GENEVA — The York Dukes didn't blow the competition away at the Panther Holiday Invite with multiple champions on Saturday.
It was York's overall balance that allowed the Duke grapplers to edge out one of the top teams in Class D, East Butler, for the team title.
York scored 164.5 points, followed by East Butler with 146. Third place went to Southern Valley with 144, fourth to Wilber-Clatonia with 126.5 and the FC Panthers rounded out the top five in the 18-team field with 95 points.
York's only champion was crowned at 132 pounds where Cody Rhodes defeated Class D No. 2 Toby Nordmeyer 10-9 in the 132 final. On the way to his finals appearance, Rhodes (15-2) defeated Wyatt Bader of Palmer (0:57) and Matthew Reeves of Lincoln High Northeast with a pin in 56 seconds. In the semifinals Rhodes was a 14-9 winner over Brandon Kusek of Ravenna.
“Cody beat a state runner-up from East Butler and did an outstanding job,” commented York head coach Chad Mattox. “Cody dropped some weight and went from 138 to 132 pounds. I can't tell you how excited I was at how he wrestled.”
At 182 pounds, Dylan Olmsted (10-5), the No. 6 seed, had a chance to claim a second bracket champion for the Dukes but lost his title bid to Palmer's Brett Santin by pin at 3:14. Santin is currently the No. 3 wrestler at 182 in Class D with a 16-2 record. The York senior posted wins over Mike Lincoln of Southern Valley (1:11), Nick Maschman of Wilber-Clatonia (13-5) and Cody Zeckser of Hastings St. Cecilia (1:04).
Third place went to Kyle Rhodes (13-2) at 160 pounds, Brett Olmsted at 195, Jesse Harlow at 106 and, at 152 pounds, Troy Taylor also took third.
One of the biggest surprises was the third place finish of York's Jameson Nickels who came in as the No. 13 seed in the weight bracket.
“I was really surprised at how good the weight classes were and how good the competition was in each bracket. There were two to four outstanding kids in each weight class,” said Mattox. “We had 12 weight classes score points for us and that is how it has been pretty much all year long. Placing in the top four was really difficult.”
Rounding out the list of top six finishes were fourth place efforts from Nick Tonniges (145), Chandler Brayton (170) and Ronaldo Trevino (285). With fifth place showings were Hayden Robb (138) and Parker Johnson (220) while sixth places went to Anthony Red (126) and Braux Williams (285).
The Fillmore Central Panthers' fifth-place team finish was sparked by two individual titles coming at 285 and 195.
At 195, FC's Trevor Adams came in as the top seed and followed through with a 5-0 record to improve to 20-1 on the year. In the final Adams defeated Levi Smith of Superior. On the way to the title Adams defeated Brian Gibson of York (1:19), Kalen Garrett of Doniphan-Trumbull (3:19), Philip Ross of Wilber-Clatonia (1:58).
In his semifinal match he scored a 12-5 win over Brett Olmsted of York.
In the heavyweight division, Zack Ekeler went 4-0 to up his record to 20-1 and defeated Cody Wookman of Lutheran high NE in the final 3-1. On the day Ekeler picked up wins over Nick Anderson of Red Cloud/Blue Hill (1:02), Jarrod Hinrichs of FC reserves by default, and Ronaldo Trevino of York with a pin late in the match.
Rounding out other top-six finishes for the Panthers were Cole Curtis with a third at 220, Davis Jacobsen third at 120, and fifth place to Cole Jividen at 106.
The Dukes return to action on Friday at the Ashland-Greenwood Invite which gets underway at 3:30 p.m.
Fillmore Central resumes the second half of its season at the Wilber-Clatonia Duals on Friday.
YORK 164.5, EAST BUTLER 146, SOUTHERN VALLEY 144, WILBER CLATONIA 126.5, FILLMORE CENTRAL 95, PALMER 75.5, MERIDIAN 75, DONIPHAN TRUMBULL 66.5, RED CLOUD/BLUE HILL 64, YUTAN 62.5, FREEMAN 60, LUTHERAN HIGH NORTHEAST 55, SUPERIOR 40.5, RAVENNA 33.5, ELM CREEK 26, HASTINGS ST CECILIA 11,PALMYRA 7