CLASS B TOP 10 MEET TEAMS #3
- Omaha Skutt
- Raters: Dan Lonowski Adams Central & Derek Garfield Fairbury (BOTH)
- Gretna: Gretna brings arguably the best line-up from top to bottom into the season. They return huge point scorers in Trevor Fauver, Grant Bruner, and a big strong physical heavyweight Pat Arnold. Add to it move in wrestlers Van Schmidt, who was a 2-time medalist for Omaha Skutt, and State Champion Tyler Cunningham, Gretna has the pieces to have a very special season.
- Omaha Skutt: Omaha Skutt has been the dominate program for 15 plus years in Class B. As a rater I find it hard to put them any lower than second place. Granted they lost some key pieces to their line-up with the loss of Van Schmidt and Jeff Heinz but second year head coach Chas DeVetter certainly does not have a bare cupboard. With names like Billy Higgins, Korbin Meink, Curt Randall, Trent Hixon, and Alex Van Dyke, the Skyhawks have the makings of another state championship team. Skutt will rely on some young guns in the line-up as well and if some of them can live up to their hype, they could win yet another state title.
- Plattsmouth: Plattsmouth came oh so close to locking up a Individual State Championship Team Title last February but did win the Dual State Championship. While they were hit hard by graduation, they still return a grizzled veteran team that has plenty of firepower. Led by University of Nebraska signee Andrew Nielsen Plattsmouth has plenty of state tournament points. Look out for names like Kole Gray, Jason Nanke, Chase Larson, and Ronald Taylor. Each one of these guys could be high placers giving the Blue Devils a ton of tournament points putting them inside the top 3 again.
- Scottsbluff: Scottsbluff has some unbelievable talent on their roster. They currently land at the 4th spot in our rankings but could quickly move up as we see the season progress. Mario Ybarra, Rob Price, and Ben Rodriguez lead a team that has a ton of depth up and down their line-up. They could be the most complete team and could not only push for a state championship in the individual tournament, could lock up a team title in the dual state championships as well. This will be a fun team to watch all year and we can see them finishing at the top of the mountain by seasons end.
5. Bennington: Bennington begins the season with 8 returning state qualifiers giving them one of the most seasoned team in Class B. Jake Cluxton and Josh Pokorny are as seasoned as they get and bring with them plenty of state hardware. The only thing preventing this team from being a top 3 team right now is the question mark surrounding the health of returning state medalist August Yoder. If Yoder can come back healthy before February, Bennington could be a top-3 team finisher.
- Alliance: Alliance brings back plenty of returning starters to their line-up and have a ton of firepower. Jorgen Johnson and Bryant Wilson return as state medalists and they have a big question mark in 2-time qualifier Danny Vallejo. Vallejo has had some huge off-season wins and if he can bring that mojo with him into the season, Alliance could be primed for a top- 5 team finish.
- Sidney: Sidney has earned a place in the pre-season top 10 by returning 3 state qualifiers and 61 State Tournament points. The majority of those returning points are from state champion Derek Robb. Robb looks like a lock to repeat again as a state champion. If this happens and Sidney can get some quality points from returning medalist Trey Arellano and Kaden Vowers, they will be in the hunt for a top 10 finish and could even finish higher if things go their way. This will be a fun team to watch as the season progresses.
- Hastings: Hastings makes the move from Class A and immediately will make an impact on the Class B scene. Bringing with them experienced wrestlers like Connor Laux and Blayne Kile, they can make some noise at the Century Link in February. They also may have one of the best Freshman in the state in 170 pounder Damen Pape. Pape does not look like a Freshman and could become another Freshman state champion for the Tigers. Another Freshman that could make a huge impact for Hastings is 106 pounder Bryce Brown. Brown was a monster match national champion and will be in the hunt for a high medal at 106.
9. McCook: Known for their football accomplishments, McCook Coach Nick Umscheid is building up quite a good wrestling program. The Bison return 3 state medalists in Eric Langan, Jaret Matson, and Kaleb Taylor. Each of these wrestlers could finish as a high state medalist and throw into the mix returning state qualifier Dunncan Rogers, and the Bison could have a high placing tournament team. Having 3 returning state medalists is a great base for Coach Umscheid to work with.
