Michael Hernandez earned an individual title at 170 pounds and 12 of the 14 wrestlers medaled to help the Schuyler Central High School wrestling squad capture the runner-up spot at the Central Conference meet in Aurora on Saturday.
A formula for success for the Warriors all season, they depended on their superior team depth to finish near the top.
Schuyler scored 160 points to edge third place York’s 151 points. Grand Island took home team honors scoring 182.5 points in the nine-team event.
Schuyler head coach Jeremy Hlavac commented on his team’s depth in the meet.
“We were neck and neck with York until the final round. Going nine out of twelve made the difference in the medal round. I can say that it was a full team effort to finish in second place.”
Hernandez raised his season mark to 31-9, capturing the 170-pound class title with a sudden victory of 4-2 over Blake Westerby from GI Northwest in the finals. Hernandez pinned Guilmar Estrada from Crete at the 1:18 in the quarter-finals and won a 3-0 decision over Brogan Fehlhafer of Seward in the semi-final round.
Capturing second-place medals were Caden Yrkoski at 152, Rosel Diaz at 195, and Jesus Maganda at 220.
Yrkoski (29-8) wrestled hard in his final against Dalton Quandt of GI Northwest(42-3) but was pinned with 15 seconds on the clock.
Diaz won by fall in his first two matches of the day before being pinned by Grady Griess of Northwest at the 1:19 mark of his match. Griess is undefeated on the season at 48-0 while Diaz fell to 26-11.
Maganda, who has been involved in many close matches during his 31-3 season, dropped a 3-1 tie-breaker to Bronson Titus (32-2). In the semi-final round, Maganda defeated Northwest’s Cooper Kiser (36-7) by a score of 5-2 to advance to the finals.
Winning third-place matches were Abner Perez at 113-pounds, Miguel Roman at 138, Isaac Hernandez at 160, and Angel Rojo at 285.
Perez won a 4-0 decision over Harley Beckman of Aurora improve to improve to 9-8. Roman(29-9) won a 5-1 decision over Kody Bengston of Aurora. Hernandez won a 7-5 decision against York’s Jacob Diaz to improve to 23-18 and Rojo won by a fall over Dawson Calhoun from Adams Central at the 2:01 mark to move to 24-14.
Fifth place medal winners were John Gasper at 106-pounds, Denilson Martinez at 120-pounds, Kenneth Castro at 126-pounds, and Caleb Novak at 182-pounds.
Gasper won by forfeit in his fifth-place match while Martinez improved to 24-17 by pinning Kaleb Trumble from Aurora with 24 seconds left in the second-period. Castro won a 14-5 major decision over Northwest’s Jack Butler to improve to 20-21 while Novak won a 6-5 decision over York’s Brayan Rodriguez, to advance to 24-11.
The team’s goal was to win the met, but Hlavac still saw plenty of positives.
“I always tell our kids that bouncing back after a loss says a lot about a team, Hlavac said. “The finish we had at conference really puts that mentality into place. I feel we are on track to put a great district tournament together this upcoming weekend.”
The Warriors travel to Beatrice this Friday and Saturday for the District B–2 wrestling tournament.
Teams competing in the event are: Adams-Central, Ashland-Greenwood, Aurora, Beatrice, Bennington, Elkhorn, Falls City, Hastings, Grand Island Northwest, Omaha Gross Catholic, Schuyler, and Waverly.
Central Conference Tournament
Final Team Standings: 1. Grand Island Northwest – 182.5, 2. Schuyler Central – 160, 3. York – 151, 4. Aurora 118.5, 5. Crete – 118, 6. Columbus Lakeview – 115.5, 7. Adams Central – 105, 8. Holdrege – 104, 9. Seward - 96