Cyclones’ Shaeffer, Wingert earn state bids
ATLANTIC -- What a difference a year can make.
To be sure, the final results could have been even better for the Harlan Community wrestling team Saturday, but compared to the same meet a year ago the Cyclones left Atlantic feeling pretty good about their Class 2-A District Tournament outcome.
Led by state tournament qualifiers Elias Shaeffer and Jacob Wingert, who both won exciting wrestle-back matches for second place, five HCHS wrestlers combined on a 7-6 record - each winning at least once - and the Cyclones scored 55 points to place fourth out of 11 teams represented.
It was only a year ago that HCHS had a 1-7 match record and finished last at the district meet, failing to advance a wrestler to state for the first time since 1986.
This time, the Cyclones essentially won every match they were supposed to win - maybe a couple more - and had all of their participants place second or third in four-man brackets.
Shaeffer, a senior 132-pounder, and Wingert, a junior at 160, will continue their season Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena when Class 2-A first-round and first-round consolation matches get underway at 6:00 p.m. Both are first-time state qualifiers.