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Dukes wrestlers taking their lumps, but gaining experience and confidence
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Dukes wrestlers taking their lumps, but gaining experience and confidence

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YORK – York head coach Brett Mauler knew coming into the season the first several weeks were going to be tough on his young Dukes squad.

With all of his weight classes filled by underclassmen, York took on a strong field at the York Invite on Saturday and placed ninth of the 10 teams who competed, defeating Fairbury.

The dual was won by Waverly, who came in as the No. 8 team according to Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association. The Vikings defeated Class A’s No. 2 Omaha Westside in the final 48-33.

In the third-place match, Class A No. 4  Papillion-La Vista South defeated Class C No. 4 Central City 46-36. Northwest defeated Minden 10-4 in the fifth-place match and Concordia/DC West topped Omaha Burke 53-22 in the seventh-place match.

York was a 48-30 winner over Fairbury to come away 1-4 on the day and secure ninth place.

Mauler said that the team is battling and showing glimpses of what they can be.

“We have a really young core of guys that are predominantly freshmen and sophomores.  Our kids battled hard and showed some glimpses of quality wrestling.  I thought freshmen like Brooks Loosvelt and Keagyn Linden did some nice things as they are freshman wrestling in the upper weights,” Mauler said. “They found a way to get some wins and build some varsity confidence.  Sophomores Dakota Brown, Hudson Holoch, and Seth Erickson all had some quality matches where they did several good things that we have been working on.”

Of the 14 wrestlers on York’s roster Saturday, six came away with winning records.

Sophomore Seth Erickson at 170 pounds lost his opening match to a wrestler from Omaha Burke, but he won his next four to move to 5-2 on the year.

Freshman Brooks Loosvelt also finished 4-1 while wrestling at 152 pounds and improved to 4-3. Sophomore Dakota Brown at 138/145 went 3-2 and is currently 4-3, freshmen Keagyn Linden posted a 3-2 mark at 182 pound and sits at 4-3, while heavyweight Kadence Velde is 5-2 after posting a 3-2 mark in the duals on Saturday.

Freshman Brody Epp at 106 pounds and sophomore Hudson Holoch at 120 both finished up 2-3 and sit at 4-3 on the season.

“I really liked the Fairbury dual as we wrestled a younger team like us that matched our age and strength.  That dual got us a nice dual win and it gave the guys some confidence heading into the following week,” Mauler commented. “Right now we are not too concerned about the wins and the losses as we are focused on just doing the little things right.  Once we start doing that the wins will start coming more frequently.”

York will be in Oxford, Nebraska on Friday for the Southern Valley Invite which gets underway at 10 a.m.

“We are going to have a tough time this year winning duals we are young, inexperienced, especially at the class B varsity level, and we are not a very strong team which means we have to rely on technique,” added Mauler. “We have to keep working on developing these guys from the basics.  We knew it was going to be tough at the start of the season and we look to improve throughout the year.  The nice thing about this team is all the improvements we make this season will carry over to next year as we return the entire lineup in 2023 and even most of this lineup in 2024.”

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