About 30 minutes before taking the mat for his final match, Ben Stille watched Trevor Nichelson win his second straight Class B gold medal.
"He's one of my best friends, so seeing him do well is exciting for me. It makes me want to do that, too," Stille said.
Stille followed in his friend's footsteps as he completed a second straight undefeated season with a 9-5 win over Justin Hennessy of Waverly in the heavyweight final.
"Stille's a monster," said Nichelson, who won the 182-pound title. "The way he's a role model with everything he does is definitely impactful for the rest of the team."
Stille and Nichelson combined to go 163-1 the past two seasons. Stille went 44-0 this season, Nichelson 43-0.
"I'm grateful for it, but it's not a surprise," said Ashland-Greenwood coach Dan Beranek of his wrestlers' unbeaten seasons.
Nichelson earned a 9-6 win over Boys Town's Trevor Walton in his final. Nichelson got three takedowns in the opening period to take a 6-2 lead and maintained the margin the rest of the way.
Nichelson had defeated Walton 10-2 in their only other meeting this season. Nichelson said he was safer with his attacks this time, and that gave him a second gold medal.
"Last year it wasn't supposed to happen, and this year I had a target on my back, so to defend it feels even better," he said.
Nichelson, a junior, said he hasn't decided whether he'll pursue football or wrestling in college. As a running back, he rushed for 2,142 yards and 27 touchdowns last fall for the 8-3 Bluejays.
Stille knows what he'll be doing. He signed to play at Nebraska, putting away his wrestling shoes for football cleats. As a senior, he had 17 tackles for loss, including nine sacks.
"It's time to move on and focus on other things," said Stille, who said he'll go to UNL on June 5. "Until then, I'll just be training, lifting weights and getting myself in as good of shape as I can."
Stille, who won the 220 title last year and said he weighs about 245 now, handed Hennessy all four of his losses this season.
Stille started quick, recording two takedowns in the first 40 seconds. It was 6-2 after one period, and he picked up another takedown in the second for an 8-4 lead.
Hennessy also lost last year's heavyweight final to Syracuse's Matt Clark. He lost that match by decision, ending Clark's long pin streak.