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Wrestling Recap: North Platte places 2nd at State Tournament

The Bulldogs are Class A State-Runner Ups and have two State Champions
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 12:11 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The North Platte Bulldog Wrestling Team shined bright on the biggest stage last night. The Bulldogs put together a team effort at the State Tournament to earn the honor of second best Class A Team in the state of Nebraska. Gavyn Brauer defended his State Title in the 182 weight class with a pin in the Championship Match.

“This is what I’ve been working my butt off all year for...I’m just happy to have been able to get it done for Coach Hall, I can’t tell you how much he’s helped me [and] how much he means to me,” said Brauer of his Head Coach.

North Platte’s other State Champ earned the prize in his first year as a Bulldog. After competing in the Wyoming State Finals last year, Vincent Genatone claimed the 195 State Crown, in what was a dominant season for the Junior.

“I’m feeling amazing. I couldn’t do it without God, my family, Gavyn, the coaches, and the rest of our team, it’s just unreal,” said Genatone of his Championship.

Every Bulldog Wrestler we spoke with was quick to mention the impact their Head Coach has had on their development and the team’s success. Look no further than the post-match embraces between Coach Hall and his Wrestlers to understand the special bond the team’s leader has with his athletes.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys, they battled this entire year through the highs and the lows. We came together at Districts and won that, and now we’re bringing home second place. It’s just a great feeling,” said a smiling Coach Hall shortly after the team received their trophy.

Former State Champ Darian Diaz left it all on the mat in his final State Tournament. After injuring his leg in a Semi-Final victory, Diaz took the mat one last time. Battling through the injury, Diaz put together an effort to remember, falling by decision 4-3. Despite the loss, Diaz was in good spirits after the match and thrilled about the team’s success.

“It means a lot to North Platte. I feel like we have some of the most amazing supporters, we’re proud of our family and we know our families are proud of us. We’re just proud to be Bulldogs,” said Diaz.

Outside of the Final matches, plenty of Bulldog Wrestlers did their part to contribute to the team’s big day. Jaylan Ruffin and Brock Little both earned 3rd place finishes. Ryan Fox placed 5th in the 145 division after an emotional consolation semi-final victory. All of these results, a further illustration of the team-first mindset the Bulldog culture instills.

“Honestly, my freshman year I lost in semi’s and dropped all the way to 6th so this year when I went out in semi’s, I knew I had to battle back. I knew I was going to face that Grand Island kid and we were really close with them in the team rankings, so I knew I had to get a fall for my team,” explained Ruffin of his continued effort through the consolation matches.

No surprise to Senior Jacob Kohler:

The Bulldogs historic season is one that will long be remembered here in North Platte.

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