You don’t usually catch much more than coach speak from Brad Hildebrandt when it comes to December wrestling.
So when the Omaha Skutt coach’s first three words were “very, very well,” when asked how his Skyhawks wrestled over the weekend, there was reason to believe him.
Hildebrandt’s Skutt team, ranked No. 1 in Class B, won the Boys Town Invitational on Saturday in impressive fashion, crowning five champions out of six finalists to beat runner-up Blair by 77.5 points.
“We sort of pointed at this tournament to see where we were in the district and state,” Hildebrandt said. “I was really pleased with the way we performed. From top to bottom, we wrestled tough.”
J.T. Sloboth and Jake Walker worked first-period pins for titles at 113 and 145, respectively, before back-to-back one-point wins by Nick Hollins (160) and Phillip Rasmussen (170). Nick Jensen rounded out the gold-medal run with a 2-0 overtime win at 195 pounds.
The only Skutt loss in the finals came in the first championship match of the day. Junior Brian Peska fell in overtime to Tekamah’s Jason Hansen, a runner-up in Class C a season ago.
Although none may provide the star power that Skutt has had in the past, Hildebrandt likes what he has in the wrestling room.
“This a great group of kids,” he said. “There’s no real superstar, but it’s a bunch of workers and grinders.”
Blair finished with a pair of individual titles Saturday, winning half of its four championship matches. Juniors Colt Wakefield (126) and Will Schany (182) won crowns for the Bears.
Schany, ranked nationally at his weight class, had to work for a 17-5 major decision over Council Bluffs Lewis Central’s Austin Lear. Schany, a two-time state champion, was named the meet’s outstanding wrestler.
“I like having matches like that, especially early in the season,” Schany said. “It shows me what I need to work on. I wore down a little there at the end, so I found out I need to work on my conditioning.”
Fifth-ranked Gretna got titles from Quentin Dawes (132) and Tanner Evans (220) — both were runner-ups at state last year. The winners for Class C No. 10 Tekamah were Hansen and 152-pounder Alex Metzler.
Bennington’s Brett Velasquez and Omaha Central’s Ronald Wells — state champions last year in their respective classes — won at 120 and 138, respectively. Lewis Central heavyweight Zach Renshaw was the other champion Saturday.
Team scoring: Omaha Skutt 241.5, Blair 164, Gretna 142.5, Bennington 137, Aurora 126, Beatrice 120, Harlan (Iowa) 103, Council Bluffs Lewis Central 94, Omaha Central 91.5, Boys Town 84, Schuyler 80.5, Tekamah-Herman 67, Missouri Valley (Iowa) 50, Omaha Northwest 31, Elkhorn Mount Michael 6, Omaha Gross 4.
Championship matches: 106: Jason Hansen (Tekamah-Herman) dec. Brian Peska (Omaha Skutt), 6-4, OT. 113: J.T. Sloboth (Omaha Skutt) pin Alec Gibson (Blair), 0:54). 120: Brett Velasquez (Bennington) maj. dec. Broghan Kelly (Harlan), 11-0. 126: Colt Wakefield (Blair) dec. Michael Curzon (Bennington), 7-0. 132: Quentin Dawes (Gretna) pin Jacob Greenwood (Bennington), 2:56. 138: Ronald Wells (Omaha Central) dec. Zach Zoerb (Schuyler), 5-2. 145: Jake Walker (Omaha Skutt) pin Ibraccio Wilkinson (Boys Town), 1:41. 152: Alex Metzler (Tekamah-Herman) dec. Gage Ryan (Blair), 3-0. 160: Nick Hollins (Omaha Skutt) dec. Omar Rodriguez (Schuyler), 3-2. 170: Phillip Rasmussen (Omaha Skutt) dec. Chance Helmick (Beatrice), 5-4. 182: Will Schany (Blair) maj. dec. Austin Lear (Council Bluffs Lewis Central), 17-5. 195: Nick Jensen (Omaha Skutt) dec. Derek Jenkins (Council Bluffs Lewis Central), 2-0, OT. 220: Tanner Evans (Gretna) tech. fall Austin Wonch (Aurora), 15-0. 285: Zach Renshaw (Council Bluffs Lewis Central) pin Ehren Schwarz (Aurora), 0:47.
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