SEWARD – The short-handed Dukes clung to a slim lead of 2.5 points going into the Central Conference Championships’ medal round.
With five York wrestlers in title bouts and three more wrestling for third, the Dukes were right there.
“We just need to win matches,” assessed Coach Chad Maddox as the bouts for first and third began Saturday at Seward.
York struggled, won just one of those eight matches and still landed a very competitive third behind Central City and Aurora.
Cody Rhodes won the 132-pound title for York by defeating Elias Acosta , 6-4.
Kyle Rhodes (170), Brett Olmsted (195), Parker Johnson (220) and Ronaldo Trevino (285) all made the finals where they lost and finished second.
Jesse Harlow (113), Anthony Red (126) and Troy Taylor (152) were all fourth.
“Our team did a nice job on Saturday,” said Mattox. “To wrestle without three starters and be within 12 points of a conference championship is a good day. I was disappointed that we did not win more medal round matches, but nonetheless our kids did well.”
Mattox was “very impressed” with Cody Rhodes. “He broke our school’s all-time win record and was York’s first conference champion since 2009. He is wrestling at a very high level right now,” Mattox said.
“Kyle Rhodes was also someone who stood out on Saturday, wrestling up a weight class and getting second. We had to do something to make up for the absences of our 170 and 182 pound starters and Kyle put forth a great effort for the team.”
The coach liked what he saw from his guy at 152, too.
“Troy Taylor did an outstanding job as well getting fourth place in a tough bracket. He was very close to upsetting an outstanding wrestler from Schuyler.
“Overall, I hope our team can use this meet as motivation heading into districts.”
York will host their district tournament starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday and continuing at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Team scores: 1. Central City 150.0 2. Aurora 141.5 3. York 137.5 4. Schuyler 129.0 4. Seward 129.0 6. Fairbury 97.0 7. Northwest 93.0 8. Crete 91.5 9. Holdrege 78.0 10. Columbus Lakeview 33.0
Central Conference results for York (as compiled by trackwrestling.com)
113 - Jesse Harlow (26-10): pinned Trevor Alber of Aurora (5:32), pinned by Mikel McCann of Central City (:45), pinned Ricardo Orellana of Schuyler (1:46), lost to Wyatt Lilienthal of Northwest (2-1), finished fourth.
120 - Devin Knight (9-9): lost to Jeremiah Dickinson of Central City (8-0 maj dec), lost to Riley Nichols of Crete (7-1).
126 - Anthony Red (21-14): pinned Jesus Ramirez of Schuyler (:31), pinned by Tanner Oborny of Seward (1:05), pinned Logan Rodehorst of Lakeview (3:43), lost to Joshua Moody of Fairbury (12-1 maj dec), finished fourth.
132 - Cody Rhodes (32-5): pinned Austin Cooper of Northwest (3:23), def. Kyler Pfingsten of Fairbury (2-0), def. Elias Acosta of Schuyler (6-4), finished first.
138 - Hayden Robb (26-16): def. Derek Knapp of Lakeview (12-4 maj dec), pinned by Kyle Sutton of Central City (:44), def. Isaac Betke of Crete (4-2), lost to Jacob Pfeifer of Holdrege (injury default).
145 - Jameson Nickels (24-11): pinned Zachary Duncan of Lakeview (1:17), pinned by Ryan Malasek of Central City (1:16), def. Josh Reimers of Northwest (10-6), pinned by Zach Grunke of Seward (3:29).
152 - Troy Taylor (25-14): def. Tanner Wonch of Aurora (4-2), pinned Brian Sunblake of Holdrege (3:45), pinned by Jake Anderson of Central City (:52), def. Scott Wolverton of Seward (10-8), lost to Kalen Kasik of Schuyler (7-5), finished fourth.
160 - Ethan Cradick (10-8): lost to Max Smith of Crete (18-0 tech fall), pinned by Evan Dewald of Lakeview (2:45).
170 - Kyle Rhodes (29-8): pinned Will Luft of Northwest (1:30), def. Matthias Wirges-Becker of Holdrege (15-10), pinned by Keith Wolverton of Seward (2:50), finished second.
182 - Braden Knight (4-8): pinned by Jon Parsons of Schuyler (2:54), pinned by John Hollman of Crete (4:32).
195 - Brett Olmsted (30-7): pinned Corey Murn of Central City (1:21), def. Tyler Brabec of Schuyler (17-1 tech fall), lost to Eli Bricker of Aurora (12-3 maj dec), finished second.
220 - Parker Johnson (27-6): pinned Justin Macke of Central City (1:07), def. William Latter of Holdrege (10-3), pinned by Austin Wonch of Aurora (3:04), finished second.
285 - Ronaldo Trevino (32-7): pinned C.J. Marker of Central City (:54), pinned Luke Wilke of Holdrege (:28); pinned by Ehren Schwarz of Aurora (2:38), finished second.