The Milford wrestling team achieved a first this weekend by qualifying for the Nebraska State Wrestling Duals.
MHS finished the season 11-0 in duals and is the top seeded team in Class C. The state competition is Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney. First round matches start at 9 a.m. for Class C.
“There are no easy outs at the state duals,” MHS Coach Joe Schluckebier said.
Milford will meet Battle Creek in the first round. Minden and Fillmore Central are the other side of the bracket. Wilber-Clatonia, Broken Bow, Central City and St. Paul are the other four teams.
“Battle Creek is a tough first round,” Schluckebier said.
The Eagles wrestled two tournaments last week, including the Southern Nebraska Conference Jan. 27 in David City.
The Eagles were the runner-up behind Fillmore Central and were 1/2 point ahead of David City.
“Four of the last five years we’ve been champion or runner up,” Schluckebier said.
Milford had five wrestlers in the finals, but just one finished atop the medal stand. Garrett Schoen took the top spot at 285 pounds when Fillmore Central’s Markey Hinrichs used a medical forfeit. Schoen won his other two matches by pin.
Earning silver medals were Quinn Zegers at 113 pounds, Cooper Rea at 132, Sean Stanton at 144 and Hunter Dickinson at 150.
Three Eagles competed for third, with Conner Kohout (138) winning bronze and Jonny Kohout (120) and Cody Langenberg (157) placing fourth.
“We had four toss-up matches and lost all four,” Schluckebier said. “We have to go back to the drawing board. We need to be more tenacious in the final rounds.
“We beat a lot of good kids. It’s nice to take hardware home. We’ll take it when we can get it.”
The tournament at Gibbon Jan. 23 had been rescheduled because of weather. Milford won the team title, scoring 45 more points than second-place Fillmore Central. Individual champions were Zegers, Jonny Kohout, Rea, Conner Kohout and Stanton.
“We pretty much handled the tournament,” Schluckebier said.
Two Eagles missed the Gibbon competition – Kellen Lovitt and Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson wrestled at conference, and Lovitt will be back for the duals, he said.
Schluckebier was looking forward to a full week of practice for the Eagles heading into the state duals. While this is the first time MHS has made the event, he said the Eagles won’t be satisfied with just being there.
“We have higher hopes,” he said.