The day is here for the Fab Five.
By early evening Saturday, Will Schany of Blair and JaVaughn Perkins of Omaha North hope to join Brett Velasquez of Bennington, Colton Adams of Scottsbluff and Jacob Sebade of Pender as four-time state wrestling champions.
“You have to make it count. It's your last match,'' Schany said.
Omaha North and Omaha Skutt have their own Fab Fives, too, in the 3 p.m. finals at the CenturyLink Center.
Each lost only one of its six semifinals Friday night before a crowd of 10,973.
North is poised to break Grand Island's five-year hold on the Class A title and bring home its first mat championship since 1998 to add to its state football title.
The Vikings led by only two over Millard South after the semifinals, but the Patriots have one less finalist than North and have some tough draws.
Skutt already has clinched its third straight Class B title and 16th in the past 17 years.
Amherst continued to add to its record-breaking run through Class D, its 12 medal winners shattering the class record of nine. O'Neill took a one-point lead over David City in Class C.
For the second straight day, North coach Anders Christensen said, “we out-competed everybody.”
Otis Rollins, a sophomore, started the semifinals with a first-period pin at 113. Robert Ozuna at 126 and Tyler Jackson at 145 won before Jacobi Jones won 11-1 at 171 and Perkins needed 1:26 for his pin at 182.
North coaches then erupted after wins by Lincoln Pius X against wrestlers from Grand Island and Millard South. At 195, Thunderbolt sophomore Alex Kerr edged the Islanders' Edgar Silva 9-8 before teammate Tyson Cisneros won 4-3 in overtime at 285 over Millard South's Terry Jeub.
“Our kids are showing a lot of emotion,'' Christensen said. “We've worked for four years with our seniors and they're going to give it a go.”
Millard South coach Doug Denson said “we'd have to have a lot go right” to overtake the Vikings. The Patriots have three in the consolation semifinals and “we won't be the favorite in any of our finals.”
“North has done a great job,'' Denson said.
Millard South's finalists are Nathan Rodriguez at 106, returning champion Isaac DeLoa at 138, Anthony Cloyd at 182 and Marc Tompsett at 220. Cloyd draws Perkins after DeLoa (48-1) meets Grand Island's undefeated Andrew Rojas.
Grand Island split its four semifinals, with undefeated 220-pounder Chase Reis and Rojas winning. Besides Silva's loss, which also cost the Islanders a team point when he threw his headgear down, Billy Thompson at 170 lost on an ultimate tiebreaker to Omaha Central's Shanon Jackson.
Skutt opened a 145-92 lead on Scottsbluff, last year's runner-up. Korbin Meink at 106, Jeff Heinz at 113, Brian Peska at 120, Bailey Vanderpool at 138 and Jake Walker at 152 all prevailed. The only loss was at 171, where undefeated Chance Helmink of Beatrice beat second-ranked SkyHawk Nick Hollins.
“That's the one we wanted the most,'' coach Brad Hildebrandt said.
He said a key win was by Heinz, who beat Plattsmouth sophomore Zach Prall 6-2.
“Korbin got it started, then at 113 Prall had beaten us a month ago in our tournament, but Jeff found a way to turn that around,” Hildebrandt said.
“We had some gutty matches. Bailey did well in riding out his man in the third period and Walker turned his kid with 10 seconds left in the second. A very impressive round.”
O'Neill, which never has won a state title, has Jon Marvin at 126, Joseph Gilliam at 132, Blake Walters at 152 and David Fox at 170 in the finals. None of their matches is against David City's foursome of Trent Daro at 106, Michael Varela at 120, Martin Phillips at 145 and Joseph Varela at 182.
Amherst won four of its nine semifinals. The Broncos' finalists are undefeated Bryan Wietjes at 120, Logan Dibbern at 138, undefeated Mason Klingelhoefer at 160 and undefeated Kris Rasmussen at 182.
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Video: Sights and sounds from Friday at Nebraska state wrestling
Video: Sights and sounds from Thursday at Nebraska state wrestling