Columbus Wrestling has been traveling to many duals, meets, and invites since their devastating loss to Grand Island on December 5th. Last Tuesday, January 14, the Discoverer wrestlers came back for a homecoming dual against none other than the Norfolk Panthers!
Before the varsity competition commenced, the Junior Varsity Discoverers wrestled their respective Norfolk opponents. However, the JV wrestlers were not alone, having been accompanied by the wrestlers of the Columbus Wrestling Organization. To welcome the young wrestlers, the men of Columbus High’s varsity wrestling team along with other fans cheered the boys on as they ran through their own tunnel tuned to the traditional song of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” to wrestle the Junior Panthers of Norfolk.
After the last JV match, the spotlight was illuminated, and that familiar riff sounded through the gym’s speaker system once more. Members of the student section and younger fans rushed to join the cheerleaders to form the tunnel, clapping along to the beat of the song as clips of the wrestlers’ unique maneuvers played on the southern scoreboard. On their cue, the boys rushed through the tunnel, and the gym erupted in applause.
The first to the mat in Maroon Cup action was Junior Tanner Kobza at 132 pounds. Kobza made quick work of his opponent, Norfolk’s Adam Dittmer, pinning him with thirty-eight seconds remaining in the first period. Kobza’s pin gave the Discoverers the first points of the night, making them in the lead 6-0.
Taking to the mat after Kobsa was Junior Alex Korte at 138 pounds. After taking down Norfolk’s Cory Armstrong, Korte was one second too late in pinning this Panther, giving Korte a 5-0 lead in the first round. Korte was able to take down Armstrong three times in succeeding round, with Armstrong only receiving points via two escapes. With an eight-point margin at the culmination of the third round, Korte’s major decision added four to the Discoverers’ tally.
Making his home varsity debut of the season, Sophomore Levi Bloomquist tangled with Norfolk’s Jacob Licking in the 145-pound weight class. In the first round, Bloomquist was taken down and nearly pinned by Licking. Despite the early onslaught from Licking, Bloomquist managed to survive the first round with only a four-point disadvantage. In the second round, Bloomquist was able to get points by taking down Licking, though a catlike escape and subsequent takedowns by the 145 pound Panther pushed his lead to seven. In the third round, Bloomquist managed a third escape of the match, but his comeback hopes were quickly dashed as Licking convincingly took Bloomquist down for the fourth time at the edge of the mat. Licking’s major-decision victory secured the Panthers’ first four points of the evening and made the score 10-4.
The next wrestler was Freshman Luis Garcia-Gomez at 152 pounds. Licking made quick work of the freshman Discoverer, pinning him in just under forty seconds. The pin tied the score at ten apiece.
Wrestling in at 160 pounds is Senior Mac Shevlin. In the first round, Shevlin was taken down by his opponent Brayden Splater, giving Splater a two-point lead. In the second round, Splater increased his lead in points taking down Shevlin twice, though, Shevlin did receive a point for escaping. In the third round, Shevlin managed a takedown Splater, but Splater was able to escape Shevlin twice and take him down, winning the match 10-3, putting the Panthers in the lead for the first time of the night 13-10.
Making his home varsity debut was Freshman Liam Blaser at 170 pounds. Blaser was able to take down his opponent Austin Miller, but Miller escaped, giving Blaser a 2-1 lead. In the second round, Blaser was nearly pinned by Miller, but Blaser received a point for an illegal hold by Miller, tying up the match score to three points apiece. In the third round, Blaser let Miller escape and take Blaser down. When Blaser escaped Miller, Miller was unfortunately injured, temporarily stopping the match. Miller thankfully recovered, but unfortunately won the match, thereby increasing the Panthers’ lead by half a dozen.
Next, wrestling in at 170 pounds was Junior Blayze Standley. At the end of the first round, Standley was able to take down his opponent, Hunter Mangelsen giving Standley a 2-0 lead. In the second round, Standley received points for a reversal and nearly pinned Mangelsen, giving him near fall points. Standley gained more points by letting Mangelsen escape and taking him down again increasing Standley’s lead 8-1. In the third round, Standley allowed Magelsen to escape and was taken down by Mangelsen. However, that wasn’t enough for Mangelsen as Standley won the match 8-4, kicking off the Discoverers’ comeback, narrowing the gap by three.
Wrestling in at 195 pounds was Senior Anthony DeAnda. DeAnda was able to take down and nearly pin in his opponent Laikon Ames, giving DeAnda a 4-0 lead. In the second round, DeAnda escaped and took down Ames again. Ames was able to escape, but the round ended in DeAnda’s favor 7-1. In the third round, DeAnda received a point for Ames’ stalling. Ames was able to escape and takedown DeAnda, but DeAnda was able to mount an escape of his own leaving DeAnda victorious, winning 9-4, and knotting up the score for a second time at sixteen points apiece.
After DeAnda’s victory, the student section welcomed the man who bears the mullet: Senior Kasten Grape wrestling in at 220 pounds by chanting the phrase “Free the Mullet”. Grape was able to take down and nearly pin his opponent, Brayden Heffner, and with only forty-seven seconds remaining in the first period, secured Heffner into a pin taking back the Discoverer lead 22-16. The student section once again chanted “Free the Mullet” and popped upon the presentation of the party portion of Grape’s prodigious and popular predication.
Making his home varsity debut is Heavyweight Freshman Sam Beyer. Beyer was taken down and nearly pinned by his opponent, Jake Jensen. Beyer received a point for an illegal hold but was later pinned by Jensen with a minute and twenty-three seconds remaining in the first period. This tied the score once more to twenty-two points apiece.
Receiving his first competition in varsity home dual action was Freshman Adrian Bice at 106 pounds. Bice was able to take down his opponent James Cole and with one minute and forty-one seconds remaining in the period, eventually working Cole into a pin, causing the crowd to go wild. The Discoverers wouldn’t look back after this go-ahead score, locking up the lead 28-22.
Following Bice’s pin, the Cerny brothers were able to secure twelve points with the younger Cerny receiving a forfeit from Norfolk’s Rylle Hoppe and the elder Cerny pinning Panther Chase Jensen in the first period. Though Columbus’ duel victory and a Marron Cup point were well in hand, the duel was not over. The last match of the night featured Sophomore Andon Stenger at 126 pounds against Norfolk’s Weston Godfrey. In the first round, Stenger was taken down by Godfrey giving him the lead of 0-2. In the second round, Stenger was again taken down, increasing Godfrey’s lead by four. In the third round, Godfrey was able to receive points in a takedown, stalling on three separate occasions, and a near fall. Godfrey won by a major decision, making the final score on the night 40-26 in the Discoverers’ favor.
Though cats have a natural aversion to water, the margin of the Marron Cup stayed the same as the Panthers ironically outswam the Discoverers in the swim meet, putting the Panthers in the lead by a singular point. However, there are more points are still yet to be decided as the spring sports are right around the corner. The Discoverer wrestlers will host their last home dual of the season on January 30th, dueling against the Lincoln North Star Navigators. For future updates on CHS Wrestling along with many other upcoming activities and events, be sure to follow CHS Anchor News on Twitter and Instagram at CHS Anchor News along with checking this Fusfoo page.
Featured above: Senior Kasten Grape maneuvers Norfolk's Brayden Heffner into a pin. (Photo curiosity of hudl.com)