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North Platte wrestling edges Kearney in home dual
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North Platte wrestling edges Kearney in home dual

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North Platte wrestling coach Dale Hall gives his team a few key words of advice ahead of a dual meet matchup with Kearney.

“You better have your ‘A’ game because you know they are going to bring theirs,” Hall said.

That was true for both sides on Thursday night. North Platte and Kearney both won seven weights in a dual that the Bulldogs won 37-36.

“Any time you can come away with a win against Kearney you’ve done something right,” said Hall, whose team is ranked eighth in Class A in this week’s newrestle.com state poll. “Obviously there are some things that we can work on and get better at but overall I thought it was a pretty good night.

“I thought our kids wrestled hard throughout the entire dual,” Hall said. “We won some tight matches and we lost some close ones, and the bonus points ended up playing a big part. And the atmosphere was great. Our student section and the community of North Platte was awesome tonight.”

North Platte’s Kole Weigel pinned Kaedun Goodman 57 seconds into their matchup at 113 pounds to give the Bulldogs a 37-21 lead with three weights left — which Kearney swept, including two by pins.

North Platte’s Ryan Fox (145), Haedyn Brauer (152), Xavier Albertson (195) and Vince Genatone (285) also had pins, and the Bulldogs’ Ethan Jackson had a major decision at 138 in the first weight of the dual.

Fox and Brauer followed with back-to-back pins as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 16-0 lead.

“In a big dual like this with the (crowd) atmosphere, to have that first win, I think the team really builds off that,” said Bulldogs senior Luke Rathjen, who scored an 11-7 win over Riley Johnson at 182 pounds. “It gives you a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence to want to go out and win some more.”

Rathjen had one of the closest wins of the night for the Bulldogs, along with Brody Pitner who dropped a 2-0 match to Tavean Miller in overtime at 106 pounds. Rathjen built an early 6-0 lead over Johnson, but that cushion shrunk to 9-7 late in the third period.

“It’s always a great night when I get to go out and wrestle Kearney, and at home, all the better. I was really looking to go out and dominate that match,” Rathjen said. “It wasn’t great a performance as I was looking to have, but you just keep plugging away when something goes wrong. You just keep working to make it go your way.

“I took maybe a couple lazier shots in the second and third periods and he really capitalized on those,” Rathjen said. “One moment I’m thinking I’m going to get a take down, and the next I’m looking up at the lights.”

With a two point lead late in the third period and both wrestlers in the neutral position, Rathjen was able to get a takedown and held on for the victory.

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“I got a 2-on-1 (attack) and I just snapped him (down),” Rathjen said. “I think that’s called ‘the gravedigger’. It just felt good to get the win.”

North Platte 37, Kearney 36

106 — Tavean Miller, Kearney def. Brody Pitner, North Platte, SV-1 2-0

113 — Kole Weigel, North Platte def. Kaedun Goodman, Kearney, Fall 0:57

120 — Archer Heelan, Kearney def. Jace Kennel, North Platte, Dec 4-1

126 — Jackson Lavene, Kearney def. Tyson Smith, North Platte, Fall 4:42

132 — Perry Swarm, Kearney def. Carson Songster, North Platte, Fall 4:49

138 — Ethan Jackson, North Platte def. Tate Choplin, Kearney, MD 9-0

145 — Ryan Fox, North Platte def. Sam Nachtigal, Kearney, Fall 5:17

152 — Haedyn Brauer, North Platte def. Jakob Ransdell, Kearney, Fall 1:19

160 — Nick Sutton, Kearney def. Dominique Vieyra, North Platte, Fall 1:38

170 — Tate Kuchera, Kearney def. Brock Roblee, North Platte, Fall 1:49

182 — Luke Rathjen, North Platte def. Riley Johnson, Kearney, Dec 11-7

195 — Xavier Albertson, North Platte def. Lane Kovarik, Kearney, Fall 3:18

220 — Sawyer Schilke, Kearney def. Peyton Dimmitt, North Platte, Fall 3:11

285 — Vincent Genatone, North Platte def. Brandon Moore, Kearney, Fall 0:27

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