Gretna has had one of its best regular seasons in recent memory.
Now, it hopes to carry that success over into the postseason with districts set to start Friday.
Coming into the season, Dragon coach Matt Bruggeman knew his team had potential for a big season.
“Coming in, we knew we had a lot of big guys from last year coming back,” Bruggeman said, “But we needed to have some other kids step up.”
With the regular season in the books, the Dragons have collectively stepped up their game.
Gretna entered eight tournaments this season and came away on top in seven, including sweeping the Eastern Midlands Conference Duals and EMC Tournament. The only hiccup for the Dragons was at the UNK Duals, where Class A Kearney topped them in the championship dual. However, Gretna beat the Bearcats in the championship dual at the Flatwater Fracas in December.
The next goal for the Dragons is to win District B-1, which will include Class B powers Skutt and Plattsmouth. The Dragons have defeated both teams in dual action on the year and are ready for the challenge.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Bruggeman said. “With Plattsmouth and Omaha Skutt there, we have to be at our best.
“We want to get as many kids qualified for state as possible and be sure to get enough points to make the State Dual Tournament.”
The strength of the B-1 District may be daunting, but Gretna has prepared itself with a brutal schedule during the regular season.
“With the strength of schedule we have, we feel like we’re ready for these types of teams,” Bruggeman said.
According to the latest Class B rankings done by the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association, the Dragons have two wrestlers ranked No. 1 in Class B. Senior Logan Radik, the state runner-up from a year ago, is the top ranked 220-pound wrestler and holds a 47-1 record with his only loss coming at heavyweight.
“Logan has been an anchor for us for as long as he’s been here,” Bruggeman said. “There’s no let-up in him.
“He wants to finish off with a state championship and we’re going to do anything we can to get him there.”
Gretna’s Trevor Fauver is also ranked No. 1 at 106, holding a 43-3 mark on the season. Bruggeman said his ability to never have a bad day has led to him developing into one of the best wrestlers in the state.
The Dragon squad faced a hurdle before the season even started when returning state medalist Pat Arnold injured his knee in the school’s final football game. What was a strong weight at 285 turned into a hole for the Dragons, but Gabe Colgrove has admirably filled that hole with a 36-12 record.
“Gabe Colgrove has done a tremendous job for us and I don’t think he understands how important he is to us,” Bruggeman said.
While Grant Bruner (45-3), Dan Zeleny (40-7), Josh Gasper (40-7) and Cody Everhart (37-9) all have impressive records, the Dragons’ depth as a team is what makes them dangerous.
“Just as a whole, from 106-285, we have a kid that is going to go out there and have a chance to win,” Bruggeman said. “We’re not a team full of superstars but we’re very competitive and very scrappy.
“We’d put our kids up with any team in the state.”