BATTLE CREEK — The Cedar Catholic wrestling team will be represented at the state tournament when the action commences at 5 p.m. Friday at Omaha’s CNI Health Center.
Kerby (132 pounds) and Conner Hochstein (160 pounds) are both on their way to state after going 2-2 last weekend in the District finals - both finishing in fourth place - while Cole Steffensen (126 pounds) ended up short of advancing, losing both of his matches.
“Kerby and Conner have each been to the state tournament Trocats head coach Justin Bartling said. “Conner was a first-time qualifier last season and Kerby qualified his sophomore season. These two have continued to work hard every day in practice and work hard in the offseason to get to this part.”
Kerby Hochstein will open up against an O’Neill wrestler - Ty Rainforth - that he was defeated by earlier in the year.
“After that, we have a favorable matchup to get a win, but like every tournament, it gets settled on the mat and not on paper,” Bartling said.
Conner Hochstein will start out with Steven Menke of Bridgeport.
“We have not seen him wrestle, but that goes both ways,” Bartling said. “After that, it won’t get any easier for Conner. Both guys know that they will need to bring their best if they want to reach that medal stand and that’s exactly what we plan to do.”
At Battle Creek, Steffensen lost both of his matches by pinfall which kept him advancing out of districts.
“Cole is a great kid and a tough competitor,” Bartling said. “He came in this year with 11 career wins and had 28 this season alone. He is a great person to have in your wrestling room and is definitely one big reason Kerby is having a great year as well.”
To get to state Kerby Hochstein defeated Max Lautenschlager of Bishop Newman, 11-3 then lost his semifinal match to the district champion Cameron Williams of Conestoga, 6-2.
In the heartbreak round, he defeated Jesse Kult of Yutan, 9-2 to punch his ticket to Omaha.
In the bronze medal match, he lost to Johnny Scarlett of Central City, 12-2.
Conner Hochstein defeated Jack Pille of Oakland-Craig, 15-4 and in the semifinals, he lost 13-4 to returning state champion Joe Hinrichs of Sutton.
He defeated Mitchell Fischer of Wakefield, 16-2, in the heartbreak round to qualify.
In the bronze medal match, he was defeated by pinfall to Derek Wacker of Yutan.
Because of COVID restrictions, this year’s State Tournament will look a little different.
Weigh ins for Class C wrestlers begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday with four rounds of competition to follow.
Weigh ins for the championship rounds for Class C will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with the matches set to begin at 1 p.m.
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