The 2012 Nebraska State Wresting Champions will be upon us beginning Thursday in Omaha at CenturyLink Center running through Saturday. The Minden Whippets, Axtell Wildcats and Wilcox-Hildreth Falcons all will be represented.
The Whippets have two wrestlers taking to the mat in Class B to get this year’s tournament underway on Thursday morning when Classes B and C begin their state dreams.
Minden will be represented by senior Jack Raffety and freshman Austin Olson. Raffety is a three-time state qualifier placing fourth at 152 pounds in 2011 and sixth at 152 pounds in 2010. Olson is making his state debut at 106 pounds.
Raffety was the district champion from the Class B-3 district meet held in York on Friday and Saturday.
Raffety enters state with a perfect 35-0 record and has drawn junior Lucas Lias of Plattsmouth (28-9) in the first round. The Raffety/Lias winner will advance to the quarterfinals also on Thursday to take on the winner of Avery Pettit of Gering (24-11) or Conor Hovey of Bennington (33-5).
Olson will take to the mat in the 106 pound class Thursday with a record of 17-22 and will face junior Clayton Cobb of Norris (38-3). The Olson/Cobb winner advances to the quarters against the victor between Mitchell Spiegel of Gothenburg (32-8) or Mason Wright of Elkhorn South (36-13).
The Falcons and Wildcats begin their state tournament on Thursday afternoon when Class A and D are showcased. Wilcox-Hildreth has two state qualifiers in two-time qualifier Nick Johnson at 120 pounds and making his state debut is Vade Jensen at 182 pounds. Axtell has only one state participant in D at 160 pounds coming from junior Lance Taylor, who is also making his state debut.
For more, read The Minden Courier