Wildcats wrestle their way through Districts

Millard West sends seven wrestlers to State meet


Photo by Kelsey Nunnenkamp

Sophomore Noah Blair wrestled his way to a second place in his District weight class. Blair also used his District loss as motivation throughout the State tournament. “Honestly, I was a little bit stunned at districts,” Blair said. “The loss stung a little obviously because I always expect to win when I step out on that mat, that was also my first high school loss ever that was by more than two points I believe and it was humbling.”

Joseph Ebmeier, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Millard West boys wrestling team traveled to Millard South to compete in the District meet and hope to qualify many wrestlers for State.

The first Wildcat competing was sophomore Brian Davis in the 106 pound weight class. Davis’s first and second match went smoothly as he won by forcing his opponent to fall both times. Davis also had a strong showing in the first place match; however, he ended up losing via a 14-11 decision to Isaac Ekdahl of Millard South. Davis placed second in the 106 pound weight class.

Competing for Millard West in the 113 pound weight class was sophomore Enrique Haynes. In his first match, Haynes won via fall over Quinlan Johnson of Fremont. After winning by decision in the semifinal match, Haynes was off to the first place match. He faced off against Miles Anderson of Millard South where he lost by fall at the five minute mark. Haynes placed second in his weight class, scoring 16 points for the Wildcats.

Junior Avery Russell competed for the Wildcats in the 120 pound weight class. In his first and second matches Russell won via fall and techinical fall which put him into the first place match. There he faced Gino Rettele of Millard South who beat Russell in a sudden decision. Russell placed second and scored 17.5 points for Millard West. In the 138 weight division the Wildcats had freshman Casey Olson competing. Olson received a bye his first match which automatically put him into the semifinals. In that match he faced off against Matthew Parker of Elkhorn South where Olson lost via fall. In the consolation semi match Olson won via decision and won in the third place match also by decision. Olson finished third in his weight class and scored eight more points for the Wildcats.

Junior Jackson Jeanette competed for Millard West in the 152 pound weight class. Jeanette won his first two matches via fall which put him into the first place match. In the title fight, Jeanette faced off against Tyler Antoniak of Millard South where he lost via fall. Jeanette placed second in his division and scored 18 points for the Wildcats. 

“I was very confident going into districts,” Jeanette said. “After finding out I was seeded second I knew that I was able to punch my ticket to State. I had a good setup in my bracket and focused on one match at a time to make my way to State.”

In the 182 pound weight division sophomore Noah Blair was competing for the Wildcats. In both the quarterfinal and semifinal matches Blair won via fall very early in the match. In the first place match Blair faced off against Caeden Olin of Millard South who beat Blair via fall. Blair also placed second in his weight division earning 18 more points for Millard West.

“Qualifying for State always feels great,” Blair said. “About half of the state’s competitors don’t make it, and it’s a great checkpoint and is an amazing feeling.”

In the final weight division, 195 pounds, senior Charlie Nosal competed for the Wildcats. In his quarterfinal match Nosal won via fall over Pray Pope of Creighton Prep. Nosal lost in his semi final match which sent him to the consolation semifinal match. Nosal won both the consolation match and the third place match that followed. Nosal scored 13.5 points for the WIldcats with his third place finish.

I was confident going into districts that I would qualify for the meet for sure, just because I have a lot of experience over the other people in my district,” Nosal said. “When I qualified for State I was overwhelmed with emotions, due to the adversity I had gone through during the year.”

Millard West had each of these seven wrestlers qualify for the State meet. The Wildcats also had a few other wrestlers compete in the District meet; however, they failed to qualify for State. Overall, the Wildcats finished third with a total of 113 points, trailing Millard South at 258.5 and Elkhorn South at 118.