Kearney High Bearcats Wrestling

Bearcat Grapplers go 4 – 1 at East West Challenge


Bearcat Senior Austin Marshall picks up back points.
Bearcat Senior Austin Marshall picks up back points.
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Kearney High wrestling continued dual meet action at the East / West Challenge in Lexington, NE on Friday, January 11th. The Bearcats wrestled four teams from the West pool (North Platte, Gering, Gothenburg, and Chadron). After winning all of these match ups KHS earned a spot in the East dual championship against Omaha Skutt Catholic.

In the opening round Kearney faced off with North Platte for the second week in a row. The dual opened up with a pin at 138 pounds by Austin Marshall over Dylan Peterson from North Platte. Mason Merritt (138lbs) followed with a convincing 6-1 decision. North Platte picked up a 1-0 victory at 145lbs bringing the dual score to 9 – 3 in the favor of Kearney. Kearney dropped the next three matches to find themselves trailing to North Platte 15 – 9. Kearney then reeled off 5 straight wins to re-establish a 41 -15 lead. Aaron Houser picked up a decision victory for North Platte at 120 pounds which was followed by tech fall by Kearney’s Hunter Bamford to finish the dual at 126 pounds. The final dual score was 46 – 18 in favor of Kearney High School.

Round two action paired Kearney High with Gering high school. Dual action started with a 25 second pin by Mason Merritt at 138 pounds. Derek Beruman (145lbs) and Kalen Mazenkowski (152lbs) added two more wins to give KHS an early 15 – 0 lead over the Bulldogs. Cameron Schlender battled in a back and forth match against Elijah Timblin from Gering to pick up a 3rd period fall for the Bearcats. Gering picked up its first dual win at 170 pounds with a decision over Lee Langenberg. Kearney picked up another first period fall by Trey Schlender at 182lbs before losing by fall at 195lbs. Kearney finished with seven straight wins and won the dual in convincing fashion by a score of 64 to 9.

In round two KHS took on Gothenburg in a rematch from the previous week. Gothenburg was able to pick up wins at 170 and 195 pounds in this dual. The Bearcats made quick work of the Swedes and finished the dual with 6 pins and a major decision. The final dual score was 70 to 12 for Kearney High.

In the final round of pool play KHS matched up with Chadron. Kalen Mazenkowski (152lbs) started the dual off in dominating fashion with a 21-6 tech fall over Trevor Lewin from Chadron. James Chamberlain (160lbs) added a decision to give the Bearcats an early 8 – 0 lead. Chadron looked strong in their middleweights and picked up victories in the next two weight classes at 170lbs and 182lbs. Jake Culey got the team back on the winning track with a second period pin over Alex Doescher from Chadron. Kearney then finished the dual in style by winning the remaining 9 match-ups against Chadron. This included 3 pins and 2 technical falls for the Bearcats for a final score of 63 to 8 victory for Kearney High.

In the championship match-up Kearney high faced class b powerhouse Omaha Skutt. The Bearcats dropped the first two matches at 160 pounds and 170 pounds. Trey Schlender (182lbs) put his team on the board by recording a first period fall only to see Omaha Skutt come back with a win at 195 pounds. Quinton Ross (220lbs) put together a convincing decision over Caden Reimers to narrow the Skutt team lead to 17 – 9. Kearney lost a back and forth battle at heavyweight and Skutt followed this with a pin 106 pounds. The Bearcats then forfeited at 113 pounds and picked up a decision victory from freshman Ashton Arrants at 120 pounds. Omaha Skutt gave a forfeit back to the Bearcats at 126 pounds to narrow the dual score to 35 – 18 in favor of Skutt. Hunter Bamford moved up to 132 pounds and picked up a pin for the Bearcats. Skutt followed with a hard fought win against Austin Marshall at 138 pounds. Jake Walker added another decision win for Omaha Skutt at 145 pounds. Kalen Mazankowski finished the dual with a decision victory at 152 pounds. The final dual score was 41 to 27 in favor of Omaha Skutt.

Kearney High will be back in action on Thursday, January 17th at home against North Platte with junior varsity action starting at 6:30pm and varsity action starting at 7:30pm.

View Results from the East West Challenge

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