Wrestlers hit peak of season
Swedes hold their own against rated Maxwell team
Each week of the wrestling season, the primary goal of Gothenburg’s team members has been to make improvements that will set each individual up for the future, whether that be a district championship this season or a drive toward a state appearance next year.
For some of the more inexperienced wrestlers, the sights are set beyond 2013.
Others, such as the three seniors, a sense of urgency means do or die now.
“We’re at the hardest point of the year,” said Swede coach Tom Scott. “We’re at that peak phase but I really don’t want the kids to be satisfied here. I want them to keep pushing ahead, working to put themselves in the best possible position for that ultimate goal of making it to state.”
The Swedes wrapped up their dual matchups at home on Jan. 29 with head-to-head action against Class D’s No. 7 state-rated Maxwell team.
“We knew it was going to be a tough dual, even with my starters,” Scott said.
As it was, three regular varsity wrestlers were unable to compete so Scott used replacements.
“We hung right with them,” the coach said. “We were winning, took a big lead early, and then a couple of close matches ended up in pins.”
Maxwell won the dual with a 45-30 score.
Scott said freshman Jayden Miller was in a tight match with Ethan Lunkwitz and ended up getting pinned with 22 seconds to go.
And senior Dillon Larson was beating Lane Miller on the scoreboard until his leg slipped on the mat at the end of the first period and found himself on the bottom of a pin.
“We had a couple guys over-matched against rated wrestlers and they still did well,” Scott said, referring to Maxwell’s Drew Riggs at 138 and Dylan Gage at 182.
Swede winners included Hayden Hubbard, Brandon Stevens, Preston Franzen, Skyler Kottwitz, Dalton Goodwin and Dalton Sylvan, who defeated an experienced senior Wildcat wrestler by a 6-4 decision.
The B-4 district meet begins Friday afternoon in Sidney with more tough competition.
Among the opponents, Gothenburg will see three rated teams from Scottsbluff, Lexington and Chadron as well as several state-rated individuals.
The top four finishers qualify for the state championship meet at Omaha Feb. 14-16.