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Four Clearwater/Orchard wrestling seniors will wrap up their careers at next week’s state meet, after placing in the top-four of their respectively weight classes Saturday in Neligh.
The Cyclones placed fourth overall as a team with 111 points, behind Neligh-Oakdale, Elkhorn Valley and district champs Burwell.
Before even stepping on the mat this weekend, Codey Snider had already sealed his first trip to Omaha. With only four wrestlers in the 182 pound weight class, Snider earned an automatic bid to state.
“It feels good,” Snider said. “I’ve worked all year for it and it wasn’t easy to get it.”
Clay Thiele and Donaven Nolze went back-to-back as district champions.
Thiele scored a 10-2 major decision over Ainsworth’s Conner Jackman at 195 pounds. This will be Thiele’s third trip to the state meet.
“My sophomore year I got fourth (at districts) and wrestled someone who got first at their district,” Thiele recalled. “It was definitely hard. It was motivation to want an easier match (at state) and win the district. It will help me next week.”
Nolze, who is making his second-straight state tournament, shook off a rough start to earn an 8-0 major decision over Wisner-Pilger’s Landon Beaver at 220.
“After the first period I was kind of frustrated,” Nolze stated. “Looking at the coaches, they were telling me my game plan, what I needed to do and what not to do. I just listened to them. I have great coaches and I’ve listened to them tell me what to do and what not to do. I felt like after listening and calling down, I was able to execute what I needed to get done tonight.”
Tommie Peed will also be making his second state appearance, after taking fourth at 285 pounds. In Peed’s heartbreaker match, the senior Cyclone scored 2-0 decision over Central Valley’s Grant Marisch. The win not only sealed a spot at the state tournament, but also gave Peed his 100th career win.
“It felt good,” Peed noted. “I knew my 100th win was going to be hard to get and it was going to be the one that would send me to state. It was a good match. My opponent and I had a good match and I came out on top.”
OC’s Rafe Grebin (126) and Eli Macke (160) were just a win away from securing a spot at the state tournament, but lost in the heartbreak round. Anthony Ferris (106), Spencer Kester (113), Eli Thiele (126), James Kester (132), Alex Arroyo (145), Houston Marino (152) and Austin Pokorny (170) fell earlier in the consolation rounds.
The state tournament begins Thursday with Class D starting at 9:30 a.m.at the CHI Health Center Arena in Omaha.