June 3, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

UNK Wrestling Starts Season with a Win

Kearney, Neb. – The top-ranked Nebraska Kearney wrestling team won the last five weight classes to get past Chadron State, 24-13, Sunday afternoon at the Health & Sports Center. This was opening weekend for the Lopers as they took part in the Dakota Wesleyan Open in Mitchell, S.D. on Saturday.

“We had a lot of young guys in the lineup today. For six of the guys, this was their first time in the Loper singlet wresting in a dual. Four of those were redshirt freshmen too,” said UNK head coach Dalton Jensen. “It’s an opportunity for them to step out and fill the shoes of the (departed) seniors.”

The Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead as sophomore Quade Smith won by major decision at 125 pounds and redshirt junior Quentrevion Campbell recorded a fall at 4:17 one class higher. He was up 8-0 at the time of the pin.

“Overall pleased how we wrestled. We are a better team that what we showcased today but we’ll stick to our normal process and focus on February and March and keep these guys progressing and improving,” said Jensen.

Nationally-ranked Nick James (Kearney H.S.) got UNK on the board thanks to a 9-3 win at 141 pounds. His day included two reversals, a takedown and four near fall points. Next, newcomer John Burger (New Milford, N.J.) majored his Eagle foe thanks to 3:31 of riding time, two stall calls, two take downs and a reversal. Like senior 197 pounder Hayden Prince, he previously was at Division II Limestone (S.C.) College.

Redshirt freshman Kaden Hart (St. Peters, Mo.) had an interesting 2-0 win at 165 pounds as both points were stall calls on senior Javen Palmer. Each wrestler rode the other out in the second and third periods. Finally, top-ranked Billy Higgins (Omaha Skutt) hung on to win 10-8 at 184 lbs., Prince (Goose Creek, S.C.) had 1:06 riding to win 4-2 with redshirt freshman Crew Howard (Clarinda, Ia.) doing the same at heavyweight, 2-1.

“Once we get to 174, 184, 197 those are guys that have been there and done it. They have the experience so they are guys you can really rely on in duals,” said Jensen. “These young guys need a little bit more nurturing and more mat time. More open tournaments where they can get five, six matches on a weekend.” UNK hosts the annual Younes Hospitality Open next Saturday at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds.
#1 UNK 24, Chadron State 18
125 lbs. – Quade Smith wins by major decision over Hector Serratos (8-0)
133 lbs. – Quentrevion Campbell wins by fall over Jordan Kelber (4:17)
141 lbs. – #3 Nick James wins by decision over Ethan Leake (9-3)
149 lbs. – John Burger wins by major decision over Brandon Paredes (9-0)
157 lbs. – Luke Goncalves wins by decision over Tyler Collins (9-6)
165 lbs. – Kaden Hart wins by decision over Javen Palmer (2-0)
174 lbs. – #2 Austin Eldredge wins by tech fall over Rowdy Pfeil (17-2; 3:30)
184 lbs. – #1 Billy Higgins wins by decision over Keegan Gehlhausen (10-8)
197 lbs. – #5 Hayden Prince wins by decision over Eli Hinojosa (4-2)
285 lbs. – Crew Howard wins by decision over Mason Watt (2-1)

Source: Regional Sports