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Hochsteins lead wrestlers at Battle Creek Invite

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BATTLE CREEK — It was a busy week for the Cedar Catholic/Hartington-Newcastle Trocats wrestlers as they embarked on trips to Bloomfield and Battle Creek.

Head coach Justin Bailing watched as his grapplers beat West Holt 45-18 in a matchup where his squad won every match but one.

They fell 60-15 to Crofton-Bloomfield to wrap up the night of the triangular.

At Battle Creek, the Trocats finished ninth in team points and came back home with four medalists.

Kerby Hochstein was the top performer of the week going 6-1 and earned a third-place finish in the 132-pound weight Hass at Battle Creek.

Keegan Carl placed sixth at 106-pounds, Cole Steffenson finished fifth at 126-pounds and Conner Hochstein finished second at 152-pounds.

“Kerby had a great week in which he dominated most of his competition,” Bartling said. “His only loss was to the eventual champion from Elkhorn Valley. The whole team in general wrestled tough and showed great improvement in their top and bottom game.”

This week, the Trocats will head to West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic for a quadrangular on Thursday before trekking to the Oakland-Craig Invitational on Saturday.

With just a few weeks left in the season, we are starting to see some more district competition,” Bartling said. “We have had some key wins in important weight classes that should help with our seeding.”

“Our season has been a roller coaster so far. We have had some great highs and had some struggles, but right now we are starting to figure out our strengths and getting better each week.”

Bartling knows where his team’s strengths and weaknesses lie and that can only behoove his squad going forward.

“Right now, we are one of the best teams on our feet. We do a great job of getting the initial takedown, but our weakness has been making mistakes on top,” Bailing said. “If we can get some of those little mistakes out, we are going to be a team down the stretch.”

Kerby Hochstein was enthused by the team’s performance at Battle Creek.

“Everyone wrestled really well that day,” he said. “I think we are at the point where most guys are getting into the flow of things and you see that there are improvements up until now. The attitude and effort are there, and guys are more driven to win gold medals and its adding to a better team.”

The senior believes his squad offers plenty of threats to a state appearance and maybe make some noise at Omaha.

He currently has 110 wins, but Kerby Hochstein believes he still has to take one meet at a time.

“I still try to improve every meet and try to get better before districts and, hopefully, I can get to state,” he said.

The school record for wins is 123 and Hochstein can potentially break that mark.

“As long as no meets get cancelled,” he said. “Right now, I am more worried about what’s in front of me.”

Battle Creek Invitational Team Standings

Crofton/Bloomfield 166, Yutan 165, Battle Creek 157, Elkhorn Valley 127.5, Summerland 98, Howells-Dodge 96, Quad County Northeast 96, Oakland-Craig 65.5, Hartington CC 63, Ponca 61, Archbishop Bergan 53, Lutheran High NE 50, Madison 48, Creighton 37, Wakefield 35.5, Battle Creek JV 31, Winnebago 31, Stanton 30, NiobraraNerdigre 18.

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