Boone Central/Newman Grove senior is one win away from capturing Boone Central’s first, and Newman Grove’s first since 2008, state championship.
“I feel pretty good and the last match felt pretty good,” Merten stated. “I’m hoping I can go after it tomorrow.”
The Cardinal 220 pounder took an early lead and was up 3-0 after two periods against Austin Marx of Battle Creek. Marx scored an escape early in the third, but unable to find the equalizing takedown, as Merten held on for the win.
“The last period was pretty nerve racking,” Merten added. “I wanted to get another takedown, but he’s good at defending them and I just couldn’t.
160 pounder Ethan Dozler fell in his semifinal match against unbeaten Caleb Long of Valentine.
Dalton Rasmussen (285) Will Grape (120) and Gavin Dozler (106) each lost in their heartbreak round matches to end their tournament runs.
Ethan Dozler faces Conner Halverson of Gordon-Rushville in the consolation semis Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
Merten takes on Arlington’s Remington Gay in the 220-pound championship match at 2 p.m.
All five Boone Central/Newman Grove wrestlers are still alive in the Class C state tournament after picking up wins Friday afternoon.
Gavin Dozier went a perfect 2-0 in the session at 106 pounds. Dozler opened with a 3-0 decision over Trevin Edwards of Loomis/Bertrand, before rallying past Gibbon’s Jose Escandon, 3-2.
Will Grape bounced back after a 1-1 day on Thursday to survive a late flurry against Ord’s Kaden Boyce. After several reversals, near falls and takedowns, Grape emerged victorious with a 13-10 decision.
Dalton Rasmussen scored a pair of falls to advance to the heartbreak round of the heavyweight bracket. Trailing 4-1 late in the third period against Ord’s CJ Hoevet, Rasmussen tossed Hoevet to his back and stuck junior 285 pounder.
The semifinals and consolation heartbreakers begin tonight at 5 p.m.
A pair of Boone Central/Newman Grove wrestlers earned a spot in the Class C state wrestling tournament semifinals on Thursday at Omaha’s CHI Health Center Arena.
Jon Merten and Ethan Dozler each went a perfect 2-0 to seal a spot in the semifinals.
Ethan Dozler opened the tournament with a 4-1 decision over Malcom’s Adam Stewart. The 160 pounder followed it up with a second-period pin against Hershey’s Colten Ballentine.
“The is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” Ethan Dozler stated. “I’m so thankful for my coaches and family for pushing me so far. Now I’m going to go get a higher medal.”
Merten cruised to the semis with a pair of wins at 220 pounds.
“They were good, but I’ve been working on my shots all week,” Merten commented. “I tried to get better at my setups. It looks like it paid off.”
After defeating Milford’s Jack Chapman in the opening round, 7-3, Will Grape fell to Caydon McCracken on Battle Creek in the 120 quarterfinals.
Gavin Dozler (106) and Dalton Rasmussen (285) lost their openers to drop into the consolation bracket.
The consolation round begins Friday at 12:30 p.m., followed by the semifinals at 5 p.m.
Five Cardinals are Omaha-bound after qualifying for the state wrestling tournament during the Class C-2 district meet on their home mat.
Gavin Dozler (106), Will Grape (120), Ethan Dozler (160), Jon Merten (220) and Dalon Rasmussen (285) all punched their state ticket on Saturday in Albion.
In arguably one of the most stunning matches of the day, Rasmussen was down to his final nine seconds in the heartbreak round. Down 2-0 with state on the line, he scored a takedown in the final seconds to rally for a 3-2 in over Wilber-Clatonia’s Eric Escobr, sealing his trip to Omaha.
Grape and Rasmussen both qualified early in the day during semifinals.
Grape pinned Logan View’s Luis Jimenez Hernandez in 5:42 to advance to the championship. Grape dropped an 8-6 decision to Zak Hansen of Stanton in the final, which was a back-and-forth battle that could have gone either way as the grapplers traded reversals for three rounds.
