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Cardinal grapplers face ‘meatgrinder’

Dakota Ruhnke pins foeThere’s an old saying – “To be the best, you must face the best.”
With that in mind, the Boone Central/Newman Grove wrestling team hopes its experience against rugged competition this past week pays dividends in improvement as the season progresses.
Dual Losses
The Cardinals began their post-holiday slate Thursday at Aurora, losing duals to Class B powerhouses Cozad (42-30) and Aurora (58-21).
“Thursday was the beginning of a three-day ‘meatgrinder’ for the wrestlers,” Coach Dale Bonge commented. “We started with a dual vs. #6 Cozad.
“Cody Shanno and Kody Sock might have had our best performances in the dual. Cody came up just short in a 7-5 loss to the Class B #3-rated wrestler and Kody battled the #1 guy in his class to a 7-3 loss.”
Skyler Weber and Ethan Wilke scored pins for the Cardinals at 160 and 170, respectively.
“Always-tough Aurora beat Cozad 60-21 and followed up by defeating us by a similar score,” Bonge continued. “Steven Arreguin, Parker Wallin and Cody came up big with three straight pins and Jackson Meyer battled back from a 5-0 deficit to score a 10-9 win on a late takedown. Unfortunately, those were the only wins we could muster.
“For his pin vs. Aurora and strong showing against a rated Cozad opponent, Cody Shanno earns our ‘Wrestler of the Meet’ award.”
High Plains Invite
Boone Central/Newman Grove competed Friday and Saturday in the 44th Annual High Plains Invitational, held this year at Columbus Community College.
“The High Plains meet moved from the tiny cracker box gym in Clarks to the much more spacious CCC gym in Columbus,” Bonge acknowledged. “It also expanded to 20 teams, including the addition of perennial Class A power and eventual tournament champion Omaha North.”
North scored 231.5 points to easily outdistance Madison (168) and Schuyler (153) for the team title. BC/NG placed 13th with 63 points.
“We improved, with eight Cardinals making it to day two, up from six last year,” Bonge noted. “We also moved up two spots in the team standings. Our team points do not reflect the points scored by Dakota Ruhnke, as he could not participate as a varsity team member until Jan. 12 due to NSAA transfer rules. His points would have moved us into a tie for 10th.
“Dakota placed fourth, going 4-3 in arguably the toughest weight class in the tournament. His losses were to the #1-rated guy in Class C, #2 in Class B and #6 in Class A. He pinned his other four opponents.
“Also placing fourth with four pins was Jackson Meyer. One of his two losses was to the #1-rated wrestler in Class C.
“For their performances, Dakota and Jackson earned the ‘Wrestler of the Meet’ award.”
Other Cardinals placing in the tournament were Skyler Weber (6th), Brock Donelson (6th) and Parker Wallin (7th).

Complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News.

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