Overcoming the last obstacle, Kearney wins Flatwater Fracas
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. —
Kearney High wrestling brought back the Flatwater Fracas bacon over the weekend.
The team earned the spotlight as NTV's Team of the Week, and the Bearcats accomplished a variety of firsts in Grand Island.
It was a thriller weekend for the Bearcats on the mat, as the team finally took home the gold in a tournament that's handed them the silver medal the past four years.
"We've been there so many years before," senior Lee Herrington said. "We lost in the finals and it's been heartbreaking every time cause it was such a great duel," Herrington said. "So to finally have that great duel and come out on top and come away with a victory with the team championship, and hold it high was a really proud moment for our team."
"I've been on the team three years in a row," junior Nick James said. "When we've come up on top to Gretna, you know it's a big deal, we beat number three and number one in class A, so to beat those guys it's a big deal."
Facing little challenges in the beginning, Kearney kept control of pool A, holding four of their first six opponents to single digits in scoring. Advancing through the semifinals was an uphill battle as the team kept it close with Lincoln East.
"Lincoln East beat us the week before at the Iowa Council Bluff Classic," James said. "So having that in the back of our heads, with what happened the week before, was a little bit of ignition to beat them the next week."
"You look at our last two duels, Phillip Moomey, returning state champ, he's the last guy that's going to wrestle for us," head coach Ty Swarm said. "You feel pretty comfortable, you got a guy you know can seal the deal to get a win, or whatever that takes."
After edging past the Spartans, the Bearcats found themselves in a familiar situation facing two–time tournament champion Gretna. This time, Kearney rallied for an 18–9 deficit to a commanding 39–24 victory.
"Our coach talks a lot about bringing it up and being that guy who changes the pace on the mat to where you're the one on the attack and scoring points," Herrington said.
The Bearcats recorded 48 pins as a team over the weekend, setting a new school record for most pins in a single tournament.
Lee Herrington, Phillip Moomey, and Nick James all finished 8-0 after the finals.