This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, hundreds of wrestlers from all corners of the Cornhusker State will converge on CenturyLink Center in Omaha for the 2015 Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) state wrestling championships.
When the smoke clears, individual and team state champions will be crowned in four enrollment classifications.
In the state’s smallest enrollment of Class D, Amherst steamrolled to the 2014 state title, easily outdistancing runner-up Plainview, 241.5 points to 94.
In stark contrast, David City eked past O’Neill, 125 to 124, to claim Class C honors in 2014.
Omaha Skutt Catholic scored 179 points to comfortably win the 2014 Class B state title, as Beatrice finished in the runner-up spot with 105.5 points. With that state championship, Skutt captured its third consecutive – and 16th out of the past 17 – Class B state title.
While the finish between the top two teams in Class C was close last year, Class A was even closer, as Omaha North’s 156 points narrowly eclipsed Millard North’s 155.5. In the process, North ended Grand Island’s skein of five consecutive Class A state titles.
Omaha South holds state records both for most state titles in Class A and among all of the enrollment classifications with 19. Omaha Skutt Catholic’s 16 championships leads Class B, while Tecumseh-Herman’s five titles and Amherst’s nine lead Classes C and D, respectively. Interestingly, last year Amherst’s 241.5 points set the Class D record for most points scored in the state tournament as the Broncos rolled to their fifth consecutive Class D state title.
The tournament gets underway on Thursday, with first round and quarterfinals being held in all four classes. Friday will first feature first- and second-round consolation competition, followed by semifinals and third-round consolation action beginning at 5:00 p.m.
The consolation semifinals begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, followed by third- and fifth-place matches, and then climaxed with the state finals starting at 3:00 p.m.
Two top coaches in different enrollment classifications will be seeking to lead their standout programs to their respective state titles.
In Class B, Brad Hildebrandt hopes to coach his SkyHawks to their 17th state title. Meanwhile, Amherst coach Tyler Herman will do his best to direct the Broncos to their tenth Class D team state championship.
Among individuals, Centennial senior Doyle Trout, who wrestles at C126, will be the only wrestler competing for his fourth NSAA state title.
“We go to extended lengths to highlight the athletes in all the NSAA championships,” said NSAA Director of Wrestling Ron Higdon. “The pageantry of the wrestling championships allows us to make tremendous memories for the student-athletes, coaches and fans participating. It is a spectacular event.”
“The NSAA state wrestling championships is one of our largest high school competitor and spectator events,” said NSAA Executive Director Rhonda Blanford-Green. “Spotlighting Nebraska’s top-tier wrestlers at CenturyLink – one of the premier venues in the nation – is the perfect combination for a season-ending showcase.”
Altogether, 23 wrestling enter the 2015 NSAA state wrestling meet unbeaten. A list of those wrestlers follows:
A120 – Zac Charity, Millard South, 45-0
A120 – John Feeney, Omaha Northwest, 4-0
A126 – Nolan Laux, Hastings, 38-0
A138 – Isaac DeLoa, Millard South, 45-0
A152 – Caleb Licking, Norfolk, 44-0
A182 – Colton Wolfe, Columbus, 25-0
A220 – Terry Jeub, Millard South, 45-0
B138 – Derek Robb, Sidney, 41-0
B195 – Brody Cleveland, Ogallala, 29-0
B220 – Ben Stille, Ashland-Greenwood, 30-0
B285 – Matt Clark, Syracuse, 38-0
B285 – Dayne Jaros, Northwest, 9-0
C113 – Wyatt Allan, Wood River, 36-0
C132 – Tyler Bailey, Sutton, 42-0
C170 – David Fox, O`Neill, 35-0
C182 – Nick Virka, North Bend Central, 40-0
C195 – Alexander Reimers, Aquinas Catholic, 35-0
C285 – Jarrod Hinrichs, Fillmore Central, 49-0
C285 – Lane Richardson, Hershey, 13-0
D113 – Cameron Riggs, North Platte St. Patrick`s, 40-0
D138 – Jaydon Elge, Nebraska Christian, 33-0
D145 – Brandon French, Scribner-Snyder, 40-0