A strong start by the Grand Island Senior High wrestling team got it going on the right track.
The four-time defending Class A champion Islanders used five pins to get off to a 30-0 lead. They got challenged later on but still came away with a 42-27 victory over Columbus on Senior Night Thursday at the GISH East Gym.
Dante Rodriguez, Trey Trujillo, Matt Bolan, Andrew Rojas, who were all state medalists last year, and Rigo Barragan all recorded pins.
“We got a good start early in the lineup with those pins,” GISH coach Mike Schadwinkel said. “They kind came into our wheelhouse right away to start the dual and those are strong kids for us. Jumping to that kind of lead was what we needed.”
Rodriguez, a defending state champion, got the Islanders going in pinning Kyle Gaston at 2 minutes, 24 seconds at 120 pounds. Trujillo followed by sticking Caleb Tarango at 2:44 at 126.
Bolan, Rojas and Barragan used first-period pins to give the Islanders the 30-0 lead. Bolan stuck Luis Tarango in 1:07, whille Rojas pinned Jordan Froehner in 1:55.
Barragan pinned Logan Pollard in 1:34. Schadwinkel said he was happy to see him get the pin.
“He’s a kid that wrestled some varsity matches for us but it’s been a few years,” Schadwinkel said. “For him to get back into the lineup and do what he did was exciting and a good lift for us.”
But the Islanders won only one of their next eight matches with two of them of those losses coming in the final seconds as the Discoverers closed the gap to 36-27. The lone Grand Island win came by Chase Reis at 195. Reis, a state runner-up in 2012, pinned Oscar Perez in 0:22.
John Mottl put the finishing touches on the Islander victory in pinning Jonathan Bonilla in 1:09 at 113.
Schadwinikel said he had mixed emotions about the opening dual victory. He said there were some good things he saw and not so good.
“Our superstars performed like I thought they would,” Schadwinkel said. “But for the most part, we got to open up and get our offense going a little bit early on in matches. We had some kids who were wrestling their first varsity matches and they might have been nervous. They didn’t look like they were ready to perform.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and fix some things. We could have done some things better and can improve upon. But it’s the first meet and we’ll fix those things.”
The Islanders will be back in action at the Kearney Invite Saturday. Schadwinkel said it’s a good meet for
Grand Island to compete in.
“It will be. Kearney will be tough,” Schadwinkel said. “We’ll see North Platte and Lincoln Southwest, who will both be good. We’ll see some good individuals there as well. We’re going to see a nice group of teams that we’ll need to see.”
Grand Island 42, Columbus 27
120 — Dante Rodriguez, Grand Island, pinned Kyle Gaston, Columbus, 2:24.
126 — Trey Trujillo, Grand Island, pinned Caleb Moser, Columbus, 2:44.
132 — Matt Bolan, Grand Island, pinned Luis Tarango, Columbus, 1:07.
138 — Andrew Rojas, Grand Island, pinned Jordan Froehner, Columbus, 1:55.
145 — Rigo Barragan, Grand Island, pinned Logan Pollard, Columbus, 1:34.
152 — Tommy Wiseman, Columbus, dec. Jared Fortune, 7-3.
160 — Trevor Phillips, Columbus, dec. Brian Najera, Grand Island, 12-6.
170 — Kyle Schulz, Columbus, pinned Manuel Peinado, Grand Island, 4:57.
182 — Ryan Kubr, Columbus, dec. Jose Ceballos, Grand Island, 8-4.
195 — Chase Reis, Grand Island, pinned Oscar Gomez, Columbus, 0:22.
220 — Fernando Gomez, Columbus, pinned John Frankenberg, Grand Island, 3:20.
285 — Chase Orender, Columbus, dec. Juan Medina, Grand Island, 5-2.
106 — Christopher Baily, Columbus, dec. Blake Coen, Grand Island, 3-1.
113 — John Mottl, Grand Island, pinned Jonathan Bonilla, Columbus, 1:09.