Published Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:54 pm
WRESTLING
Islanders cruise to sixth straight title

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The Grand Island wrestling team kept its streak of Flatwater Fracas titles intact Saturday, winning the hometown event for a sixth straight time.

After going 4-0 in Friday’s duals, the Class A No. 1 Islanders dominated their way to three more victories to finish 7-0 at the Heartland Events Center.

Grand Island rolled to wins Saturday over No. 3 Kearney, 57-14; No. 2 Omaha North, 42-24; and Class B No. 8 Bennington, 57-15.

Kearney came in second after finishing the tournament 6-1.

To top it off, the Islanders also had five wrestlers finish undefeated. Andrew Rojas (138 pounds), Haris Talundzic (170), Javy Silva (195) and Chase Reis (220) all went 7-0, while Chris Doty (132) went 6-0.

“To run through this thing and have kids go undefeated is a neat thing and the team effort was just outstanding,” Grand Island coach Mike Schadwinkel said. “It was a great day today against three tough teams.”

Reis, ranked No. 1 in Class A at 195 pounds, said it’s a big deal to win the Fracas for the sixth consecutive year, especially in front of the hometown fans.

“Six years of winning this thing is a long tradition,” Reis said. “Hopefully we can keep it going for the rest of the season. It’s a great feeling. It’s a great team builder as everyone came together and competed as a team.”

The Islanders got a big win at 126 pounds to get things going against Kearney. Unranked John Mottl pinned No. 2 Damon Rodriguez at 5 minutes, 13 seconds. Mottl, who lost 5-2 to Rodriguez in the Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic last weekend, led most of the way. He tripped Rodriguez to his back late in the third period and got the pin.

Grand Island went on to win 10 of the next 12 matches. Schadwinkel said that first match helped set the tone for the dual.

“We knew that was going to be a tough one and we didn’t only get the win but got the pin,” Schadwinkel said. “That showed that our kids really came out aggressive and were ready to compete. I really felt it got us inspired and got the team ready to roll from that point on.”

While Grand Island rolled in the victory against North, Talundzic pulled out a big win for the Islanders. Talundzic, ranked No. 4 at 170, scored the winning takedown in overtime to defeat No. 2 Jacobi Jones 5-3.

Talundzic fought back after getting two early cautions for false starts and trailed 2-0 heading into the third period.

“It was a heady match for him and he gave up some stuff that got him flustered a little bit,” Schadwinkel said. “Got two early cautions that could have hurt him, but he was very poised and wrestled well to get that win.

“But overall, I thought maybe we had a little bit of a letdown against them after getting through the dual against Kearney. I don’t know if we competed our best against North but to still beat a quality team like them makes it a quality day.”

Reis said winning the tournament gives the Islanders confidence going into the second part of the season. Grand Island will go to three out-of-state tournaments, including the Clash National High School Wrestling Duals Jan. 3 and 4.

“The second half of the season is going to be a great thing,” Reis said. “This is the start of it and hopefully we can continue building forward.”

Final team standings: 1, Grand Island. 2, Kearney. 3, Omaha North. 4, Bennington. 5, Lexington. 6, Hastings. 7, Gretna. 8, Papillion-La Vista. 9, Scottsbluff. 10, Nebraska City. 11, Norfolk. 12, Manhattan (Kan.). 13, Syracuse. 14, Omaha Burke. 15, Blair. 16, Topeka Seaman. 17, Adams Central. 18, Papillion-La Vista South. 19, Lincoln Southeast. 20, Madison. 21, Bellevue East. 22, North Platte. 23, Grand Island NW. 24, Central City. 25, Lincoln Southwest. 26, Columbus. 27, Mead. 28, Weld Central (Colo.). 29, Aurora. 30, Lincoln North Star. 31, Smith Center (Kan.). 32, Cheyenne (Wyo.) East.

Group 1-4: Round 1: Omaha North def. Bennington 40-39. Grand Island def. Kearney 57-14. Round 2: Grand Island def. Omaha North 42-24. Kearney def. Bennington 40-27. Round 3: Kearney def. Omaha North 56-22. Grand Island def. Bennington 57-15.

Group 5-8: Round 1: Lexington def. Hastings 35-31. Gretna def. Papillion-LV 37-30. Round 2: Hastings def. Papillion-LV 33-32. Lexington def. Gretna 34-27. Round 3: Hastings def. Gretna 52-30. Papillion-LV def. Lexington 47-21.

Group 9-12: Round 1: Nebraska City def. Manhattan 35-27. Scottsbluff def. Norfolk 39-38. Round 2: Norfolk def. Manhattan 37-27. Scottsbluff def. Nebraska City 34-29. Round 3: Scottsbluff def. Manhattan 49-25. Nebraska City def. Norfolk 38-30.

Group 13-16: Round 1: Blair def. Topeka Seaman 40-30. Syracuse def. Omaha Burke 42-36. Round 2: Syracuse def. Blair 42-39. Burke def. Seaman 40-33. Round 3: Burke def. Blair 49-23. Syracuse def. Seaman 45-22.

Group 17-20: Round 1: Papillion-LV South def. Madison 45-26. Adams Central def. Lincoln Southeast 39-36. Round 2: Lincoln Southeast def. Madison 49-22. Adams Central def. Papillion-LV South 34-30. Round 3: Adams Central def. Madison 48-25. Papillion-LV South def. Lincoln Southeast 39-36.

Group 21-24: Round 1: Central City def. Bellevue East 40-33. North Platte def. Grand Island NW 50-30.Round 2: North Platte def. Central City 63-17. Bellevue East def. GINW 50-30. Round 3: GINW def. Central City 50-24. Bellevue East def. North Platte 41-40.

Group 25-28: Round 1: Columbus def. Weld Central 48-27. Lincoln Southwest def. Mead 48-21. Round 2: Columbus def. Mead 48-27. Lincoln Southwest def. Weld Central 57-21. Round 3: Lincoln Southwest def. Columbus 54-21.

Group 29-32: Round 1: Lincoln North Star def. Cheyenne East 54-21. Smith Center def. Aurora 37-36. Round 2: Aurora def. Lincoln North Star 51-19. Smith Center def. Cheyenne East 33-24. Round 3: Lincoln North Star def. Smith Center 42-30. Aurora def. Cheyenne East 47-33.

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