The 2013 NSAA State Wrestling Championships came and went quickly for three Falls City High wrestlers all wrestling in their first state tournament.
Tiger senior Wade Maddox (152 pounds) joined junior Chase Thompson (182) and freshman Morgen Valentine (120) as first time participants at the CenturyLink Center (formerly Qwest Center) in Omaha. Maddox and Thompson each finished 0-2 in Omaha, while Valentine was the only Tiger to record a victory at the state tournament and finished 1-2.
“I thought we came to compete both days,” Falls City High head coach Roger Windle said. “I know Morgen and Wade were frustrated losing their first-round matches. They thought they had matches they could win last night (Thursday) and they competed and lost in the closing seconds of those matches.”
Maddox, who finished 31-14 this season, lost a 7-2 decision to the eventual fifth-place finisher, Derek Lonowski of Hastings Adams Central and was pinned in the waning seconds of the first period of his match on Friday with Tristan Donelson of Scottbluff.
“I thought Wade was in control of the match and then he just got caught in a situation he had never been in all year,” Windle said of Maddox’s match with Donelson. “He should have been moving a little bit more, but just didn’t realize what situation he was in once the Scottsbluff kid got him on his back.”
Valentine (26-12) was defeated in a 17-10 decision by Joseph Horky of Fairbury in his only match Thursday evening. On Friday, he defeated West Point-Beemer’s Hunter Schroeder, 7-4, in dramatic fashion, as he scored four points in the closing seconds to escape with a victory.
Valentine lost his second match Friday to Gretna’s Trent Boyer, who defeated Valentine 9-1 in a major decision. Boyer, a junior whose style is very different from Valentine’s according to Windle, also defeated Valentine at the district tournament.
“The Gretna kid’s style frustrated us a bit,” Windle said. “We’re just not as foot-quick as this kid and just frustrated us a bit. I think he’s a little stronger and was able to get our head down at times. Morgen has a tough time wrestling from that position, knowing when to get our head back up and moving left and right so we can finish take downs.”
Thompson had the toughest match of the first round and was pinned by eventual runner-up Austin Fehlhafer. Thompson suffered a 15-0 tech fall defeat in his second match and finished his season with a 21-16 record.
“I think this was a new experience for Chase, who I know was happy to be hear, and I think he’ll learn from it and come back strong next year,” Windle said.
Falls City scored one team point and finished tied with Omaha Gross Catholic in 40th place. Omaha Skutt Catholic won their 15th Class B State Championship in 16 years with 146.5 points. Scottbluff (119) finished second and Plattsmouth and Syracuse tied for third with 90 points apiece.
The three-day total attendance at the CenturyLink Center was 40,649.