Published Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm / Updated at 10:41 pm
North's Perkins wins in rematch

Omaha North’s JaVaughn Perkins was motivated coming into Saturday’s Vern Ekfelt Invitational. He wrestled like it in his championship match.

Perkins, a junior who is a two-time state champion, controlled Tri-Center’s Loren Williams, a two-time Iowa state champion, for a 7-0 decision in the 160-pound final.

“He beat me last year, so I knew I had to come back and redeem myself,” Perkins said. “I worked hard after football to come in here and get the job done.”

Williams earned a 4-3 decision over Perkins last season in the Ekfelt 152-pound final. Less than three months after that match, both went on to repeat as state champions.

North coach Anders Christensen saw during practice this week that Perkins would be focused when the rematch came around.

“Right when we figured out (Williams) was going 160, (Perkins) was a different kid,” Christensen said.

Perkins set the tone for Saturday’s final late in the first period. Both spent the opening period patiently looking for opportunities, and Perkins took his shot in the closing seconds. He recorded a takedown with two seconds left.

“That takedown was a momentum change,” Perkins said. “After that, I knew I would have to score more points on top. He’s a strong wrestler, good on his feet. I knew I had to control the match from on top.”

Perkins’ lead was 3-0 after the second period and then he added some back points in the third period.

“I really didn’t see it coming,” Williams said of the first-period takedown. “Once he got that takedown, it was just a matter of riding it out.”

While Perkins has his sights set on becoming a four-time state champion, Williams looks for his third title before heading to Iowa State next season. Williams signed with the Cyclones just before Thanksgiving.

“It takes a lot of pressure off me,” said Williams of signing before the season. “It will be a good fit for me.”

Perkins helped North win the team title as five Vikings — Robert Ozuna (113), Mensah Olloway (120), Perkins (160), JaCobi Jones (170) and DeValon Whitcomb (195) — won weight classes. North’s day was capped by Whitcomb, who trailed 7-1 after the first period but stormed back to pin Central’s Miles Russell with 13 seconds left in the match.

“We wrestled hard, we wrestled six minutes every match. We gave it our all,” Christensen said. “Our strength is in our depth.”

North finished with 162 points, followed by Central with 141.5. Central had individual champions in Markell Vaughn (138) and Ronald Wells (145). Third-place Bellevue East also had five champions — Gunnar Byous (106), AJ Thrower (126), Sam Simpson (132), John Porter (152) and Austin Anderson (220).

Team scoring: Omaha North 162, Omaha Central 141.5, Bellevue East 123.5, Millard North 119, Tri-Center 90.5, Omaha Westside 61, Omaha South 54, Papio South 50, Lincoln Northeast 32.5.

Championship matches: 106: Gunnar Byous, BE, dec. LeeRoy Coughran, ON, 14-10. 113: Robert Ozuna, ON, major dec. Christian Polley, TC, 18-8. 120: Mensah Olloway, ON, dec. Roger Linn, MN, 12-7. 126: AJ Thrower, BE, dec. Louden Adkins, OC, 9-4. 132: Sam Simpson, BE, pinned Erick Vargas, OW, 1:58. 138: Markell Vaughn, OC, pinned Fernando Vargas, OW, 2:52. 145: Ronald Wells, OC, dec. Darrian Irlbeck, TC, 7-6. 152: John Porter, BE, dec. Reggie Holt-Wesley, ON, 4-3. 160: JaVaughn Perkins, ON, dec. Loren Williams, TC, 7-0. 170: JaCobi Jones, ON, pinned Kolbie Foster, OC, :47. 182: Ben Wellman, TC, pinned Cristian Ruiz, OS, 4:25. 195: DeValon Whitcomb, ON, pinned Miles Russell, OC, 5:47. 220: Austin Anderson, BE, pinned Josh Frezell, OC, 3:43. 285: Jacob Wohlers, TC, pinned Jermaine Kelly, OC, :58.

Contact the writer: Gene Schinzel    |   402-444-1038    |  

Gene Schinzel is a copy editor and staff writer for The World-Herald.

Each week during the high school sports season, highlights a matchup in the ongoing "Hiland Dairy Game of the Week" series. Previous matchups »

Refuel with Hiland »

< >
2013 All-Nebraska football, volleyball teams
View The World-Herald's selections to the 2013 All-Nebraska football and volleyball teams.
2013 Super Six football team
Meet The World-Herald's 2013 Super Six team, honoring the area's top college football prospects.
All-Nebraska basketball teams 'shake' it up
Being known more for their ability to shake off a defender than for their dance moves didn't stop our 2013 All-Nebraska basketball selections from busting a few "Harlem Shake"-inspired moves.
Facebook: Nebraska Prep Zone Page
The Nebraska Prep Zone Facebook page is your home on the social web to get the latest Nebraska prep sports news, photos, updates and more from around the Midlands.
Map: Nebraska Stadiums
Need help finding a stadium in the state of Nebraska? We've got you covered with this interactive map of high school and college facilities from across the state.
Nebraska high school all-time swimming leaders
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Nebraska high school swimming and diving competition.
Nebraska high school all-time track charts
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Nebraska high school track and field competition.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
Western Iowa high school all-time track charts
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Western Iowa high school track and field competition.