WAHOO — After a runner-up finish at last weekend's Centennial Conference Tournament, the Scotus Central Catholic wrestling team battled the flu the following week.
No one was safe, not the wrestlers or coaches. At Wednesday’s practice, only five kids showed up.
The Shamrocks were without four regular varsity wrestlers Saturday at the Wahoo Neumann Invite, but still managed to finish third with 127.5 points.
“I thought they pulled together and wrestled hard,” Scotus head coach D.J. Brandenburg said.
Millard South’s junior varsity team won the invite with 199 points, but Brandenburg is confident a healthy Scotus squad would’ve been right up there.
“Without our big captains Wren (Allen) and Landon (Sokol), it was tough,” he said.
Allen, a 195-pounder, has been out all week with an illness and Sokol, a heavyweight, has missed time with a concussion. Kade Wiese, the team's 182-pounder, and 170-pounder Evan Hand also missed the tournament.
It’s a tough break, but Brandenburg is thankful it happened now and not any closer to districts. Scotus had to adjust its expectations for Saturday’s tournament, but still had a successful day.
“We simply wrestled for our records and seeding at districts,” Brandenburg said. “The boys were happy and I was happy.”
The Shamrocks put five wrestlers in the top three.
Jackson Neville was the lone champion for Scotus, going 3-0 at 138 pounds. He picked up two pins, including in the championship match against Lincoln Christian’s Jacob Byers.
“He wrestled smart,” Brandenburg said. “He was so weak and couldn’t do anything (at Thursday’s triangular). Today, he was healthy and strong.”
Daniel Tworek recorded two pins before falling in the 106-pound title match to Millard South’s Jeremy McKee.
“He’s been taking more risks on his feet and looking more electric,” Brandenburg said. “That’s the Daniel I like to see.”
Calen Hinze finished second at 132 pounds and Evan Sliva was runner-up at 160 pounds. Charles Case added a third-place finish at 152 pounds.
Now the Shamrocks are completely focused on getting ready for the district tournament in a couple of weeks.
“That’s all we’re preparing for right now,” Brandenburg said.
Up first, though, is the Grand Island Central Catholic Invite next Saturday.