Scouts conquer State Wrestling Championship, look to takedown State Duals

After claiming their State Championship, the Scout Wrestling team come together to celebrate their victory. This was the Scout's second victory in the past three years.

Becca Meusch

The Scout wrestling team claimed their second State Championship in Class C within the last three years on Feb. 18-20 at the Omaha CenturyLink Center. The Scouts, with 159 points, won by over 60 points against State Runner-Up, Valentine, who finished with 97 points.

Bringing ten wrestlers to State and tying the school record yet again for number of qualifiers, the Scouts came home with eight medals. Three of the medalists were State champions which included seniors Trent Daro (120) and Wyatt Phillips (126), and sophomore Melvin Hernandez (132).

Daro helped the team by earning a few extra team points in the semi-final round by racking up a pin with one second left in the match, beating the school record for the most career wins. Hernandez fought adversity in the semi-final round by coming back to win after being down to help pave his way to finals. The semi-finals helped the Scouts capture the State title.

“I wanted to win before Melvin and Wyatt went out there so we had some momentum for their matches too, but I think they would have won without it,” Daro said.

Defeating one of his biggest rivals, not only did Daro take first, but he was the third person in school history to be a four-time State medalist.  

Also battling in the finals was senior Morgen Valentine (160) who brought home a second place medal after a close match. Coming in behind him was sophomore Seth Styskal (106) and senior Raymond Fuller (220) with third place medals. To bring in more team points, the Scouts also had seniors Lester Palencia (113) and Dustin Papa (152) place fifth to bring their careers to a near end.

Head Coach Tahner Thiem said the Scouts have been working hard for this Championship. After coming up short last year as a team, Thiem said the team has trained hard all season so they could earn another State title, which was one of their many goals.

“I don’t think our guys are 100 percent satisfied. At the beginning of the season we had a goal to win Conference, win Districts, have the most State qualifiers in tournament history, which we tied, and then win State and State Duals,” Thiem said. “We still have one more goal to accomplish that we are hoping to get this weekend.”

Other State qualifiers included junior Ryan Worm (182) and senior Anthony Tebbe (170) who were eliminated in the preliminary rounds; however, they helped contribute a few team points. Thiem said they are still looking to redeem themselves at State Duals on Feb. 27 with not only a goal of winning their third consecutive title, but also breaking their 2014 State pin record of 299.  

“Winning my own championship felt good, but the season is still not over. We still have jobs to do and we have to look forward to this upcoming week,” Phillips said. “I am still undefeated, but I could get beat this weekend, so I still have to be focused this week.”

The underclassmen and coaches are already looking forward to the upcoming wrestling season, Phillips said. After this season the team will be losing seven seniors.

“I think we are still going to have top quality guys. I mean, Worm didn’t have a great tournament but he is still a returning State medalist. We still have Seth Styskal who placed third. We had some guys who were wrestling a weight class or two they normally wouldn’t just because we had studs in that part of the lineup,” Thiem said. “I think that we are going to surprise some people. They think that we are losing a lot of seniors, but I still think that we are going to have a pretty good team next year.”