YORK – The Duke wrestling season got off to a solid start Saturday at the York Invitational.
Coach Chad Mattox's YHS squad placed 12 of 13 varsity Dukes and finished second overall in the 10-team field.
Syracuse won the invite with 174 points to York's 138. Schuyler was third at 130.
Parker Johnson hoisted the Duke colors highest of all by winning all four of his matches and the 220-pound championship.
Johnson served notice of his intentions right away by sticking Cody Harris of Lincoln Southeast. The senior opened with a quick takedown. It was the only he needed as Parker put Harris to his back and ended it in 24 seconds flat.
From there Johnson beat Mike Leger of Plattsmouth (6-3), pinned Jacob Burr of Syracuse (1:53) and decisioned Jared Sterns of Raymond Central (5-1) for the title.
“Parker did what he needed to do to win his first varsity tournament at 220,” Mattox said. “Parker has put on 25 pounds of muscle over the course of a year and it really shows out on the mat. He continually evolves as a wrestler each and every season after only starting wrestling as a sophomore.”
Kyle Rhodes, Brett Olmsted and Ronaldo Trevino earned seconds for the Dukes at 160, 195 and 285.
Rhodes won by pin over Will Neels of Syracuse (2:30), decisioned Crete's Max Smith (11-9) and pinned Dylan Smith of Southeast (1:57) before falling to Schuyler Warrior Omar Rodriguez (6-0).
“Kyle was the most surprising wrestler to me at the York invite,” said his coach. “I was extremely impressed with his ability on his feet and he showed a few new wrinkles as far as technique goes. Kyle could have a great senior year if he keeps this up.”
Olmsted was ambushed by Tyler Brabec of Schuyler in his first match (7-0), but regrouped to pin Ryley Kellison of Plattsmouth (2:55) and Trevor Hayes from Northwest (:47) before winning by decision over Gus Husen from Syracuse (13-7). In his final match Olmsted took second by pinning Tay Miller of Southeast in just 48 ticks of the clock.
“Brett suffered an upset at the beginning of the day but stormed back to soundly defeat four other wrestlers to conclude his day at 4-1,” said Mattox. “When Brett is performing at his best he is a very intimidating wrestler at the 195-pound weight class.”
For Trevino, York's heavyweight, it was a 4-1 record that began 4-0 with a decision over Jose Valdovinios of Crete (5-2), a fall victory over Octavio Gaytan from Plattsmouth (4:41), a pin of Eddie Wortman from David City (1:45) and a final pin of Brian Lange from Northeast (1:06).
Trevino fell to Matt Clark from Syracuse (5-0) and took the runner-up hardware.
Mattox said Clark “is one of the odds on favorites to win a title at the 285-pound weight class. Ronaldo will be right there with the best heavyweight wrestlers in the state at the end of the year.”
Cody Rhodes finished the list of top-three finishers for York with his 3-1 tourney record at 138.
“Each and every meet Cody has at least two or three extremely tough matches,” observed Mattox, “and he always seems to come out winning most of those. His is by far our most experienced wrestler and to place third at this meet was exceptional.”
Cody Rhodes took a decision over Isaac Betke of Crete (6-0) to start his meet, then dropped a decision (11-6) to Syracuse Rocket Skyler Teten before fighting back to tech fall Austin Urbauer of Southeast (20-3) and, in the bout for third, decision Martin Phillips from David City (3-2).
Sophomore Jesse Harlow drew his coach's praise for a 2-2 tourney record and a finish of fourth at 106 pounds.
“I can't say enough positive things about Jesse's performance on Saturday,” said Mattox. “Jesse has been working hard to get his weight down to wrestle at 106 and he showed great ability in his matches” at the invite. “If Jesse keeps working hard there is not reason why he cannot be a state qualifier this year.”
Troy Taylor was fourth at 152 with two wins and two losses at 152. It was fourth, too, for Dylan Olmsted who went 2-2 at 182.
For Shane Motsinger it was fifth at 126. After dropping his first two bouts, Motsinger ran off three straight wins to finish the day 3-2.
Thomas Cuevas placed sixth at 120 as did Anthony Red and Chandler Brayton at 132 and 170, respectively. Hayden Robb wrestled at 145 for York and did not place.
Overall, Mattox was pleased with his team's first meet of the season.
“To get second place at a traditionally tough meet like the York invite speaks volumes to where our team is headed hopefully. We had quite a few kids do some very good things at their respective weight classes.
“To place 12 out of 13 varsity wrestlers at their weight classes shows that we have more depth than in the years past. This is York's highest finish at our own meet in quite some time so I'm happy with that. I was also very pleased with the entire team (varsity and JVs alike) supporting each other and helping each other out in any way that they could.”
The Dukes' next action is Friday at Albion.
Ÿ Team Scores - 1. Syracuse 174.0, 2. York High 138.0, 3. Schuyler 130.0, 4. Plattsmouth 115.0, 5. David City 114.5, 6. Lincoln Southeast 106.0, 7. Fairbury 82.0, 8. Crete High 78.5, 9. Northwest 63.0, 10. Raymond Central 51.0.
York Invitational champions:
106 - Jonathan Killingsworth, Lincoln Southeast
113 – Wyatt Phillips, David City
120 – Michael Varela (David City)
126 – Joshua Moody (Fairbury)
132 – Dalton Dozier (Syracuse)
138 – Zach Zoerb (Schuyler)
145 – Vincent Thatcher (Crete)
152 – John Essink (Syracuse)
160 – Omar Rodriguez (Schuyler)
170 – Joseph Varela (David City)
182 – Ben Lodema (Raymond Central)
195 – Gus Husen (Syracuse)
220 – Parker Johnson (York)
285 – Matt Clark (Syracuse)