Semi is showdown of opponents, opposites

North Bend freshman Zach Borer, back, advanced to Friday's 160-pound semi after two pins. He faces Central City's Ryan Malasek.

A fearless freshman and a senior hoping for a successful finish to a shortened season at 160 pounds are prepared for one of Friday's most anticipated Class C semifinals.

North Bend's Zach Borer isn't your garden variety first-year wrestler. After a pair of pins in Thursday's first two rounds at the CenturyLink Center, Borer improved to 55-1. He said he had no problem with nerves.

"I just wanted to wrestle strong and fight through both matches," Borer said. "I just want to get out and be aggressive every time."

Central City senior Ryan Malasek also posted two pins, improving to 25-1 in his final high school season. Malasek missed five weeks of the season with mononucleosis.

"I wrestled with it for four weeks and then I had some tests done," Malasek said. "I made it back for our conference meet. I'm just looking out for muscle fatigue, but things are getting better. We're getting close."

It hasn't diminished how far he's come in the eyes of coaches, who have him No. 2 behind Borer in the final Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association rankings.

Borer and Malasek will meet in one of the semifinals that begin for all classes at 5 p.m. Friday. It will be their second meeting — Borer won a 15-4 decision in Malasek's last meet before being sidelined.

In Thursday's opening round, Borer pinned Mitch Krueger of Red Cloud/ Blue Hill at 1:34 of the first period. In the quarterfinals, he pinned Yutan junior Levi Kult in 3:40.

Malasek's path to the semifinals also was paved with a pair of pins. After stopping Cauy Shaw of O'Neill at 4:56 in the first round, it took Malasek 38 seconds to end the match with Malcolm's Austin Glause in the quarterfinals.

"You have to take that 'I'm better than him. I'm No. 1' attitude with you out there every time," Malasek said. "Every time I just want to go out there and do what's right."

The winner of the Malasek-Borer match will face the victor of a bout that will play a big role in the race for the team champion.

Donald Stephen of Valentine will meet Morgen Valentine of David City. Those schools lead the team standings, with David City leading the Bison 6355 after the first day of competition.

Whether it's Borer or Malasek who emerges victorious on the other side of the bracket, they know their opponent in Saturday's championship will be fighting for more than just individual honors.

"It has to be about not making any mistakes," Borer said. "I just have to get out and wrestle."

Contact the writer: 402-618-4113,

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.

You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.