Merten scored the lone district championship on the day for Boone Central/Newman Grove in a tight 3-2 decision over Josh Bailey of Johnson County Central. In the semifinal, Merten scored a major decision 10-2 over Wayne Moore of David City.
Ethan Dozler finished third with 4-2 decision over Isaiah Borgmann of Stanton. He flew through the heartbreak round in dramatic fashion with a pin over Gavin Jackson of Wood River in a quick 1:59.
Gavin Dozler placed fourth after a sudden death loss to Jose Escadon of Gibbon. Gavin fought back in the final seconds of the third period to force the extra period, sending the Cardinal faithful to their feet. But Escadon took Gavin down for the win over the Cardinal.
Gavin Dozler (32-17) placed 4th and scored 10.0 team points.
Will Grape (30-19) placed 2nd and scored 20.0 team points.
Aaron Saldana (8-10) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Tyson Haddix (28-24) place is unknown and scored 8.0 team points.
William Karmann (4-27) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Ashton Schafer (18-21) place is unknown and scored 7.0 team points.
Ethan Dozler (37-9) placed 3rd and scored 16.0 team points.
Taylor Weber (10-28) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Richard Cleveland (11-22) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Bryce Kennedy (8-18) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Jon Merten (38-3) placed 1st and scored 21.0 team points.
Dalton Rasmussen (29-13) placed 3rd and scored 14.0 team points.
Nine Cardinal wrestlers still have their eyes set on the Class C state wrestling tournament. Boone Central/Newman Grove is hosting the Class C-2 meet, which continues on Saturday in Albion at 10 a.m.
After Friday’s action, Gavin Dozler, Will Grape, Ethan Dozler and Jon Merten remain perfect in the tournament and are just one win away from guaranteeing their spot at state. All four won their quarterfinal matches to advance to the semifinals.
Aaron Saldana, Tyson Haddix, Ashton Schafer, Richard Cleveland and Dalton Rasmussen all advanced in the consolation bracket.
The season ended for William Karmann, Bryce Kennedy and Taylor Weber, who lost by a heartbreaking medical forfeit.
Gavin Dozler (31-15) place is unknown and scored 5.0 team points.
Will Grape (29-18) place is unknown and scored 6.0 team points.
Aaron Saldana (8-9) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Tyson Haddix (27-23) place is unknown and scored 7.0 team points.
William Karmann (4-27) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Ashton Schafer (18-20) place is unknown and scored 7.0 team points.
Ethan Dozler (35-8) place is unknown and scored 6.0 team points.
Taylor Weber (10-28) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Richard Cleveland (11-21) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Bryce Kennedy (8-18) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Jon Merten (36-3) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Dalton Rasmussen (26-13) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.
Boone Central graduate Wyatt Mazour is living the dream of every Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Every Saturday during the fall, Mazour runs on to the football field donning the scarlet and cream and wearing a block N on his helmet. It has been a long road that has led Mazour to this point, but it is a road Mazour has embraced and grown from.
Coming our of Boone Central, Mazour was a highly-touted high school recruit. Mazour led the Cardinals to a perfect 13-0 record and Class C-1 state title in 2014.
The Albion native threw for 1,863 yards and 25 touchdowns, while completing better than 56 percent of his passes. On the ground, Mazour rushed for 1,632 yards and 26 touchdowns, with eight 100-yard rushing games.
Mazour was the first-team Super State quarterback by the Lincoln Journal Star and first-team All-Nebraska by the Omaha World-Herald. Both the Journal Star and World-Herald named him the honorary captain of the Class C-1 all-state team in 2014. The Boone Central start had drawn the attention of college programs across the country.
