The North Platte wrestling squad took advantage of three Cozad open weight classes, three pins and a major decision to go on to a 49-19 win over the Haymakers at North Platte High School on Thursday. Bulldogs head coach Dale Hall was pleased with the outcome.
“Overall it was a lot better than last year,” Hall said. “I thought our kids went out and they wrestled. They got after it the majority of the dual.
“We had some stalling calls on our feet throughout the dual a couple of times, but overall impression, I’m pleased the way the kids wrestled tonight.”
Two of the more entertaining matches of the evening came at the 138 and 120-weight classes. The match started at 138 pounds with Cozad’s Clay Trejo and the Bulldogs’ Paul Kraye.
Trejo opened with a takedown at the 1 minute, 16 second mark, but Kraye had an escape with :23 remaining to trail 2-1 at the end of a period. Trejo took a 4-1 advantage in period two on an escape and an illegal hold by Kraye.
Kraye came back in the third to make a fight of it. Kraye scored with an escape on a grandy roll before Trejo went up 6-2 on another escape.
Kraye’s takedown with :06 remaining cut the Trejo lead to 6-5, but his attempt to get some back points failed and the Haymakers were up 3-0 in the match.
“We gambled a little bit and moved some guys around because we had some opens,” said Cozad coach Derek Hammerlun. “Kraye is a good tough kid. We knew that was going to be a tough match. I thought Clay wrestled extremely well and set the tone for us and got us off to a good start.”
“That was a great match,” said Hall. “Clay is a tough kid. He’s been working hard and Paul’s been working hard. It was two good kids battling all three periods.
“We fell just a little bit short. We had a takedown and some possible back points there at the end and didn’t get any and lost the match by one. Paul wasn’t short on effort — he wrestled the entire match.”
At 120 pounds, North Platte’s Aaron Houser reversed the Bulldogs luck by taking a 1-0 decision over Cozad’s Brian Messersmith. Houser secured an escape at the :07 mark of the second period and made it stand up for the win.
“We got the escape in the second period to go up 1-0 and then in the third period he was just trying to hold on for the win,” Hall said of Houser. “There were a couple of times Messersmith was able to get up to his feet and we dropped back into a single and hung on. I was surprised we didn’t get called for a stalling there but that’s the way it goes. Both of them were going hard and we ended up coming away with the win.”
Cozad was trailing 19-15 in the match when the Haymakers gave up three of the next four matches without a competitor. When all was said and done, the Haymakers trailed 37-19.
“We kind of outgrew our light weights, so our light weights grew into some upper middle weights,” Hammerlun said. “We had a pretty good kid at 220 that got slightly hurt last weekend at our invite and we missed him tonight too.
“I thought we wrestled well. We had some young guys compete really well against some of North Platte’s older guys that are pretty tough kids. Even though we got beat I thought we at least competed.
“We lost some tough close ones at 195 and at 120 to some tough kids, but we didn’t pull them out tonight so we have to go back to work.”
At 195 pounds, North Platte’s Jason Lienemann took a 9-6 decision over Alex Boryca. Boryca took the early 2-0 lead but Lienemann led 4-2 at the end of one period and 6-3 heading into period three. Boryca had a late reversal and a late stalling call on Lienemann to draw to within 9-6.
“Both medaled a year ago at state,” Hall said of the two wrestlers. “It was a clash of two state medalists. [Lienemann] needs to get a little better on his feet. All-in-all I thought Jason did a really nice job.”
Dylan Petersen got his first career varsity win for the Bulldogs at 132 pounds with a 5-0 win, and Colton Thompson, Dylon Mlady and Grant Holscher all collected pins.
“Dillon was able to get him on his back,” Hall said. “And Grant took control and hit a leg turk for the first-period pin.
“Grant has gotten a lot better on his feet over the summer. He looks a lot more confident and that is going to be the difference in him being a state champ this year — hopefully.”
North Platte’s Martin Sellers moved up a weight class from 220 to 280 pounds, losing 13- 5 to Simon Rangel.
“At the beginning of the dual we knew we were getting a forfeit at 220 so I asked him if he wanted to go up to heavyweight or take a forfeit,” Hall said. And Martin said, ‘I’ll go up to heavyweight, I want to wrestle’.
“It’s a good thing to have guys like that on the team that are willing to do something to help the team out. He ended up losing but had an opportunity in the third period where he almost had the kid on his back for a fall I thought he wrestled hard the entire match.”
North Platte 49, Cozad 19
Individual scores with North Platte athletes first: 138 pounds – Paul Kraye lost to Clay Trejo, 6-5; 145 pounds – Livi Thomlison def. Joey Kappes, Maj. 15-6; 152 pounds – Austin Matthews pinned by Logan Hunke, 1:54; 160 pounds – Dylon Mlady pinned Saige Valenzuela, 1:39; 170 pounds – Grant Holscher pinned Nathan Lemmer, 1:18; 182 pounds – AJ DeLorme pinned by Martin Rascon, 4:11; 195 pounds – Jason Lieneman def. Alex Boryca, 9-6; 220 pounds – Tyler Dubry won by forfeit; 285 pounds – Martin Sellers lost to Simon Rangel, Maj. 13-4; 106 pounds – David Mata won by forfeit; 113 pounds – Jonah Navarrete won by forfeit; 120 pounds – Aaron Houser def. Brian Messersmity, 1-0; 126 pounds – Colton Thompson pinned Louis Morales, 3:24; 132 pounds – Dylan Peterson def. Jacob Hoffman, 5-0.