Two Bulldog wrestlers are headed to the 2019 Nebraska School Activities Association Wrestling Championships, set Thursday, Feb. 14, through Saturday, Feb. 16, in Omaha.
First round competition for Classes A and D will begin at 9:30 a.m., Thursday at the CHI Health Center.
Bryce Zimmerer and Cody Hanvey punched their tickets at the Class D-3 District Tournament in Fremont on Saturday. Both finished in third place and are veteran state wrestlers.
A senior wrestling at 170 pounds, Zimmerer will take a 34-3 record on his third trip to the state championships.
He won two state matches at 132 pounds as a freshman, after placing third at districts, but was stopped short of a state medal.
Competing at 145 pounds as a sophomore, he earned fifth place at state after qualifying with a third-place finish at districts. An injury prevented him from competing last year.
Hanvey, a junior competing at 132 pounds, will see action on the mats at state for the second time, taking a 27-8 season record along. He was district runner-up at 106 pounds as a freshman, but did not medal. He just missed qualifying last year, making it to the district semifinals.
The Bulldog wrestlers will both face Neligh-Oakdale peers on the mats at the Link on Thursday morning.
Hanvey will face Andrew Herley, a senior with a 40-7 season and the District D-1 runner-up.
Zimmerer will take on Kaleb Pofahl, a junior with a 39-11 record, who was also runner-up in D-1.
Coach Zac Kliment took 11 matmen to the Fremont tournament Friday afternoon.
Along with JD Kuhlman, Bode Wortman and Brenden Waldow, the two state qualifiers wrestled their way to the district semifinals Saturday morning.
Hanvey was pinned in the second period by eventual champ, Damian Stewart of Thayer Central.
Zimmerer dropped a 3-2 decision to eventual champ Noah Scott of Randolph, the fifth time they had met this year and the only opponent to hand the Creighton senior a loss. Tied at 1-1 in the third period, with one minute left, Scott got a takedown. The Bulldog wrestler escaped, but could not get the final takedown before the buzzer sounded.
Kuhlman was pinned by eventual champ Johnson of Bergan, then in the heartbreak round, leading 3-2 heading into the last period, gave up an escape and lost a takedown.He escaped, but could not get the takedown in time.
Wortman was pinned by eventual runner-up Hergott of Thayer Central. In the heartbreak round, he got caught on his back during the first period, playing catch-up the rest of the match, losing 8-3.
Waldow was pinned by eventual champ Feulner of Thayer Central, and lost an 8-2 decision in the heartbreak round.
Hanvey and Zimmerer won their consolation semifinal matches to earn their state tournament berths, then won their third-place matches.
Four wrestlers, RJ Wilmes, Sam Vortherms, Terance Burrell and Brody Vrooman, had one loss and hoped to wrestle back Saturday, but were unsuccessful.
Freshmen grapplers Shane Farnik and Easton Pavlik finished their seasons on Friday.
The Bulldogs ended the first day of the district tournament tied for fourth place with South Loup, both teams scoring 35 points. The host Archbishop Bergan team was at the top with 53.5 points. By day’s end Saturday, Archbishop had amassed 172 points to earn the district championship. Thayer Central was runner-up with 156 points. Creighton ended the tournament in 12th place with 59 points. The district includes 21 teams.
With a change in Nebraska School Activities Association wrestling rules that allows teams to take multiple entries in a weight class if they do not have a full 14-member roster, the Bulldogs had two wrestlers compete at 145 and 160 pounds.
Other area Class D teams sending athletes to state include Plainview, eight; Neligh-Oakdale, seven; Clearwater/Orchard, four; Elkhorn Valley, six; Randolph, two; and O’Neill St. Mary’s, one.
Neither Niobrara/Verdigre nor Elgin Public/Pope John qualified any wrestlers; nor did Crofton/Bloomfield, competing in Class C.
120 - Farnik (19-27) pinned by Garrison (Tri County) (14-5), 2:55; pinned Morton (Nebraska Christian) (0-22), 0:44; pinned by Gruntorad (Elm Creek) (22-14), 1:42
132 - Hanvey (27-8) bye; pinned Heise (East Butler) (17-23), 2:26; pinned by Stewart (Thayer Central) (27-12), 2:36; pinned Walz (Elm Creek) (9-18), 0:28: pinned Reedy (Tri County) (29-18), 0:55
138 - Wilmes (25-20) pinned Thompson (Overton) (7-19), 0:39; lost 2-4 to Stewart (Thayer Central) (31-8); bye; won 6-4 over Castor Ruyle (Shelton) (16-16); lost 1-4 to Brecka (East Butler) (21-17)
145 - Kuhlman (26-18) bye; won 2-0 decision over Vortherms (Creighton) (29-17); pinned by Johnson (Archbishop Bergan) (39-7), 1:42; lost 4-5 to Wichmann (Palmer) (30-19)
145 - Vortherms (29-18) pinned King (Shelton) (8-17), 5:41; lost 0-2 to Kuhlman (Creighton) (26-16; won 7-0 over Swantek (Nebraska Christian) (4-10); lost 5-10 to Belina (Howells-Dodge) (31-22)
152 - Wortman (29-15) won 9-0 major decision over Fellers (Archbishop Bergan) (6-24); pinned Kunkee (South Loup (Callaway/Arnold)) (17-16), 1:58; pinned by Hergott (Thayer Central) (27-12), 3:41; lost 3-8 to Green (Nebraska Christian) (17-18)
160 - Pavlik (8-13) bye, pinned by Robertson (South Loup (Callaway/Arnold)) (27-12), 1:49; bye; pinned by Reimers (Palmer) (21-24), 5:29
160 - Waldow (30-14) bye; won 8-0 major decision over Mumm (Thayer Central) (9-20); won 4-3 over Hegemann (Howells-Dodge) (25-23); pinned by Feulner (Thayer Central) (31-8), 1:53; lost 2-8 to McIntyre (Archbishop Bergan) (34-12)
170 - Zimmerer (34-3) bye; pinned Stewart (Scribner-Snyder) (14-16), 1:09; lost 2-3 to Scott (Randolph) (35-4); won 4-1 over Schumacher (Howells-Dodge) (34-19); won 6-3 over Samuelson (Palmer) (27-15)
182 - Burrell (22-24) bye; pinned by Villwok (Archbishop Bergan) (29-5), 3:25; bye; won 5-2 over Carrier (Scribner-Snyder) (10-16); lost 3-7 to Kuta (Palmer) (24-19)
285 - Vrooman (19-25) bye; pinned by Martin (Overton) (33-4), 0:33; bye; bye; pinned by Pickhinke (Howells-Dodge) (26-18), 1:21