“It was actually kind of tough,” Mazour said. “Growing up and watching Husker football, it was always a dream of mine to play here. I came on visits under Bo Pelini’s staff, but when his staff was let go, I was in limbo. Coach (Mike) Reilly’s staff had to get adjusted and settle down before they started looking at in-state kids. That was tough for me because I wanted to play football at the next level. I had schools like Iowa State, South Dakota State, NAIA schools and others all contacting me. I had to deal with that and heard nothing (from Nebraska) for a while and wondered if I might have to pursue (my college football career) at a different school. Then Kenny Wilhite (Director of High School Relations at UNL) gave me a call and offered me a preferred walk-on spot. That was the last week of signing day. It came down to my heart. I dreamed of playing here and I knew everyone wanted me to come play for the Huskers. I made a decision based on my heart and chances like this don’t come often.”
Despite being one of the top athletes in the state, Mazour had to deal with his share of growing pains, going from high school to college football.
“I remember my freshman year coming in and doing scout team against Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine (current NFL players) and those guys,” Mazour recalled. “That was my holy crap moment. These guys are huge, but after that year I got the hang of things and how to approach things. I just had to work harder and had to have the mentality of getting better and building my confidence in the offseason. I built my confidence up in the weight room during offseason workouts. The past couple of years, I’ve been in the top-four of the most athletic guys in the power index.”
It was that work ethic in the weight room that started turning heads and got the former Cardinal noticed by the coaching staff.
“The talent level is so high that it’s really hard to standout at this level,” Mazour noted. “In high school, I had the quickness, speed and strength that separated me from other people. I got here and it’s really narrowed. I really challenge myself to always be the strongest and the fastest. I take pride in my strength and being able to perform in the weight room. The speed of the game is the big thing I’ve been focusing on. In this offense, speed kills and I’ve been focusing more on my running and conditioning. The workouts are 100-times harder. Coach (Zach) Duval has done an amazing job. That’s one thing that is a huge difference from high school to college is the weight room and workouts.”
After a year of busting his butt, Mazour finally saw his dream become a reality during his redshirt freshman season.
“I played against Wyoming, ran down on kickoff and that was one of those moments where it was a dream come true,” Mazour said. “I was awestruck. That play went so fast for me in my head. Against Wyoming, it was a home game, my first time getting in, with the crowd and in a game that actually counts as a win or a loss. I had a lot of first since then and I haven’t really felt like that since. I’ve been comfortable in the environment”
Unfortunately for Mazour, his next time out ended his season.
“The next game I had my concussion and I missed the rest of the season,” Mazour continued. “It was frustrating because I remember that year I was one of the only walk-ons to play in my class and I was traveling that next week. I had a lot of things going positively and then my season ended.”
Following the 2017 season, Riley was let go as Huskers’ head coach and former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost was brought in to help turn the program around.
“Coach Frost says we need to believe in the system and ride or die for the guys that put in their all for this program,” the junior running back said. “That’s how it should be, especially here and looking back and seeing how successful we were in the 90s and the early 2000s. We had a lot of people playing with passion and you could see it on film. The people before us played their hearts out every single time and that’s what they’re trying to restore. As someone who has grown up from Nebraska, wanted nothing but the best for this program and always watching the games hoping this is the year Nebraska can be a national champion again. That’s always been a dream of mine. To be a part of bringing Nebraska back to its glory.”
In a blowout loss to Michigan, Mazour scored his first career touchdown for the scarlet and cream. The junior’s special moment was overshadowed by the score.
“It was a really big moment for me to score in the Big House (Michigan’s stadium), but we were getting blown out that game,” Mazour said. “If somebody was over-top really excited about that (scoring their first touchdown) and didn’t think about the team’s outcome, that would bother me.”
While starting to find success on the football field, Mazour has been a great example of what a student-athlete should be. The nutrition and health science major has been named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll four times, a member of the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2016, 17 and 18 and was named academic all-Big Ten in 2017.
