Saturday was a big day as Boone Central hosted the C-1 District wrestling tournament in Albion.
Rising to the occasion, the Cardinals came through in a big way. Boone Central finished as the C-1 runner-up for the third time since the Albion/Petersburg merger, qualifying eight wrestlers for the 2021 Nebraska State Wrestling Championships.
In earning runner-up honors, the Cardinals bested two NEwrestle Top 10 teams (Arlington, Fort Calhoun) and finished behind only #3 ranked David City. Boone Central’s eight state qualifiers are two more than a year ago.
Cardinals punching their tickets to CHI Center-Omaha were Carson Wood (Fr., 113, 3rd), Gavin Dozler (Jr., 120, 3rd), Jaxon Schafer (So., 132, 3rd), Ashton Schafer (Jr., 160, 3rd), Hank Hudson (Fr., 170, 4th), Richard Cleveland (Sr., 182, 2nd), Taylor Weber (Sr., 195, 2nd) and Dakota Rose (Jr., 285, 3rd). Dozler, Ashton Schafer, Cleveland and Weber return to state competition after qualifying in 2020.
Although four BC district competitors fell short of state competition, including two 2020 qualifiers, Card Coach Josh Majerus was pleased with the district performance overall.
“We got in a few that, at the beginning of the year, I would not have expected. I usually expect a few weights where it might be easier to get in, depending who you have in the easier district weight classes,” Majerus commented. “Toward the end of the season my expectations got a little higher and, after seeing our district draws, I was thinking we would have a chance at getting 10 in.
“It’s always nice getting freshmen in, especially those who do not have winning records, as they were JV all year at a higher weight class. Getting Hank in at 170 was a bonus. On another note, not getting returning qualifiers Ted Hemmingsen and Sam Grape in was not expected. Those two deserve to be in Omaha and are potential medalists at state. However, having loaded districts at their weights and not wrestling to our potential can keep a good kid home. We can just be inconsistent at times.”
Despite those disappointments, Majerus said the vibe in the Cardinal program is positive.
“Our energy is high. Getting two of three seniors back down to state to lead us and having six underclassmen who get the experience in the big house is exciting,” Majerus stated. “We had not received a district runner-up plaque since 2004, and this is only the third time since becoming Boone Central. That’s awesome we are getting back to where the program used to be.
“At state, we need guys to win matches and score points. I feel this group can bring home some medals, and will have to if we want to be a Top 10 team. Gavin is aiming to potentially be Boone Central’s first state champion since 2001.
“Our schedule has been tough all year and these guys have seen the best in the state. I hope we feel this is just another tournament.”
Complete results in Print & Online Editions of Albion News and Boone County Tribune