Making the most of their mat time
Wrestlers gain valuable experience
With the majority of the Gothenburg wrestling team being underclassmen, Swede coach Tom Scott wants mat time for his kids, and plenty of it.
“These guys are at all different levels throughout the team,” Scott said. “They need experience more than anything and the only way to do that is on the mat.”
The Swedes hosted Sidney in dual action on Friday, wrestling in only half of the 14 varsity weight classes.
“I don’t like to throw young kids into varsity competition too early,” Scott said.
With so few wrestling varsity, the Swedes struggled to score points. Sidney won the dual 64-12 with Gothenburg taking only two wrestled matches and a forfeit.
Skyler Kottwitz won his match at 170 pounds, defeating Brenton Christian of Sidney by a 7-3 decision.
Dalton Goodwin came back in the next weight bracket at 182 pounds to defeat Kelby Christian by a 6-4 decision.
Tyler Alvarez earned the forfeit victory at 120.
“A dual is a good way to ease into the season,” Scott said. “It’s only one match and it’s not a long tournament day. We were able to pinpoint several areas for kids to improve.”
The Swedes went full force at the Cozad Invite on Saturday, competing against 12 other teams in the first big invite of the season.
“We were able to see kids improve within matches and from one match to the next,” the coach said. “The more time they spend on the mat in a day the more obvious those improvements are.”
Gothenburg finished 11th in the team standings with 34.5 points and three wrestlers earning medals.
Aurora took top team honors with 211.5 points. The Huskies had two weight class champions and four runners-up.
Scott said the tough competition from a variety of schools is good for the Swedes as they work to get better.
Sophomore Tyler Alvarez was Gothenburg highest finisher, earning third place at 113 pounds.
“I think Tyler earned more wins over the weekend than he had on varsity all of last year,” Scott said. “He’s another year more mature and another year stronger.”
Alvarez got pinned in the quarterfinals by Mike Nyugen of Lexington before coming back with a pair of pins himself for third place.
Swede senior Dalton Goodwin finished fourth at 182 pounds.
“Dalton’s matches were all pretty close,” Scott said.
He went 2-2 at the tournament, falling to Samuel Fiest of Minden in the consolation finals.
Junior Skyler Kottwitz, in the loaded 170-pound bracket, finished sixth with a tourney record of 1-4.
Kottwitz pinned Chaz Janssen of Adams Central in the first round in 5:31.
“Skyler ends up in a weight class with a lot of strong, athletic kids,” Scott said. “It was a tough bracket.”
Gothenburg travels to the Nebraska Duals at Columbus on Friday and Saturday for a full two days of wrestling.
Scott said the Swedes will be a little short handed on Friday because a few wrestlers will be competing in the state one-act play contest.
There are still a few question marks on weight classes, he said, but Gothenburg could potentially have entries in 12 or 13 of the 14 classes on Saturday.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what we can do with a full team.”
The Nebraska Duals meet begins at noon on Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.