Fremont High School wrestling coach Ben Wilcox said the Tigers were sick and tired of finishing second at every tournament this season.
On Friday, at the Joe Vojtech Fighting Knight Invitational, the Tigers did something about that.
Fremont earned the championship at Midland University’s Hopkins Arena. The Tigers finished with 294 points while Central City was runner-up with 167.5. Omaha Westside was third with 147. Host school Fremont Bergan was ninth with 71.5.
The Tigers had eight wrestlers earn berths in the finals with five winning individual championships.
“Our goal today was to start fast and finish strong. That has been our goal all week,” Wilcox said, “This was a great tournament, and this invite had some tough competition. Our guys did a heck of a job, and I’m proud of them.”
As usually happens, the two Codys stole the show for the Tigers. Cody Fielder and Cody Carlson dominated their brackets, on the way to individual titles at 120 and 132 pounds, respectively.
“There weren’t too tough of matches, but this tournament will still help me moving forward,” said Carlson, who earned a 19-6 major decision over Sam Copley of Milford in the finals.
Fielder pinned Ethan Zegers of Milford in 4:46 in their title match.
Carlos Ahumada (113), Mason Rieger (152) and Omar Garibo (195) also won their brackets to win titles.
Ahumada won three matches by pin and earned a sudden victory over Cole McNally of Elkhorn Mount Michael. Reiger, in his championship match, earned a 14-6 major decision over Nate Wooster of Westside.
“I just tell the guys to not overthink it, don’t be afraid out there,” Carlson said. “I thought today we absolutely dominated.”
Noah Molzahn (126), Dylan Marchand (160) and Colton McCurdy (182) earned runner-up finishes for the Tigers. Hunter Robertson (138), Tommy Wentz (145), Riley Fox (160), Anthony Gomez (170) and Trevin Escamilla (285) were third.
Garret Moser (195), Jesus DeLuna (220) and Kade Richardson (280) were fourth while Sebastian Villagomez (106) was fifth.
Bergan also earned a championship. At 138 pounds, junior Jacob Johnson earned a 10-8 decision over Mason Schleis of Shelby-Rising City in the title match.
It wasn’t that easy, though, as Johnson almost got pinned by Schleis in the second period. The state veteran survived, however, to pull out the win.
“I was trying to do what coach was telling me, and just did the wrong thing and got myself in a bad situation,” Johnson said, “I got out of bounds, and got a fresh start. I realized I had to calm down.”
Johnson rallied, and hung on for the win. He moved to 15-2 on the year.
Peyton Cone (195) and Eli Simonson (220) both made the finals for Bergan, but lost in the finals.
Simonson was tied 1-1 with Cole Rosenkrans of St. Mary`s with :30 left in the third period, but gave up a take down to Rosenkrans and then got pinned with :08 left in the match.
“You’d like to see him finish that position right there,” Bergan coach Curtis Marolf said. “I think it was a very winnable match for him. He’s still young, though.”
Cone lost a 15-5 major decision to Garibo.
Both Wilcox and Marolf said that this tournament was great for their respective teams moving forward into the NSAA moratorium, and into the second half of the year.
“This builds confidence, that was the goal going into this tournament,” Wilcox said, “This is important going into a really tough tournament next week at Creighton Prep. We will see some tougher competition as the season progresses, and this built a lot of confidence today. We’ll rest up and be ready to go after the break.”
Fremont High will be back in action at the Prep Invite on Dec. 30. The Knights will wrestle at the Tri-Center Invite on Jan. 6.