Photo by Nathan Heuer
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Pin For The Win— Thayer Central’s Dominic Stewart secures a fall against Neligh-Oakdale’s Cade Wilkinson during their 145-pound bout. Stewart recorded a pin in 4:16 in the team’s third-place dual in Class D.
Photo by Nathan Heuer fairburyjournalnews Pin For The Win— Thayer Central’s Dominic Stewart secures a fall against Neligh-Oakdale’s Cade Wilkinson during their 145-pound bout. Stewart recorded a pin in 4:16 in the team’s third-place dual in Class D.

Thayer Central, Wilber-Clatonia Have Outstanding State Duals Meet

From rejoicing a first-round victory to being heartbroken by criteria that decided a tied dual in the semifinals, the Thayer Central wrestling team experienced a roller coaster of emotions on Saturday at the state wrestling duals at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney.
The end result – the highest finish at the state dual meet in school history. The Titans finished in fourth place with a 1-2 record on Saturday. Thayer Central’s first appearance came a year after the state duals were started in the state of Nebraska (2013). In 2014 Thayer Central placed sixth in Class D.
Thayer Central entered the tournament as a two-seed in Class D, drawing a matchup with seven-seed Elwood in the first round. The Titans fell behind 24-12 (dual started at 160 pounds) after the first seven matches but followed with six consecutive victories from 113 pounds to 145 pounds to capture a 48-30 win.
Cooper Casey (113) and Treyton Waldmeier (120) each received forfeits to start the winning streak. Keegan Casey (126), Damian Stewart (132), Buchannan Tietjen (138), and Dominic Stewart (145) followed with pins in their respective matches.
“They did an excellent job all day,” Thayer Central head coach Josh Bowers said.
Then came heartbreak.
Thayer Central faced off with third-seed Burwell in the semifinal of Class D and the suspense was plentiful.
The dual started at 170 pounds and Burwell took advantage. The Longhorns strung together five consecutive wins to start the dual, three of which came by fall, giving them a 24-0 lead heading into 106 pounds. Thayer Central responded with seven wins in the final nine matches to force a 36-36 tie.
Damian Stewart picked up a crucial win at 132 pounds against sixth-ranked Coy Gideon, who is Burwell’s usual 126 pounder. Stewart turned Gideon to his back with a half nelson in the second period and recorded a fall.
In turn, Keegan Casey received a forfeit at 126 pounds. The runner-up from a year ago wasn’t necessarily happy he didn’t get to wrestle in the dual but was very supportive of his teammate in Damian Stewart.
“I was mad,” Casey said of not getting to wrestle in the dual. 
Three matches later Jarod Hergott found himself in a 0-0 tie with Burwell’s Jace Ostrom after three periods at 152 pounds. In overtime Hergott defended a deep shot by Ostrom that came just a few seconds into the period. After a brief scramble Hergott was able to complete a go behind for the win.
Jackson Feulner ensued with a needed pin at 160 pounds to end the dual in a tie.
Criteria then went in Burwell’s favor, giving them the 37-36 win. Burwell won the dual for having more wrestlers who scored first in their respective matches, which is Criteria H according to the NSAA. Burwell had eight wrestlers score first while Thayer Central had six.
The first four criteria’s were also tied before that which led to Criteria H. The Titans and the Longhorns had the same number of wins (7-7), the same number of pins and forfeits combined (5-5), and neither team had a tech fall or major decision in the dual.
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of there. The thing I’m proud of most with the boys is to lose a heartbreaker like that against Burwell and they turn around and show you what they got,” he said.
Thayer Central concluded the tournament with a 43-33 loss to fifth-seed Neligh-Oakdale in the Class D third-place match. As was the case in the Burwell dual, Thayer Central fell in a 24-0 deficit due to four straight pins by the Warriors. The dual started at 182 pounds.
The Titans won six of the next 10 matches, including sixth-ranked Brenner McLaughlin upsetting third-ranked Cameron Wilkinson at 113 pounds via a 9-4 decision. McLaughlin went up 5-0 in the first period with a double leg that put Wilkinson straight to his back.
McLaughlin currently holds the best record on the Titans roster with a 28-4 mark heading into districts.
Outside of McLaughlin’s impressive win, Sinn (106), Keegan Casey (126), Dominic Stewart (145), Hergott (152), and Feulner (160) claimed wins for the Titans.
After the tournament concluded Damian Stewart stated that he was pleased with his team’s performance and believed that his teammates had no regrets when all was said and done.
“We left it all out on the mat and didn’t take anything back with us,” Damian said.
Thayer Central will head to Midland University in Fremont on Friday and Saturday for the District D-3 tournament.
No matter the wrestling media outlet you look at in the state, Broken Bow and Valentine sit at the top of the Class C rankings.
The two formidable squads are who Wilber-Clatonia ran into at the state wrestling duals on Saturday.
The eighth-seeded Wolverines had a matchup with top-seed Broken Bow to start the Class C bracket. Broken Bow ended the dual with 11 victories and the result was a 61-16 win for the eventual Class C champions.
Miguel Jaimes (106), Conner Schmitt (113), and Colby Homolka (145) came away from the dual with wins.
At heavyweight, Wilber-Clatonia’s Jason Uden gave third-ranked Drew Drake a scare, but the returning state qualifier held on for a 3-2 victory.
The loss gave them a matchup with four-seed Valentine, who was upset by Logan View in the first round.
Wilber-Clatonia won four matches while Valentine won eight. 
The Wolverines received wins from Trevor Kvasnicka (forfeit), and contested victories by Nathan Patak (120), Tommy Lokken (126), and Eric Escobar (285).
Wilber-Clatonia head coach Jamie Bates acknowledged that his team didn’t have the best day, yet he was proud of them for making it to the tournament after losing five state qualifiers to graduation a year ago and being without freshman sensation Sawyer Kunc.
Bates said, “We made it and we’ll learn. Hopefully we’ll come back and maybe next year we’ll be a little tighter and then we’ll win a match.”
The state dual appearance on Saturday was Wilber-Clatonia’s fifth in program history as they qualified for the event in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018.
The Wolverines will head to the District C-2 tournament on Friday and Saturday at Boone Central High School in Albion.