Sports

Six Cardinals on way to Big O for state mat championships

Boone Central State Qualifiers: Front, from left, Gavin Dozler, Sam Grape, Ted Hemmingsen. Back, from left, Taylor Weber, Richard Cleveland, Ashton Schafer.

On to Omaha!
The dream turned into reality for six Boone Central Cardinals, who qualified for the 2020 Nebraska State Wrestling Championships Saturday at the C3 District tournament at Oakland-Craig High School.
“The district tournament had its ups and downs, but six of the guys found a way in (state). This is no easy task, and most of them had to beat someone they weren’t supposed to in order to get into the top four and qualify,” said Cardinal Coach Josh Majerus. “The guys are excited and we are pleased with all their efforts.”
Sophomore Gavin Dozler (113) earned his second straight trip to Omaha’s CHI Center with a runner-up finish in C3 competition. Juniors Richard Cleveland (170) and Taylor Weber (195) qualified with third-place performances, while sophomore Ashton Schafer (160) and freshmen Ted Hemmingsen (106) and Sam Grape (138) made the state tourney field by placing fourth.
Majerus elaborated on those C3 ups and downs Monday.
“Prior to the tournament, I knew we could get anywhere from 1-8 wrestlers to state. Out of the six that got in, I knew four of them had a great chance after seeing the preseeds,” Majerus commented. “Then TJ (Weber) loses in the first round and that was down to three. Going into the heartbreak round, I didn’t know how we would fare.
“To that point, I felt we weren’t wrestling like we practice. I was nervous for the boys. Starting at 106, Ted goes out and gets things rolling by upsetting the #2 seed. That was awesome! He really got our momentum going! He wrestled the best I’ve ever seen him and continued that into the third-place match for about four minutes, attacking a kid that had beat us three times this year.
“The flow of the team continued from there, as we won five of six matches. Will (Grape) even wrestled tough – probably the best I have seen him wrestle – he just had a tough kid. Will and Jaxon Schafer both deserve to wrestle at state, but that’s how it works sometimes.
“I really thought Richard could have made the finals, losing in overtime in the semis. It’s always good seeing kids come back and get third as Richard and TJ did. It helps their draw for state.
“State is state,” Majerus stated. “Being young and most of the guys never having been there, we’ll see how it goes.
“I see some potential to get some wins down there.”

Complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News