Westside Wrestling Ends State Tournament with Highest Placement Since 1986


Zoe Gillespie

Noah Aken ended his career as a medalist in the 145-pound class. Aken here walks back after winning his match in the Westside-Papio South-Omaha Northwest triangular

Westside’s varsity wrestling team headed to the CHI Center at a shot for gold, as eleven wrestlers competed at the State Wrestling tournament. Along with six medalists, the Warriors ended the weekend in sixth place, which is their highest placement since 1986. 

Head wrestling coach Michael Jernigan thought this season was one to be remembered. He was specifically proud of the way the team finished the last three weeks of the campaign.

“I’m so proud of what this team accomplished the last three weeks of the season,” Jernigan said, “For our boys to qualify for state duals and then turn around the next weekend to travel back to Kearney to qualify for state was great. Then you factor in four days later the fact that we had five medalists and a sixth place finish, it shows we are gritty to say the least.”

In a team race like there is at the state championships, all qualifiers are working for more than just their own possible gold medal. Team points drive each and every second of the mat for a competitive team in the Warriors. Jernigan felt that his team did a great job of being unselfish for the teams’ goal.

“Every wrestler went out and competed the best that they could,” Jernigan said, “Everyone was trying to contribute to the team points. On Saturday going into the finals, it felt so good to look at that scoreboard and see us in sixth.”

Each wrestler had their chance to shine as they competed, but female wrestler Regan Rosseter stood out from the rest. The Westside sophomore ended her season with a perfect record of 42-0. Rosseter took home the girls 126 class title with a pin in the second period of the finals match. Rosseter looked back on her season and explained some of her biggest inspirations that helped her get to where she is today.

“My little girl at the club is one of my inspirations. I know a lot of girls look up to me from the club, my cousins, family, and friends,” Rosseter said. “I have to be that role model that they can look up to. Also my club coaches have helped me get that state title as well as Coach Bob, Jernigan, Reed, Reinke, Hill, Schroeder, and Haberman. They have all helped me where I am today and helped me get another state title.”

Over the past two years Rosseter has shown that girls wrestling is here to stay, as she has continued to make history for the Warrior wrestling program. Rosseter has made history with 20 wins in a single season, being crowned champion in back to back years as well as being a big aspect in helping grow the female wrestling community. Rosseter is hoping that more girls will step out of their comfort zone and come and try to wrestle. 

“I hope it brings out more girls that want to try the sport,” Rosseter said. “I love the sport and I think that it has made me a better person and a better student. I would love to have more than three girls including me on the team next year.”

Another wrestler that has fought this whole year to get back on the state championship mat is Cole Haberman. The Westside senior fell short of a state title win in the 220 weight class losing by a decision 10-5 in an all out battle against North Platte’s Vincent Genatone in the finals. Haberman finished his high school career as a three-time state medalist and expressed what he could have done differently during his matchup in the finals.. 

“I think if I came out with more energy in the first and second like I had the third I think I would’ve been better off.” Haberman expressed. 

As the wrestling season comes to an end, the Warriors are looking forward to the 2022-23 season as many underclassmen will be stepping up to fill the shoes of the seniors, who are saying goodbye to the Westside wrestling community.