- Fairbury: Fairbury cracks the top ten this week with a strong start to the season. Fairbury came out of the gates strong with a team championship at the York Invitational and a runner-up finish to Gretna in a tough 16-team Crete Invitational. Fairbury is lead by rated wrestlers Jacob Johnson, Damian Green, and Heavyweight Paul Mach. The Jeffs also have 3 other returning state qualifiers that could score some major points at the state tournament.
CLASS B TOP 10 DUAL TEAMS #3
- Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Adams Central
With Class B, depth is certainly not an issue for many teams. The top 10 teams listed all have line-ups that have quality wrestlers at each weight class. Gretna will start the season rated in the top spot but Omaha Skutt and Scottsbluff are knocking at the door. Plattsmouth who was last years State Champion at the Dual State Tournament will have some say in who wins the title this year as well. Bennington, Alliance, and Lexington all have great pieces that on any given day can compete with anybody in the state and Adams Central, Blair, and Fairbury have some interesting wrestlers that could make some noise by seasons end. For now, we will say that Gretna is the team to beat with the top five all having a great chance to win the whole thing in February.
TOP 6 INDIVIDUALS #3
- Chase Larsen Plattsmouth
- Bryce Brown Hastings
- Caleb Lazure Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Shawn Buchanan Crete
- Chris Adams Nebraska City
- Andy Rojas Lexington
COMMENTS: Chase Larsen leads the pack of a very talented but young 106 pound weight class. Caleb Lazure, Bryce Brown, and Shawn Buchanan all continue to impress the field. Rojas of Lexington jumps into ratings, pushing out Jackson Nielsen of Blair after defeating Nielsen at Schuyler Invite.
- Van Schmidt Gretna
- Miguel Dubs Seward
- Levi Bridgewater Auburn
- Trevor Holley Gothenburg
- Anthony Long Plattsmouth
- Thomas Buchanan Crete
COMMENTS: Van Schmidt and Levi Bridgewater are returning state finalists and look to add to their resume with return trips to the finals. Trevor Holley and Thomas Buchanan have won some big impressive matches early in the season and are starting to make names for themselves. Plattsmouth’s Anthony Long continues to win as Freshman Buchanan of Crete rejoins the group.
- Walker Moore Blair
- Trevor Fauver Gretna
- Trey Arellano Sidney
- Ronald Taylor Plattsmouth
- Broc Hall Bennington
- Jacob Kubicka Adams Central
COMMENTS: Walker Moore of Blair and Gretna’s Trevor Fauver are the best in this group, though Arellano can wrestle with anyone. Jacob Kubicka of Adams Central makes the jump to 120 and replaces Celvin Lopez of Schuyler who hasn’t wrestled as of late.
- Korbin Meink Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Andrew Nielsen Plattsmouth
- Tyler Cunningham Gretna
- Devon’Tae Gutierrez Scottsbluff
- Bryce Larson Gothenburg
- Nolan Barry Adams Central
COMMENTS: 126 is a very interesting weight class. Lots and lots of talent here. Korbin Meink of Skutt leads the pack but with names like Nielsen and Cunningham knocking on the door, first place could be up for grabs in February. Don’t forget about Scottsbluffs Gutierrez, Adams Central’s Barry and Gothenburg’s Larson. All are talented and have the potential to be on the podium.
- Joe Ritzen Chadron
- Mario Ybarra Scottsbluff
- Connor Laux Hastings
- Devin DeLancey Bennington
- Tristan Towey Gretna
- Stone Mendez Omaha Skutt Catholic
COMMENTS: Veteran Joe Ritzen of Chadron continues to roll. With this weight class being so crowded with talent, any of the top 6 wrestlers could find a way to the top. Lots of talent and lots of experience here at this weight class.
- Rob Price Scottsbluff
- Scott Fulsos York
- Jake Cluxton Bennington
- Riley Berg West Point-Beemer
- Mario Venzor Schuyler
- Jorgen Johnson Alliance
COMMENTS: Rob Price of Scottsbluff leads the pack at 138, but you have to figure that Fulsos, Cluxton, Benzor, Eggen, and Brandenburg all have their sights on gold as well. Riley Berg and Jorgen Johnson jump up a weight class making 138 the deepest weight in Class B.
