WAHOO — The York Dukes’ depth was one of the big reasons the team walked away from the Wahoo Invitational as the team champions on Saturday.
York placed 11 wrestlers in 12 of the weight classes they competed in and scored 196.5 points to 177 for runner-up Elkhorn South.
Taking third place was Lincoln Pius X with 135, while the Centennial Broncos had three bracket champions en route to a fourth place finish with 105 points.
York head coach Chad Mattox pointed out that the team continues to get stronger, but there is still more work to do.
“I can’t say enough about the depth of our team. We are one of the handful of teams in Class B that can put a competitive kid on the mat in most weight classes and that helps us do well at tournaments. We just need to continue to work hard in practice and keep working towards doing our best at districts and state,” said Mattox. “I was very pleased with our efforts on Saturday. To medal 11 out of 12 again is a solid day. Our lower weights did an outstanding job on Saturday to carry us to the title.”
York had just two champions with the first coming at138 pounds where Cody Rhodes (11-2) defeated Lance Bruner of Bishop Neumann with a 1:30 pin in the final. The senior also picked up wins over Justin Lawrence of Waverly (2:39), Fernando Vargas of Omaha Westside (3:39) and Thomas Dalton of Lincoln Pius X (8-4).
At 160 it was Kyle Rhodes (10-1) picking up the championship with a 9-6 win over Trevor Smith of Yutan. Kyle Rhodes also had wins over Chase Parker of Ashland-Greenwood (0:12) and Colton Spangler of Wahoo (1:24).
“Cody Rhodes did a great job by winning this tournament. He continues to wrestle at a high level,” said Mattox. “Kyle Rhodes won his second tournament of the year and just keeps chugging along.”
Two of the biggest surprises of the day came at 106 pounds and 132 pounds where Jesse Harlow (5-5), the seventh seed, and Anthony Red (5-6), the eighth seed, both made appearances in the championship finals of their respective weight classes.
Harlow went 2-1 with wins over Blane Hohn of Bishop Neumann (3:03) and gained his finals berth with a pin of Tommy Nelson of Oakland-Craig (3:18).
In his final Harlow lost by major decision to Mason Wright of Elkhorn South (17-0).
At 132, Red won by pin in his first two matches, first over Adrian Turrubiates of Centennial (1:21) and his second (1:24) over Wyatt Knudsen of Elkhorn South. In the final, Red lost a tough decision (3-0) to Bryce Uhing of Oakland-Craig.
“Jesse Harlow was the seventh seed and upset two quality wrestlers to get to the finals. Anthony Red was the eighth seed and upset the number one and four seeds to get to the finals,” Mattox explained.
The rest of the York wrestlers who placed in the top four on the day included the following third place finishes: Hayden Robb (7-7) at 145, Troy Taylor (9-3) at 152, Brett Olmsted (9-2) at 195, Parker Johnson (11-2) at 220 and Ronaldo Trevino (10-2) at 285.
The only fourth place finish went to Chandler Brayton at 170 pounds.
Centennial had a strong day on the mats at Wahoo, especially in the lower weight classes where the Broncos had champions at 113 and 120. The Broncos picked up five medals in the six weight classes they entered.
Last year’s defending state champion at 106 pounds, Doyle Trout, won the 113 pound weight class with a pin of Ashland-Greenwood’s Dawson Grell in 3:51 in the championship match. On the way to the final, Trout pinned Colin Beach of Elkhorn South (4:01). Trout improved to 11-2 on the year.
At 120, Steven Bader (9-1) won his first two matches by pin, starting with Ivan Sotelo of Wahoo (1:16). He made the finals with a pin of Camden Wrehe of Elkhorn South (1:17). In the title match, Bader pinned Lincoln Pius X Alex Schriner (5:02) handing him his first loss of the season.
In the 220 pound weight bracket, Luke Studnicka moved to 8-2 with a 5-4 decision of Elkhorn South’s Cole Carleton in the final. His way to the title bout was paved by wins over Jared Eucker of Malcolm (10-3) and Justin Hennessey of Waverly (4-1).
The team’s only second place went to Coty Kennedy (7-3) at 170, where his bid for the bracket title fell short in a 7-2 decision by Tyler Martin of Elkhorn South. The sophomore defeated Josh Blair of Yutan (4:22) and Marcus Cisneros of Lincoln Pius X (16-3 major decision).
In third was the Broncos’ Davey (9-2) at 126 pounds.
“Because of a variety of reasons we only entered six wrestlers in this tournament, so to place five of them was a neat accomplishment,” commented Centennial coach Dean Davis. “Doyle completely dominated his opponents as he was about to tech fall each of them before winning by fall. Doyle was named outstanding wrestler of the meet.
“Steven (Bader), for the second tournament in a row, wrestled very well by pinning all three opponents including the number one seed in the finals. Davey (Payne) was in a very tough bracket and had to be a competitor in every match. Cory (Kennedy) won by a pin and a major decision before falling to the number one seed in the finals. Cory is learning how to stay mentally strong for a complete six minute match and thus is becoming hard to handle. Luke was able to wrestle at 220 for this tournament and took advantage of it by defeating the number one seed in the semifinals and the number three seed in the finals.”
The Dukes are back in action at the Fillmore Central Invite on Saturday, Dec. 29, while the Broncos wrestle today at the Sutton Invite.
Team scoring: York 196.5, Elkhorn South 177, Lincoln Pius X 135.5, Centennial 105, Ashland-Greenwood 82, Yutan 73.5, Malcolm 68, Omaha Westside 63, Oakland-Craig 60, Waverly 51, Omaha Gross 33, Wahoo 28, Bishop Neumann 26.