program. I also want to thank everyone who has supported the wrestlers this season.”
The Warriors will be in competition at the NSAA State Wrestling Championships Thursday through Saturday at the Century Link Center in Omaha.
Final Team Results: 1. Hastings-177.5, 2. Grand Island Northwest-176, 3. Schuyler Central-147.5, 4. Waverly-107.5, 5. Elkhorn-106.5, 6. Beatrice-106, 7. Bennington-100.5, 8. Adams Central-88.5, 9. Aurora-85.5, 10. Ashland-Greenwood-50, 11. Omaha Gross Catholic-37.5, 12. Falls City-13