Shelby-Rising City and East Butler were both in district wrestling action this weekend on Friday and Saturday.
With a spot to the state championship on the line, the pressure was on for both teams.
East Butler qualified five for state. Brayden Brecka placed second at 106, Michael Polivka was fourth at 113, Josh Spatz won bronze at 120, Trevin Brecka placed fourth at 138 and Breckin Ratkovec won fourth at 145.
"We only had one wrestler seeded in the top four, so going in, we knew we would have to wrestle well to get kids to state," said head coach Doug Glasshoff in comments sent to the Banner-Press. "We had a good night Friday night, and were able to put three into the semis with three wrestling back."
East Butler went 4-1 in the consolation semifinals
"All three of those wrestling back won on Saturday morning, which put them into the heartbreak round," Glasshoff said. "Brayden (Breacka) won his semifinal match qualifying him for state, but we lost the other two. This put five into the heartbreak round. We were able to win four of those, getting five in total to state."
The lone loser in the consolation round was the bad news. Senior Cody Heise saw his career come to an end one win short of the state tournament.
"I was proud of the way we competed," Glasshoff said. "Cody Heise was the one who lost in the heartbreak round. As a senior, I was proud of his effort and the way he was a team leader and his work ethic all four years he wrestled here."
No. 4 Colten Ratkovec was unable to compete at districts due to an injury.
"I was also disappointed for Colten Ratkovec. He had a good chance to qualify and medal at state," Glasshoff said. "He was another senior leader for us and did a great job all four years on the wrestling team."
Breckin Ratkovec was the only senior on East Butler to qualify for state.
"We are looking to compete and do our best at state. We need to not get caught up in who we are wrestling and just compete and wrestle our match the way we have all year," Glasshoff said.
No. 5 Mason Schleis of Shelby-Rising City qualified for state at 145, as did No. 5 Grant Lindsley at 152.
"It feels good," said Shelby-Rising City head coach Austin Carmichael. "The kids wrestled tough. We had a goal set and it feels good for a few of them to reach their goals. Nothing changes. We still need to win positions. We have to go out and wrestle hard."
Both Schleis and Lindsley placed second and avoided the heartbreak round.
Schleis is a senior and will be competing at state for the second time in his career.
"I'm obviously excited to get to state," Schleis said. "I would have liked to get first overall. We're going to have to go with what we got. This year I didn't have to wrestle in the heartbreak, so it was a lot more relieving. I feel qualifying last year really helped me this year."
Lindsley is a junior and will be going to state for the first time.
"It went well," he said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to get to wrestle in Omaha, but it's back to work on Monday. Last two years I've lost in the heartbreak round, so it felt good to get a win in the semis and move on to state."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter the The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net