Seven Eagles Qualify for State Tournament

O’Neill – Over the past two weeks the Eagle wrestling team has been grabbling through Sub-District and District action. The team made the long trip to Mitchell, NE on February, 6th and punched 12 of their 14 competitors through to the District Final on February, 13th in Valentine.

Cold temperatures and snow packed roads kept this group ice cold and ready to take advantage of their opportunity on the eve of Valentine’s Day in the Heart City. When the dust settled the Eagles crowned four district champions. Two district runner-ups and one additional qualifier while bringing home District Runner-up honors in the team race.

The Eagles were led by lone Senior Servando Gonzalez who followed up his first place finish at the Sub-district in Mitchell with an encore at the top of the podium at 170 lbs.. Gonzalez came in as the number three seed in his district bracket, knocking off the number two seed and one seed in the finals to bring home the gold medal.

Ty Rainforth defeated returning state champion and number #1 ranked Quentyn Frank of Amherst 2-0 in the match of the day. Rainforth threatened a number of takedowns on the edge of the mat early in the bout. In the second period, he scored an early reversal and kept the Amherst wrestler from scoring the remainder or the period. In the third, period Frank chose the bottom position and the Eagle Junior rode him out the full two minutes to secure the victory.

Both Joe Yates and Brady Thompson were dominant pinning their way through the tournament. John Alden and Salvador Rodriguez wrestled very well throughout the day finishing with silver medals. Alden a Freshman who was the second seed behind Trevin Edwards of Loomis/Bertrand fell behind 2-0 in his finals match but came storming back to take a 8-5 lead. With seconds to go, Edwards was able to secure a reversal that put Alden in near-fall criteria. The two for reversal and additional 2 for near-fall gave the Loomis wrestler a 9-8 victory.

Levi Drueke was able to secure the final qualifying spot in a very rugged 152 lbs. weight class. O’Neill which led the tournament most of the day conceded the lead in the team race in the final match of the day as Ord secured a Final’s victory at HWT. to secure a 135 to 129.5 victory in the team score category.

O’Neill will compete at the CHI Health Center in Omaha on February 19th and 20th.

“When you compete in one of these your heart always goes out to those guys that were right there. Fabian Acevedo and Dylan Parks had a tough path and they were ready today, they competed hard as did the rest of their teammates. They just came up a little short. But as you look at all of it, way more good happened then bad over in Valentine and I’m proud of how this crew has stuck together and fought all season long. It’s a special bunch and we’re excited for a trip to Omaha.” commented head coach Bryan Corkle.

O’Neill District Roster
106 – John Alden District Runner-up
113 – Dylan Parks
120 – Joe Yates District Champion
126 – Oliver Schluns
132 – Ty Rainforth District Champion
145 – Brady Thompson District Champion
152 – Levi Drueke 4th State Qualifier
160 – Fabian Acevedo
170 – Servando Gonzalez District Champion
182 – Korbyn Grenier
195 – Salvador Rodriguez District Runner-up HWT – Tucker Shabram