- Ben Rodriguez Scottsbluff
- Josh Pokorny Bennington
- Layton Mullinix Columbus Scotus
- Cody Everhart Gretna (wrestling 152?)
- Rhett Trail Nebraska City
- Draven Steele Gering
COMMENTS: 145 will be an interesting weight class to watch this year. Rodriguez, Pokorny, and Mullinix seem to be the top contenders here but don’t sleep on Everhart, Trail or Steele. Talented wrestlers that will make this weight class very tough.
- Derek Robb Sidney
- Alex Van Dyke Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Kobe Everson Gretna
- Logan MacDonald Bennington
- Tomas Margritz Lexington
- Anthony Moyer Fairbury
COMMENTS: 2-Time Defending State Champion Derek Robb of Sidney leads the pack here. Skutt Catholic’s Alex Van Dyke, who medaled last year seems to be Robb’s biggest challenger. There are a ton of talented wrestlers here, but for now this seems to be a 2-man show.
- Billy Higgins Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Lance Jarrett Gretna
- Damian Green Fairbury
- Jacob Pinkerton Beatrice
- Danny Vallejo Alliance
- Sebastian Harsh Scottsbluff
COMMENTS: Billy Higgins continues his winning ways. It will be interesting to see who steps up to challenge him. There is some other talent in this weight class, but somebody will have to prove that they can hang with Higgins. Jarret is athletic and quick and Green and Pinkerton will butt heads later in the year. Vallejo of Alliance joins the crowd as he is coming off an injury.
- Prestin Melroy Holdrege
- Damen Pape Hastings
- Jacob Johnson Fairbury
- Kole Gray Plattsmouth
- Curt Randall Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Bryant Wilson Alliance
COMMENTS: 170 is shaping up to be one of the toughest weight classes in all of Class B! Wilson, Johnson, Gray, Melroy, and Randall all are returning state medalists, and stud Freshman Damen Pape of Hastings makes this a loaded weight class.
- Trevor Nichelson Ashland-Greenwood
- Zeke Derr Cozad
- Eric Langan McCook
- Salem Harsh Scottsbluff
- Logan Craig Seward
- Gavin Eason Norris
COMMENTS: Cream of the crop Trevor Nichelson headlines the 182 pound bracket. He seems the odds on favorite to win his 3rd state title in as many years. Walton, Derr, Langan, and Harsh are all tough grinding wrestlers and Logan Craig looked lights out at the Crete invite and has the talent to medal. Gavin Eason of Norris moves into the ratings. Sam Kolterman of Wahoo-Cedar Bluffs is knocking on the door.
- Jack Sutton Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs
- Grant Bruner Gretna
- Jaret Matson McCook
- Trevor Walton Boys Town
- Andrew Harrah Nebraska City
- Carter Anderson Blair
COMMENTS: Jack Sutton of Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs is sitting at number 1 for the time being. You have to believe that Bruner is close on his heels. There are some wrestlers here that on any given day could wind up at the top of the medal stand. We will have to wait and see until February which one will wind up on top.
- Cole Krecklow Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs
- Wyatt Gutzmer Columbus Scotus
- Bronson Titus Holdrege
- Kaleb Taylor McCook
- Jesus Maganda Schuyler
- Tyson Bruce Bennington
COMMENTS: 220 seems to be the most wide-open weight class in Class B. Yes – there is a ton of talent here, but the separation between 1-6 seems to be very tight. Gutzmer has had his ups and downs and has a loss to Kreklow. Titus is also in the mix.
- Dalton Williams Nebraska City
- Pat Arnold Gretna
- Cory Harper Blair
- Trent Hixon Omaha Skutt Catholic
- Paul Mach Fairbury
- Jason Brunk Bennington
COMMENTS: This is one of the most loaded heavyweight brackets that we have seen in recent memory. Dalton Williams takes over as number one; he earned impressive victories over Arnold and Harper. Williams also has a win over Trent Hixon. Jason Nanke, Plattsmouth is injured leaving room for a newcomer. For now, that newcomer is Badger Jason Brunk. This will be fun the watch as the season unfolds.