World-Herald staff writer Nick Rubek has compiled the wrestlers to watch for the 2021-22 Nebraska high school season.
* * *
Garrett Grice, Bellevue East: The senior is the top-ranked wrestler on Huskermat’s Big Board, a compilation of the pound-for-pound best in the state. Another ranking service has Grice, a Virginia commit, amongst the top 100 seniors in the nation. A career record of 145-1 and three state titles already on his resume, Grice is looking to put himself amongst the best ever in the state of Nebraska.
Nick Hamilton, Papillion-La Vista: Another future Hoo, Hamilton is as tough as they come on the mat. He went 43-0 and bullied his way to a state title a year ago, giving him gold in both Nebraska and Iowa. The three time state finalist will be a heavy favorite to add that medal collection this season. After committing to Virginia in late September, MatScouts ranked him in the nation’s top 100 for the class of 2022.
Kael Lauridsen, Bennington: Since picking up his second state title in February, Lauridsen added a pair of gold medals at the Cadet Pan American Championships in June, then followed with a national championship in Fargo later in the summer. He’s ranked as the No. 36 junior in the country by MatScouts, and is a high-end Division I prospect. Lauridsen leads a Bennington bunch that begins the season as the top-ranked team in Class B by both Huskermat and NEWrestle.
Joel Adams, Millard South: Adams put together what many consider the best summer season by a Nebraska high school wrestler. Ever. The junior won double golds and was named Outstanding Wrestler in Fargo. Last month he became the first Nebraskan to ever reach the finals of the Super 32 Challenge, a tournament widely regarded as the toughest on the calendar. Adams recently checked in as the No. 15 wrestler in the class of 2023 by MatScouts.
Brandon Baustert, Lincoln East: A shortened 2021 campaign ended with a 20-0 record and a state title at 113 pounds. It was a redemption story for Baustert, who lost in an ultimate tiebreaker in the championship round a year earlier. Now ranked as the No. 6 pound-for-pound wrestler in the state by NEWrestle, Baustert leads an East team that is expected to feature three with finals experience.
Trevor Reinke, Beatrice: Already with two state golds to his name, Reinke is looking to become only the second three-time winner in school history. He’s done it the hard way, too. In each of his two title triumphs, the senior has won three matches by decision. Four of those victories came by two points or fewer. The Minutemen will look to build on a runner-up team finish a year ago, which matched the best showing in program history.