March 31, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Loper Wrestlers Roll At Home

Kearney, Neb. – The third-ranked Nebraska Kearney wrestling team used three falls to down 17th-ranked Fort Hays State, 33-6, Friday night at the Health & Sports Center.

This marks the Lopers (10-6, 2-0) 22nd consecutive victory over the rival Tigers (2-12,1-2), dating back to the 2000-01 season. UNK closes out the 2022-23 home slate tomorrow at 2 p.m. vs. Central Missouri.

UNK got falls from redshirt senior Lee Herrington (285 lbs.), redshirt junior Billy Higgins (184 lbs.) and redshirt freshman Bishop Murray (125 lbs.). The Lopers then had five wins by decision, outscoring the Tigers in these matches by a combined score of 35-11.

“We got our tails handed to us last weekend so it was good to bounce back and take care of a team, from top to bottom, a lot of our guys were better than,” said UNK head coach Dalton Jensen. “We just needed to go out and prove it and build some confidence. We only have two duals left before heading to the regional tournament so confidence and staying healthy is more important than anything right now.”

The key match tonight came at 174 pounds as third-ranked Austin Eldredge (McPherson) faced fourth-ranked Cade Lindsey. Eldredge avoided a second straight setback thanks to two reversals and 2:40 of riding time. That helped erase a 4-2 deficit entering the third period.

“He was the Division II tech fall leader last year and is among the leaders this season so a lot of matches come easy to him because he’s very good on top,” said Jensen. “Good to see him where he can’t get a turn and win a match the hard way. For him to win a National Title he’s going to have to win some like that.”

Prior to the first whistle, UNK honored another decorated and unique senior class. Several in this group may return as “Super Seniors” in 2023-24.

“Last year’s senior class left big shoes to fill … probably one of the most decorated classes we’ve ever had here,” said Jensen. “These guys have accomplished a lot too, not only on the mat but these guys are good men and ready to go on and be good stewards for our program.”

2022-23 Seniors

John Burger (149 lbs., New Milford, N.J.)

Austin Eldredge (174 lbs., McPherson, Kan.)

Lee Herrington (285 lbs., Kearney)

Billy Higgins (184 lbs., Council Bluffs, Ia.)

Jordan Kelber (141 lbs., Valentine)

Jud Kuchera (184 lbs., Bassett)

Hayden Prince (197 lbs., Goose Creek, S.C.)

Teontae Wilson (157 lbs., Kearney)

Source: Regional Sports