The Patriots attended the Ralston (Jim McGrath) Invitational on Friday night, December 15th. Although the depth of the teams at the tournament were not great, the Patriots did find some of their toughest competitions of the season at Ralston. Millard South won the team title by a score of 257.5-186 over runner-up, Fremont. Along with the team title, Millard South also came home with the most pins in the tournament with 19 pins.
Blake Jackson cruised through his bracket before reaching the finals. In the finals, he had to wrestle Ladamien Sturdivant from Omaha Bryan – the same kid that he wrestled in the Finals of the 2017 NSAA State Wrestling Tournament. Blake won that match to earn his first State Championship! This time, however, Sturdivant came away with a 1-0 victory. After the match, Blake had this to say, “He went out there, tied my hands up, and I had a very difficult time trying to score. He did his homework. I will need to adjust my strategy for when we wrestle again.” They should meet up again in a few weeks at the Metro Conference Tournament.
Isaac Deloa kept his undefeated streak going with three pins over the competition of Fremont, Ralston, and Elkhorn South. Krew Tran had a comeback victory in the semi-finals against Andrew Benito-Garcia of Omaha South. He followed up that thrilling victory with a first period pin over 9-2 Colton McCurdy of Fremont. Freshmen, Conor Knopick and Caleb Coyle, each finished in first place of their respective weight classes. Coyle had a close, 6-4 decision over Quentin Donald of Omaha Benson, while Knopick won 9-2 over fellow Freshmen, Noah Talmage of Ralston.
Coach Olson had this to say after the tournament concluded, “I think we got a taste of some tough competition, and that made our head’s spin a little bit. We lost a few team points because the kid’s couldn’t keep their composer, and that was disappointing to see. We need to get back into the practice room to hone in on our skills and finish 2017 strong!”
Coach Meneely echoed many of Coach Olson’s sentiments. “I think Friday night tournaments are tough because the kids are in school all day, then they have to show up and wrestle into the night. I’m happy that we won the tournament, but a few of our guys lost to people that I thought we could have beat. We need to really focus on the fundamentals in practice and get ready for three tough, upcoming duals next week.”
Caleb Coyle (17-1) placed 1st and scored 21.00 team points.
Blake Jackson (15-2) placed 2nd and scored 17.50 team points.
Conor Knopick (16-1) placed 1st and scored 19.00 team points.
Garrett Carbullido (12-4) placed 3rd and scored 8.00 team points.
Justin Jeanette (4-3) went 0-2
Alex Vacha (12-5) placed 2nd and scored 16.00 team points.
Blake Smith (16-2) placed 1st and scored 24.00 team points.
Garett Svoboda (17-2) placed 2nd and scored 17.00 team points.
Alfonso Cunningham (7-2) placed 2nd and scored 18.00 team points.
Isaac Trumble (18-0) placed 1st and scored 24.00 team points.
Isaiah Jackson (0-2) went 0-2
Josh Trumble (7-4) placed 1st and scored 22.00 team points.
Krew Tran (10-5) placed 1st and scored 21.00 team points.
Chris Wortman (13-5) placed 3rd and scored 10.00 team points.
Gavin Peitzmeier (17-0) placed 1st and scored 24.00 team points.
Jake Mayville (10-7) placed 2nd and scored 16.00 team points.