The Battle at Battle Creek


Jagger Plevel

Carter Plowman, Braden Ruffner, Cameron Williams and Keaghon Chini each placed in the top four of the C2 District Tournament and advanced to the NSAA State Tournament in Omaha, Neb. on Feb. 19 and 20.

Last Saturday, Feb. 13, Conestoga wrestlers battled their way through district wrestling at Battle Creek. Every match was well fought and truly remarkable.

Ethan Gloe (113) wrestled Cole Kunz from Central City for his first match. Ethan was taken down and pinned in 57 seconds. In Gloe’s second match he wrestled Bryce Kolc from Yutan. Gloe contended with Kolc, but unfortunately lost 9-1. Ethan fought hard for all three periods and will be back next year to vanquish his opponents.

Braden Ruffner (120) wrestled Cameron Shultz from Raymond Central for his first round match. Ruffner was able to secure the first takedown of the match and turn it into a first period pin. Ruffner’s second match was a little dicey. He wrestled returning state finalist Aaron Ohnoutka from Bishop Neumann. Ruffner pushed the pace by trying to secure takedowns, however Ohnoutka had good shot defense and was constantly scrambling. Ruffner lost by decision and was thrown into the heartbreak round. In the heartbreak round Braden matched up against Nate Rupp from Yutan. Ruffner once again scored the first takedown of the match. Not only did he get the first takedown, but he was able to get some last second back points. Ruffner eventually secured the pin in the second period. After that match Braden had officially qualified for state and was competing for a third place district medal. All Braden had to do was defeat Jace Goebel from Syracuse. Braden won his match with a major decision.

At 126, Keaghon Chini wrestled Kole Steffenson of Hartington Cedar Catholic in his first round match. Chini was able to find an ankle pick and secure two points for a takedown, and then won the match in the second period by fall. Chini’s next match was against Trev Arlt from Yutan, a state qualifier last year. Chini once again got the first take down and quickly switched over to a butcher. Chini scored five points in the first period, and eventually pinned Arlt, securing his trip to the state tournament. Chini was then matched up against returning state finalist Mitch Albrecht from Raymond Central. The pair were fighting for a district championship. Unfortunately for Chini, he was pinned.

Cameron Williams (132) had a successful day at districts. Williams’ first match was a fall against Jacob Smith from Syracuse. His second match was won by a 6-2 decision against Kerby Hochstein from Hartington Cedar Catholic. With that win, Williams had successfully qualified for the state tournament and was getting ready to wrestle for a district championship. In the finals, Williams wrestled another returning state finalist in Logan Bryce from Raymond Central. Bryce was ranked #2 and Williams was ranked #5. The two have duked it out multiple times with Bryce being the victor of each one. Although Bryce had won those matches, they were close and well-contested. Williams came our swinging and wrestled an outstanding match, winning 7-2.

At 138, Carter Plowman wrestled Jeremiah Chase of Wakefield for his first round match and secured a pin. Carter’s next match was against defending state champion and Division 1 recruit, Dyson Kunz from Central City. Plowman lost and was sent to the heartbreak round, where he wrestled Tucker Maxson from Raymond Central. Plowman put up a great fight and won by fall to advance to the state meet.

Gage Totilas (195) wrestled Levi Villa from Central City. Totilas won by pin in the first period. In Totilas’s second round match he wrestled top-rated Burton Brandt from Syracuse. Brandt pinned Gage and sent him to the heartbreak round. Clay Hedges was Gage’s next opponent. The two had previously had a face off at Raymond Central, with Totilas winning by pin. This match, however, kept Conestoga fans at the edge of their seats. After taking a 6-0 lead, Totilas was reversed to his back and pinned, ending his sophomore season.

The Cougars ended their day with four medalists and four state qualifiers. Fans and teammates are getting really excited to help and cheer them on at state. These four state qualifiers have truly left a mark on the Conestoga wrestling program and continue to help it grow.