Papillion-La Vista’s Brandon Sorgenfrei finished second in the Class A 160-pound division at the state wrestling tournament after falling to Millard North’s DJ Coleman in a 7-3 decision at Saturday’s finals.
“I’m super proud of Brandon and where he came from,” Monarch coach Braumon Creighton said. “At one point he was almost not with us on the team, so for him to come back and work as hard as he did and make the finals, we’re happy with that.”
Creighton said Sorgenfrei’s commitment to the team was rejuvenated by a discussion the two had around Christmas time, and Sorgenfrei thrived the rest of the season.
“He turned it around from then and was super dedicated and did everything we asked and really was a good leader for us the second half of the season,” Creighton said.
Sorgenfrei wrestled Coleman in the Metro Conference finals back on Jan. 16 and lost a 5-1 decision. That match was another turning point in the season for Sorgenfrei because it was his 22nd match of the season.
Creighton said the team focused on having each wrestler use the first 20 matches of the season to refine his preparation and strategy for the final push of the season, and Sorgenfrei put it all together after the loss in Metros. He went 13-1 the rest of the season, with the only loss coming in the state title match.
“Once he got to 20 matches and over, he started really looking good,” Creighton said.
Sorgenfrei was the highest of three placers for the Monarchs.
Creighton Baughman placed fifth in the 120 division. After going 1-1 on Thursday, Baughman wrestled his way to the fifth-place match, where he beat Ryan Smales of Bellevue West in a major decision. Baughman, a freshman, ended his season strong with medal.
“Creighton had to defeat a defending state champion to try and get to the third/fourth match, so that’s a tough draw,” Creighton said. “He’s already a prolific pinner but he has to get stronger.”
Thomas Cahill placed fifth in the 132 division. Cahill made it to the semifinals where he lost to James Burks of Omaha Burke, the eventual state champion at 132. Cahill won his next two matches, including a major decision over Mike Theisen of Millard South to claim fifth place.
“Thomas came into state on a mission,” Creighton said. “He’s a four-time state qualifier and this was his first medal. It’s a good way for a senior to go out.”
Nolan Niemiec (106) and Ben Hallett (126) each finished with a 2-2 record at state, falling one win short of a medal.
Monarchs to win one match were Ethan Fitzler (138), Jacob Dinges (182), Joshua Pyle (195) and Chase Hilding (220).
Papillion-La Vista South saw all its wrestlers fall short of Saturday.
Colton Kinen (113) and Maison Clark (132) each fell one win short of state medals.
Josh Benak added the only other win for the Titans at 138.
- Joey Waller contributed to this report.