Check out the top semifinals to watch Friday at the Nebraska high school state wrestling tournament at the CHI Health Center.

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Class A

106 pounds — Caleb Coyle, Millard South (50-5), vs. Juan Pedro, Grand Island (36-12): A win for Coyle could be an emotional springboard for the Patriots in their title pursuit.

126 — Cam Russell, Millard West (33-5), vs. Cody Niemiec, Papio (43-6): With Fremont’s Cody Carlson upsetting top-ranked Conor Knopick of Millard South in the quarterfinals, the gate is open for No. 2 Niemiec and No. 3 Russell.

152 — Chance Fry, Lincoln East (30-0), vs. Deson Stapleton, Omaha Burke (44-9): No. 3 Stapleton got to this showdown with the top-ranked wrestler after rallying from a 7-2 deficit in the quarterfinals.

160 — Nolan Johnson, Omaha Westside (45-7), vs. James Burks, Omaha Burke (58-0): Burks worked for a 5-3 win against Johnson at the Omaha Creighton Prep Invitational. He barely got out of the quarterfinals, winning 9-8 over Bellevue West’s Jack McDonnell, in his pursuit to be Class A’s 10th four-time champion.

182 — Andrew Mutherspaugh, Lincoln East (9-0), vs. Isaac Trumble, Millard South (54-0): A 1-vs.-2 tussle, with Mutherspaugh trying to take down No. 1 Trumble and return to the Parade of Champions. Mutherspaugh missed most of the season with a shoulder injury from football.

Class B

132 — Izaak Hunsley, Hastings (41-6) vs. Jerryd Hernandez, Scottsbluff (18-7): Hernandez, who missed part of the season, is ranked first and Hunsley second.

138 — Mason Brumbaugh, Hastings (42-7), vs. Nicholas Stoltenberg, Omaha Skutt (33-1): Only semifinal between the two leading team contenders. Stoltenberg is looking for a second title.

285 — Trevor Brown, Waverly (47-2), vs. Noah Stafursky, York (38-2): Brown is a good-looking freshman with a high upside in football. Stafursky is a Husker recruited walk-on lineman.

Class C

120 — Spencer Gaffney, Broken Bow (43-6), vs. Caydon McCracken, Battle Creek (47-2): McCracken heads the Huskermat ratings and Gaffney is second.

138 — Evan Waddington, Wood River (52-1), vs. Jefferson McNeill, Oakland-Craig (43-4): Top-ranked, Waddington is a win away from his fourth walk in the Parade of Champions. He was runner-up as a freshman and sophomore before winning this weight class last year.

170 — Zach Borer, North Bend (47-0), vs. Lane McGinley, Valentine (31-6): Borer, ranked first, is trying to get back to the finals for the first time since he won as a freshman. He’s in the 200-win club.

285 — Drew Drake, Broken Bow (45-5) vs. Riley Moses, Fillmore Central (42-2): Could be key for Broken Bow in team race, but Drake is going against a Husker walk-on who’s a pin machine.

Class D

113 — Scout Ashburn, Plainview (42-5), vs. Caden Arps, Fremont Bergan (40-3): They make it guaranteed a freshman from this class will be wrestling Saturday to start the march to four titles. It’s also a big match in what has been a tight team race.

126 — Quentyn Frank, Amherst (42-3), vs. Keegan Casey, Thayer Central (34-5): Frank, a freshman, is first and Casey, a senior, second in the rankings.

132 — Damian Stewart, Thayer Central (30-12), vs. Tyler Pawloski, Pleasanton (25-0): Ranked No. 4, Stewart will be trying to fell one of the giants of this meet. Pawloski is going for his fourth title.

160 — Joshua McFarland, Elkhorn Valley (44-1), vs. Dylan Soule, High Plains (41-9): No. 2 McFarland was last year’s 145-pound winner. 

285 — Marcus Cave, Weeping Water, (55-3), vs. Jakob Jerabek, Arcadia/Loup City (44-0): The top-ranked Jerabek was last year’s Class C runner-up at 285. 

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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Phone: 402-444-1041.

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