Annual classic preps wrestlers for season

Eron Haynes, 133-pound freshman of Omaha, attempts to pin Joe Ritzen, freshman of Chadron, Thursday, at the Black and Cardinal Classic in the Chicoine Center.


The Black team won five matches to the Cardinal team’s four, but outscored the Cardinal team 20-12.
Traditionally, the meet was used to determine who would wrestle varsity, but this year, Hunter is taking a different track.
“We don’t look at it in terms of who is going to be our varsity guys,” Hunter said. We just want guys to compete under the spotlight and have the fans come watch us and look at the product.”
The Black and Cardinal Classic held nine matches between eight weight classes. Two matches ended in a fall or technical fall. The Cardinal team’s Rulon Taylor, redshirt junior of Curtis, at 285-pounds, pinned Andrew Wilson, sophomore of Albuquerque, New Mexico, at 4:58 in the second match.
The Black team’s Chance Karst, sophomore of Powell, Wyoming, in the 133-pound weight class won by a technical fall over Robert Price, freshman of Scottsbluff, 20-2. Karst is one of the two members on the team that Hunter said stand out as team leaders, the other being Joe Ritzen freshman of Chadron, in the 133-pound weight class.
“Chance Karst does all the right things on and off the mat. He is going to have a great future for us,” Hunter said.
Ritzen won by decision over Eron Haynes, freshman of Omaha, in the 125-pound weight class.
Jacob Otuafi, redshirt sophomore of Sparks, Nevada, won by decision for the Cardinal team in the 157-pound weight class against Grant Albrecht, freshman of Valparaiso, 12-7.
In the 149-pound weight class, the Cardinal team’s Brock Thumm, redshirt junior of Watervliet, Michigan, won by decision over Caleb Haskell, sophomore of Madison, 6-3.
The Cardinal team’s 174-pound redshirt junior of Spanish Fork, Utah, Herber Shepherd won by decision over Kyle Stevens, freshman of Polk, 10-5.
In the 125-pound weight class, the Cardinal team’s Stephen Dabelko, freshman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, won by decision over Marcus Hutcherson, freshman of Bakersfield, California, 9-4.
Johnny Porter, redshirt junior of Bellevue, in the 165-pound weight class, won by decision, 8-5 for the Black team over Bryan Wais, freshman of Spokane, Washington.
In the 149-pound weight class, the Black team’s Steven Lahnert, redshirt freshman of Cheyenne, Wyoming, won by decision over Chase Clasen, redshirt junior of Moses Lake, Washington, 3-1.
For the season and upcoming years, Hunter plans to focus on keeping his team together and to retain the members on the team.
“Obviously we’re down, it’s going to take a couple of years to rebound,” Hunter said. “I want to just keep this group of guys together, and keep these guys on campus, and keep building. I like this group of guys. We just have to keep working hard and I think things will look up.”
The next meet for the Eagles is the UNK Open in Kearney, Saturday at 9 a.m.

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