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Diane Stamm | Johnson Publications

Colton Barrett faced eventual state champion Christian Miller of Plainview in the first round of the NSAA wrestling championships.

Wrestlers reflect on this season, look forward to the next

The Wauneta-Palisade wrestling team had some ups and downs during the 2016-2017 season, but a strong group of junior wrestlers give coach Danny Schluckebier confidence in the future.
    Three juniors finished the season for the Broncos.
    Colton Barrett’s trip to the state wrestling meet ranks as one of the highlights of WP’s season. Barrett was 11-16 at 138 pounds.
    WP coach Danny Schluckebier said Barrett was the most excited out of all the team members for the season.
    “He has the determination and discipline to make a great wrestler,” Schluckebier said.
    Willis Christner was the most consistent of the WP wrestlers, making the most meets. At 160 pounds, Christner finished the season 3-25.
    Christner was always pushing to get better, physically and mentally, according to Schluckebier.
    Schluckebier and fellow WP coach Shad Weiss agreed that Christner has the heart of an Olympic champion.
    Sean McKay, in his first year wrestling, started off the season wrestling at 113 pounds and finished at 106 pounds. McKay finished with a record of 3-13 at 106 pounds.
    Schluckebier said McKay looked to Barrett for motivation and learning the sport.
    “The two made for a pretty solid pair of teammates,” Schluckebier said. “Having Sean in Omaha helped Colton with his mentality and motivation as well, and in turn gave Sean something to look forward to in the future, after Sean barely missed out on being able to compete there this year.”
    Schluckebier also had positive comments on the strides McKay made off the mat and how McKay has matured.
    All three have a boatload of potential, according to Schluckebier, and WP’s wrestling program will look to them to reach it to help continue to build the program.
    Also wrestling for WP at various tournaments were senior Angel Hinojosa, junior Haley Kirk, sophomore Evan Nordhausen and freshman Erik Jameson.
    “Early on in the season when we had seven wrestlers all suited up and at practice was something I look back at and find pretty cool,” Schluckebier said. “Erik Jameson early on showed a lot of potential as a freshman and his older brother Angel really pushed him. Just noticing these students gain something from spending the time and having the discipline to push themselves, is the best high point in my opinion.”

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