Westside Wrestling Sends Eleven Wrestlers to State Tournament


Zoe Gillespie

Ryan Zatechka and Tyson Terry meet for the second time of the season at Westside’s first home dual. Both of these wrestlers could meet this weekend. – Photo by Zoe Gillespie

The Westside varsity wrestling team traveled to Kearney, Nebraska to compete in the Class A-3 District tournament on Saturday, Feb.12.

Westside went into the district tournament hoping for all twelve wrestlers to walk out knowing they are heading to the state championship. Unfortunately they fell three short as nine of the wrestlers are heading to the CHI Health Center to compete in Omaha. Senior Cole Haberman expressed his sadness for the three wrestlers that didn’t make it but wants them all know the pride the team has for them. 

“I think the team performed really well today,” Haberman said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted but Angles stepping up didn’t know the way he wanted to and Cannon was wrestling his best all year. We are really proud of everyone who came out with us. I started tearing up when some Seniors didn’t make it to state, but we all really worked hard this year.”

Haberman faced off against three opponents during the district matchup, the final of which was Noah Molina out of Kearney as Haberman finished off with the pin to assure his spot for state. Haberman said it wasn’t easy but the energy shifted at the beginning of the final match and he just knew he was heading to state. 

“I had some good competition. The first guy was easy but the second was harder and put up a good match and then my final guy was strong but the late drop at the beginning really got him,” Haberman said. “ I kind of felt the energy in the match that I got him. The big thing for me is that I felt his energy drop.” 

Junior Michael Myers was also out of the nine wrestlers who qualified for state. Myers won his first match 36-8 against Kearney’s Jakob Ransdell. He later went on to defeat both of his next opponents, Myers expressed that he didn’t do it all himself he had coaches and a team who helped him get to this point in his wrestling career.

“I like to put a lot of it on our coaches,“ Myers said. “They have been working hard with us at practices, giving us reads in my ear all day telling me what to do next. Following through with the game plan shows what the game plan does.” 

Wrestling is one of the sports at Westside where the team becomes a family who trusts and confides in one another. Westside coach Michael Jernigan has noticed how close his team has gotten and how much each wrestler cares for one another no matter what outcome they have during their matchup

“The guys wrestling tremendous, Kearney turned it on today and Columbus we knew was going to be tough. We knew all of us were going to be competing for a district championship today,” Jernigan said. “We came up short but that doesn’t determine what we have going forward and going into next week. We are proud of everybody, the guys who did qualify and the guys who didn’t.”

The Class A State Wrestling Championships will begin Thursday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb.19 at the CHI Health Center in downtown Omaha. Nine Warriors boys and two girls will compete for a shot at becoming a state champion.