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David City Aquinas wrestling wins team title at Bennington Invitational

David City Aquinas wrestling wins team title at Bennington Invitational

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That didn’t take long.

Class No. 1 David City Aquinas showed why it’s the unanimous pick to reach the top of the podium in February, coming away with the team title in the Bennington Invitational on Saturday’s opening weekend of high school wrestling.

The Monarchs had three bracket champions and outlasted the top team in Class B — the tournament host Badgers — by 0.5 points for the championship.

“It’s early in the season, so we still have some stuff that we have to work on,” Aquinas coach Roy Emory said, “but it was a good place to start from. A lot of improvement, even throughout the day.”

Jacob Moravec (132 pounds), Christopher Nickolite (152) and Michael Andrew (182) won individual golds to help push the Monarchs over the top.

Moravec, who spent most of last season on the junior varsity, came away with gold in the opening tournament of his season, something Emory was encouraged by.

“He’s a real good wrestler, he just couldn’t find his way into our lineup,” Emory said. “I’m excited to see what he’ll do this year.”

Bennington had seven gold medalists, with five racking up bonus points in finals wins.

Four of those champions — Cadyn Coyle (106), Kael Lauridsen (120), Dalton Rhoten (160) and Luke MacDonald (220) — swept their way to golds with bonus points in each round.

Emory said his team dualed Bennington over the summer and came up on the wrong side of a 68-point loss, making Saturday’s triumph a little sweeter.

“They know what Bennington has,” Emory said. “So they were pretty excited about getting the win.”

Team scores: David City Aquinas 222, Bennington 221.5, Columbus 158, Missouri Valley 115.5, Elkhorn South 110.5, Fort Calhoun 73.5, Omaha Northwest 32, Auburn 30, Boys Town 28, Elkhorn Mount Michael 28.

Bracket champions: 106: Cadyn Coyle, Bennington, pin Grady Romshek, David City Aquinas, 1:17. 113: Brenyn Delano, Columbus, dec Eli Becerra, Missouri Valley, 4-3. 120: Kael Lauridsen, Bennington, inj def Blake Cerny, Columbus. 126: Connor Ritonya, Bennington, dec Jakob Kavan, David City Aquinas, 7-2. 132: Jacob Moravek, David City Aquinas, dec Lance Olberding, Fort Calhoun, 4-3. 138: Cadyn Kucera, Columbus, dec Braxton Peacher, Bennington, 5-0. 145: AJ Parrish, Bennington, dec Hunter Vandenberg, David City Aquinas, 4-1. 152: Christopher Nickolite, David City Aquinas, pin Lebron Pendles, Boys Town, 4:11. 160: Dalton Rhoten, Bennington, maj dec Cody Gilpin, Missouri Valley, 9-0. 170: Blane Boehmer, Bennington, pin Marcus Eickmeier, David City Aquinas, 4:41. 182: Michael Andrew, David City Aquinas, pin Rylee Iburg, Columbus, 2:00. 195: Liam Blaser, Columbus, dec Paule Buresh, David City Aquinas, 5-1. 220: Luke MacDonald, Bennington, pin Reilly Miller, David City Aquinas, 0:21. 285: Tyson Danner, Omaha Northwest, pin Connor Murray, Missouri Valley, 1:45.

Valentine wins at O'Neill Invitational

Aquinas wasn’t the only Class C team to pass an opening-weekend test.

Fourth-ranked Valentine won the team title Saturday at the O’Neill Invitational, outlasting the host group and a strong field for an early-season triumph.

The Badgers did it with depth, with their only individual gold coming from 152-pounder Ashton Lurz.

But coach Shane Allison said the group effort was an encouraging sign so early in the season, especially after his team missed five days of practice because of a school shutdown due to COVID.

“You could tell our legs weren’t under us,” Allison said. “We had to kind of wrestle them into shape this week. It was a tough tournament, so all in all a pretty good day. But we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Third-ranked O’Neill had four winners in a runner-up team showing, finishing ahead of Battle Creek and David City, both top-10 teams.


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Nick covers high school soccer, wrestling and other sports for The World-Herald.

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