|Contenders from combined HC/WP squad ready to host season opener today|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 02 December 2010 19:37|
By Tina Kitt
The Wauneta Breeze
Members of the Hitchcock County/Wauneta-Palisade combined wrestling squad will be a force to be reckoned with once again this year say coaches, despite losing last season’s outstanding grappler Adam Simpson to graduation.
Simpson was the lone state-qualifier last year, taking fourth place at 215 pounds in Class C at the Qwest Center. Simpson ended the year at 45-4 and matched the Nebraska all-class, single season pin record with 40 pins during the 2009-10 season. He ended his high school career with a record of 109-30.
Stepping up to take his place as team leaders are returning squad members Marcos Ramirez, Keagan Haarberg and David Acosta.
Ramirez, a 125-pound senior, finished the season at 19-9 after battling shoulder injuries going into districts. He was a state-qualifier his freshman year, with injuries his sophomore and junior years ending his season short of Omaha. Ramirez will be aggressively pursuing one last trip to the Qwest Center as a senior this year.
Assistant coach Rich Wilson pegs him as one of his key wrestlers to watch. Wilson also expects big things from Haarberg, a 189-pound junior who went 32-10 last year, and Acosta, also a junior, wrestling at 160 pounds.
Another standout on the team, HC junior Alex Pollmann, will be sidelined for most of the season due to a knee injury. Wilson is hopeful the team will have the heavy-weight contender back on the roster before districts.
Members returning from previous seasons on the Hitchcock County/Wauneta-Palisade wrestling squad are, from left, Dustin Brown, Alex Pollmann, Marcos Ramirez (at front) Keagan Haarberg and David Acosta. (Tina Kitt | The Wauneta Breeze)
Will Werner, a WP sophomore, is also battling injuries and may not compete during the team’s opener.
This marks the third year Wauneta-Palisade and Hitchcock County have teamed up to form a combined squad. Wilson was the head coach during the HC/WP team’s first season. Before that he was the head coach for the WP squad.
Wilson is back this year as a coaching assistant after a one-year coaching break. Other assistants include Ryan Hoffman and John Rundel, both of Hitchcock County.
Returning for his second year as head coach of the combined squad is Jeff Schwarz of Hitchcock County. Schwarz said he is looking for good things from his young squad.
Of the 10 members ready to take to the mat for their season opener, there are two seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and five freshmen.
Wilson said he expects Donald Hunt, a 160-pound sophomore, to mature into a strong wrestler as the season moves along.
Other team members include HC athletes Zack Wright, freshman competing at 103 pounds; Joe Jones, a freshman competing at 130 pounds; Michael Erickson, a freshman competing at 135 pounds; Dustin Brown, a senior competing at 140 pounds; Lane Kuper, a freshman competing at 152 pounds; and Patrick Lamorie, a freshman competing at 285 pounds.
So far, the team has been practicing together at Trenton Monday thru Thursday, with five team members and Wilson making the 30 mile trip from Wauneta four days a week for the evening practices.
Season opener today
The HC/WP squad will host their season opener at Palisade today (Thursday) with eight teams slated to take to the mats including HC/WP, Maxwell, North Platte St. Pat’s, Medicine Valley, Sutherland, Perkins County, Dundy County-Stratton, and North Platte High School jayvees.
With only 10 members on the HC/WP squad, they will not compete in five of the 16 weight classes.
Action is set to get underway at noon MT/1 p.m. CT in the Palisade gym.
This weekend, on Saturday, Dec. 4, the WP/HCU squad will travel to the Alma Invite at 9 a.m. MT/10 a.m. CT.
Other meets scheduled for the 2010-11 season will have the HC/WP crew traveling to North Platte, Cambridge, Benkelman, Imperial, Curtis, Arapahoe and Bartley.
This year the HC/WP crew is assigned to the District C-4 meet, set for Feb. 11 and 12 in Valentine. Other schools assigned to the C4 district include Ainsworth, Bridgeport, Chase County, Gordon-Rushville, Hershey, Kearney Catholic, Kimball, Loomis/Bertrand, Mitchell, Morrill, Ord, Sargent/Burwell, Southern Valley, Valentine and West Holt.
The Nebraska State Wrestling Meet will be held Feb. 17, 18 and 19 at the Qwest Center in Omaha.