Scout wrestling team secures Runner-Up trophy at State

Senior Matt Eilers attempts to throw Wakefield-Allen senior Julio Sanchez. Eilers defeated Sanchez by fall in the quarterfinals.

Allie Daro

The Scout wrestling team brought home the Class C State Wrestling Runner-Up trophy after State Wrestling Thurs., Feb. 15 through Sat., Feb. 17. Out of the eight qualifiers, the Scouts had two champions, two third place medalists, a fourth place medalist, and a sixth place medalist.

“I’m happy with our guys. I think we got everything we possibly could out of them for the State tournament. What I’m most proud of [of our guys that wrestled at the State tournament] is that every match, win or lose, they fought. We never once got major decisioned, we never once got tech. falled, we never once got pinned,” Head Wrestling Coach Tahner Thiem said. “I’m happy with the way our guys competed; I really am. I think all our guys can walk away from the State tournament with their heads held high.”

In the first round, all eight Scout qualifiers won. Seniors Seth Styskal (113), Melvin Hernandez (145), and Matt Eilers (220), junior Justin White (138), sophomore Jacson Valentine (145), and freshman Clayton Harris (120) all defeated their first round opponents by fall. Junior Noah Styskal (126) and freshman Dylan Vodicka (152) both won their matches by decision.

With all eight qualifiers winning their first match, all eight wrestled in the quarterfinals. Hernandez and Eilers both pinned their opponents. Seth Styskal won by technical fall, and White won by major decision. All four continued to the semifinals, and the four who were defeated moved on to wrestle in the second round consolations.

In the second round consolations, Noah Styskal and Vodicka both won by decision, and Harris pinned his opponent. Valentine was defeated and, therefore, eliminated from the tournament.

David City still had seven wrestlers in the tournament: four in the semifinals and three in the third round consolations. In the semifinals, Seth Styskal and Hernandez won by decision, while White and Eilers were both defeated by the eventual State Champion at their weight.

Noah Styskal and Vodicka both won by fall in their third round consolation matches, and Harris’s loss eliminated him.

Eilers and White each pinned their opponent for a win in the consolation semifinals, and Noah Styskal won by major decision. All three would compete for third place. Vodicka was defeated in the consolation semifinals and went on to wrestle in the fifth place match.

“It [getting third place] felt good,” Eilers said. “It felt like all my hard work throughout the year paid off, and one of my goals on the wall this year was to medal at State.”

In the third and fifth place matches, Eilers and White both received third place. Eilers won by fall, and White won by decision.

“It [getting fourth place] felt alright,” Noah Styskal said. “But I know that I could’ve done better. It’s just motivation for next year.”

Noah Styskal was defeated and received fourth place. Vodicka suffered a loss and obtained sixth place.

“It would have been nice to place higher,” Vodicka said. “But I’ll take it for my freshman year.”

Seth Styskal and Hernandez both competed in the finals. The finals began at the 145-lb weight class, so Hernandez was the first match in Class C. He defeated Valentine freshman Chase Olson by a 3-1 decision to receive his third consecutive State title. Hernandez is the second wrestler in David City High School history to earn three State titles; the only other being Scott Stara (1990-1992).

David City’s other champion this year, Seth Styskal, also won his match by decision. He beat Battle Creek junior Caydon Mccracken 3-2 to win his first State title.

The Scout wrestling team also brought home the team runner-up trophy. Valentine was the champion with 160.5 team points, and David City received runner-up with 127.5 team points. Battle Creek finished in third with 121.5 points.

“It [getting runner-up] felt pretty good,” Noah Styskal stated. “We medalled six [wrestlers], and all the points matter. We only beat Battle Creek by six points or so, so all the points ended up being important.”

This year’s team runner-up title is following a second place finish in 2017 and first place finishes in 2016 and 2014.

The Scouts final meet this year will be at the State Duals on Sat., Feb. 24 at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Their first dual will be against Valentine at 9:00 a.m.

“I think that we’ve got a tough draw. Number one in the state, Valentine, and number two in the tournament meet up in the first round of State Duals, and it’s just kind of how the points system figured out,” Thiem stated. “We’re going to roll with it and go out to try to beat Valentine.”