“I didn’t think it would be quite the dramatic change that it is, especially with school,” Mazour noted. “In high school I was a 4.0 student, but didn’t really need to study. Then I came to college and that first semester was a huge wake up call. With football and wanting to do physical therapy in the future, I knew I couldn’t slack off. In my free time I study as much as I can and I’ve gotten pretty good at getting things done when I’m supposed to. I usually do my work way before hand and don’t wait till the last minute. My studying habits have gotten a lot better. When I was named to the academic all-Big Ten, it was one of my hardest semesters in college. It shows how much i’ve grown as a student and how to balance everything between football and school.”
Despite a rough start to the season, the Huskers are showing promise and have won ?. Mazour hopes before he hangs up the cleats, he can be remembered as one of guys who helped turn the program around.
“There are a ton of guys on the field that are playing with passion and pride for this program,” Mazour concluded. “This is a hard time, but this is a time that we can truly get this thing turned around and get on the right path like they want it. I try to set a great example of what a Husker player is supposed to be. My mentality has always been to give it my all.”
Nebraska Coaches Association’s recently released its 2018 Girls’ Cross Country Super-State & All-State Teams.
Boone Central sophomore Jordan Soto-Stopak was named to the Class C All-State Team. Soto-Stopak earned second place in the Class C Nebraska State Cross Country Championships in Kearney last month. She crossed the finish line in 20:05.6.
Boone Central/Newman Grove took runner up honors to Columbus Scotus in both the boys and girls team standings at their home invite on Friday afternoon.
Sophomores Jordan Stopak and Samantha Weeder both broke the all-time course records to come out on top in the competitive girls race.
Stopak earned first place with a time of 19:09, followed by second-place Weeder in 19:10. Senior Katie Goodwater placed 5th in the senior girls division and 14th overall with a time of 21:15. Autumn Simons placed 6th in the sophomore division and 19th overall in 21:45. Freshman Lauren Pugh ran a 22:33 for 5th in her division and 30th overall. Rounding out the runners for Boone Central were sophomore Julia Nore with a 23:50 and senior Mariah Olson with a 28:01.
In the boys race, Jonny Lindgren was the top finisher in the sophomore division and 3rd overall with a time of 16:47, followed by Bradley Schindel who was 3rd in the sophomores and 7th overall with a time of 17:09. Other Boone Central runners were Scott Wright, 9th in the senior division and 29th overall (18:26); Gavin Ienn, 4th in freshmen and 34th overall (18:40); Caleb Kohl, 14th in sophomores and 35th overall (18:41); Will Grape 16th in juniors and 59th overall (19:28); and Brian Mock, 21st in juniors and 93rd overall (21:31).
Three Boone County seniors have been selected to the 6th Annual Red vs. White Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic.
Boone Central/Newman Grove's Levi Krueger, Cody Nelson, and Caden Ranslem will be on the white squad.
The game will be played on Saturday, June 9, at Veteran’s Memorial Field in Norfolk. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
Darin Suckstorf of Lutheran High Northeast who will coach the 36-player Red team says he pleased with the pool of players he had to choose from. “We have a great combination of size and speed from programs that historically produce hard-nosed football players,” he said. “I think we’ll have the ability to put some units together offensively and defensively to showcase the athletes.”
Suckstorf is looking forward to the week of practice leading up to the game. “I am excited to see these young men come together in a short period of time to represent their communities.”
Suckstorf’s staff will include Matt Kuchar of Bloomfield, Ken Swanson of Emerson-Hubbard, Max Kant of Lutheran High Northeast, Kevin Miller of Norfolk Catholic and Russ Plager of Wayne.
Andrew Carlson of Battle Creek will coach the 36-player White squad. He likes his team’s blend of size and athleticism. “Offensively, we want to effectively run the ball while taking advantage of some very talented receivers in the passing game,” he said. “Defensively, I really like the length of our secondary and the size of our players that will be playing in the box.”
Carlson is anxious to get to know to know his players. “We look forward to getting the team together and watching them compete as well as see many different individual and team roles established,” said Carlson.
