MAXWELL — Clay Seifer is easy to spot among his Stapleton-McPherson County wrestling teammates. He’s the one with pink leggings.
Seifer started wearing pink a couple of years ago in football and added it to his wrestling uniform prior to last year’s state tournament. He medaled, placing sixth a year ago, and has continued to wear pink in his senior season.
"It’s lucky for me," he said after his team suffered a 45-24 loss to Maxwell in a dual match on Thursday. "I’ll keep wearing it all year."
With his win on Thursday over Kameron Purdy of Maxwell, Seifer improved to 15-2 on the season.
"I’m not sure why I like the pink or why it’s lucky for me, but it is," Seifer said. "I’ve had a good start to this season."
Maxwell domindated the dual from the beginning, racing out to a commanding lead before Seifer got the Cyclones’ first win in the dual.
"We had to juggle the lineup some to get the win," said Maxwell head coach Ryan Jones. "We have three starters out with injuries, so it was the only way we could win."
The Wildcats went up 42-0 on pins by Ryan McKeeman, Ethan Lunkwitz, Sage Galley, Jaylon Sturdivant and Taylor McKeeman and forfeit wins by Cash Boland and Jacob Whisenhunt. Lunkwitz, who usually wrestles at 132 pounds, wrestled at 145 pounds, while Sturdivant, who weighs 152 pounds, wrestled at 160. Taylor McKeeman usually wrestles at 170 pounds, but wrestled at 182.
"Wrestling out of weight was the only way we were going to win," Jones said. "The guys did a good job."
Seifer’s pin finally got the Cyclones on the board, and they added pins by Justin Cosler at 285 pounds and Sid Simants at 113 pounds. SMC’s Justin Brown earned a forfeit at 106 pounds.
"That went the way I was afraid it might," said SMC coach Tim Negley. "We’re stronger as a tournament team, but I like duals because the fans get to see the matches and it’s over quickly."
The Cyclones have five freshmen on their squad to go along with five wrestlers who qualified for state a year ago.
"We’re strong in the higher weight classes, but the younger guys are coming along well," Negley said.
Maxwell is off until the South Loup Invite in Callaway on Jan. 24. The Cyclones will wrestle in the Sandhills/Thedford Invite on Saturday in Dunning.
Maxwell 45, SMC 24
120 — double forfeit; 126 — Ryan Mckeeman, MAXW, pinned Payton Frey, SMC, 0:37; 132 — double forfeit. 138 — Cash Boland, MAXW, forf.; 145 — Ethan Lunkwitz, MAXW, pinned Ryan Weekly, SMC, 0:59; 152 — Sage Galley, MAXW, pinned Dillon White, SMC, 0:28; 160 — Jaylon Sturdivant, MAXW, pinned Isaac Ascherl, SMC, 2:46; 170 — Jacob Whisenhunt, MAXW, forf.; 182 — Taylor McKeeman, MAXW, pinned John Sonnenfeld, SMC, 0:29; 195 — Clay Seifer, SMC, pinned Kameron Purdy, MAXW, 1:40; 220 — Levi Simmons, MAXW, dec. Mitch Linn, SMC, 10-5; 285 — Justin Cosler, SMC, pinned Houston Crane, MAXW, 4:40; 106 — Justin Brown, SMC, forf.; 113 — Sid Simants, SMC, pinned Jeremy Ochsner, MAXW, 0:25.