Sports

Cardinal wrestlers claim first title of season

Following a lengthy layoff due to the weather cancellation of the Gibbon Invite, the Boone Central Cardinals returned to the mat with a weekend of impressive results.
After placing fifth in a strong field of teams at Friday’s Madison Invitational, Boone Central earned its first team championship of the 2019-20 season Saturday in the 27-team Neligh-Oakdale Invitational.
“I am proud and excited for this team, as they won their first team title of the season in a tough field of teams,” said Cardinal Coach Josh Majerus. “The team took fifth at Madison behind Lakeview, Logan View, Conestoga and Twin River.
“The guys had to bounce back Saturday, as we entered the 27-team tournament in Neligh to replace the Gibbon tournament cancelled a week earlier.”
Boone Central had multiple medalists in both tournaments, but none shined brighter than sophomore Gavin Dozler, who won two gold medals at 113 pounds. Dozler pinned seven of his eight opponents in the tournaments.
“Gavin is really wrestling well this time of year,” Majerus praised. “He is still undefeated in Class C.”
At Madison, the Cardinals had seven total medalists in compiling 147 points.
“Will Grape, Ashton Schafer and Sam Grape all placed second. Richard Cleveland, Taylor Weber and Jaxon Schafer placed fifth,” Majerus noted. “This was the first time all season the team filled all 14 weight classes.
“Will Grape finally returns to the mat after breaking his finger in early December. For not having much mat time, he seemed to have his shape and didn’t lose too much from preseason. We wrestled a little slopy in the finals, but that can happen after being off the mat for six weeks.”
Along with Dozler’s performance at Neligh, Majerus noted gritty efforts by the Cards’ other medalists as a key to the championship. The Cardinals finished 7.5 points ahead of Crofton/Bloomfield.
“The key was the guys that fought back and brought home medals in the wrestle backs. Getting upset early in the brackets can be hard to bounce back from, but we did just that,” Majerus commented. “Sam Grape revenging a loss to a tough Neligh opponent helped. The brackets were tough. Our bonus points in a lot of rounds hekped us keep up.
“Effort is there, but we still have lots to work on before districts.”

Complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News