Joining Carlson on the White staff will be Jeremy Weidner of Madison, Kyle Schmidt of Battle Creek, Anthony Ruzika of Scribner-Snyder, Troy Schlueter of West Point-Beemer and Dustin Sealey of Logan View.
Here is the list of this year’s officials, including position and hometown. Daryl Lindsay, Referee, Wayne; Jason Beiermann, Umpire, Wayne; Rod Meier, Head Linesman, Norfolk; Steve Martini, Line Judge, Hartington; Matt Sayler, Back Judge, Hartington.
Red Team Roster: Jared Hornback & Quinten Moles, Bloomfield; Jackson Eickhoff, Jacob Haahr & Quinn Paulsen, Cedar Catholic; Levi Stacken, Creighton; Jaden Janssen & Ethan Poppe, Crofton; Josh Sebade, Emerson-Hubbard; Alex Kneifl, Hartington-Newcastle; Tyler Brand, Blake Freudenburg, Seth Knapp & Korrell Keohlmoos, Lutheran High Northeast; Sam Cantu, Chace Clausen, Payton Love & Kelby Schaefer, Norfolk Catholic; Alex Lindsay, Collin Tinker & Ashton Wragge, Pierce; Michael Hegge, Logan Kingsbury, Dalton Tremayne & Joel Watchorn, Ponca; Mason Nordhues, Randolph; Dathon Klassen, South Sioux City; Noah Lamprecht, Wakefield; Beau Bowers, Justin Dean & Mason Lee, Wayne; Bryce Kerkman, Mason Lofquist & Shayden Neptune, West Holt; Brandon Watters, Winside; Lance Denney, Winnebago
White Team Roster: Lorne Aldana, Blake Heller, Stone Kraft & Andrew Lutt, Battle Creek; Levi Krueger, Cody Nelson & Caden Ranslem, Boone Central/Newman Grove; Tyler Kroger, BRLD; Anthony Bruhn, Clarkson/Leigh; Creston Bertschinger & Andrew Steskal, Clearwater/Orchard; Trevor Klabenes, CWCE; Ryan Macholan, Howells-Dodge; Ashton Dohmen, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family; Pierce Eisenmenger & Nolan Kosch, Humphrey St. Francis; Nolan Miller, Jacob Polk & Nathan Taylor, Logan View; Ryan Haskell, Madison; Nate Buck, Neligh-Oakdale; Mason Flaherty, Dalton Freiberg Zack James & M.J. Montgomery, Norfolk; Marcos Quintero, Oakland-Craig; Justin Appleby, Shayne Campbell & Alex Thramer, O’Neill; Matt Hoffmann & Micah Williams, Plainview; Beau Wilke, Stanton; Cole Hughes, Greg Johnson, Hunter Pilakowski & Devon Priestley, West Point-Beemer
Eighteen Boone County students were selected for Winter NSAA Academic All-State honors.
Chosen for the honor were Boone Central students Dylan Gentrup and Jessie Sullivan, boys basketball; Lauren Hedlund and Kelsey Thompson, girls basketball; and Tyanne Johnson and Walker Stuhr, speech.
Riverside students selected for the honor were Ty Martinsen and Riley Swerczek, boys basketball; Morgan Haschke and Becky Schmieds, girls basketball; and Grant Marisch and Laura Rankin, speech.
Caden Cruise and Trevor Rasmussen, boys basketball; Lacie Cruise and Shonda Shanle, girls basketball; and Miranda Matchett and Sophie Reeves, speech, were chosen for the honor from St. Edward.
The Nebraska School Activities Association and the Nebraska Chiropractic Physicians Association recognize high school students, based on their individual academic excellence, leadership and significant contributions made to their NSAA activity.
A nominated student must be a varsity player or organizational leader who has played a significant role on the team or in the organizational activity during the seasons for which nominations are accepted. The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average, in all curricular subjects, of 93 percent or 3.7 on a 4.0-point scale or the equivalent. NSAA high schools or their cooperative sponsorship may nominate a maximum of two students per NSAA activity program.