Bulldog wrestlers honored at special pep rally

Honoring the squad after the state tournament
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:49 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A new week at North Platte High School kicked off with a celebration Monday afternoon, as the Bulldog Wrestling Squad was recognized for their efforts after a tremendous 2020-21 season. The band was out, the cheer squad was performing and the Pacers danced to open the festivities before Head Coach Dale Hall addressed the students as he spoke very highly of his boys, including State Champions Vincent Genatone and Gavyn Brauer.

Brauer and fellow Senior Jaylan Ruffin also spoke to their classmates before the event came to an end.

Coach Hall said that this squad was special among those during his nearly three decade tenure, and that this team, which finished ranked second in the entire state, is easily on the Mount Rushmore of the Bulldogs’ illustrious history. He said he appreciates the warm reception the district gave his team for their efforts.

“I’ve been waiting for that moment for about 29 years now. So to finally have a moment like that in front of all the student body, the teaching staff, the McKinley administrators, you know everybody, it was pretty impressive.”

Senior Jaylan Ruffin, one of just four four-time state medalists in North Platte history, said that the rally was a memorable experience and appreciates the school for recognizing the effort of him and his teammates.

“We never really got anything like that when I was here my first three years we didn’t really get talked to like that when we placed or nothing but we actually did something big this year and it just feels good.” said Ruffin.

Darian Diaz, one of the other three four-time medalists, was limited due to injury, but being able to share the pep rally and be supported by his classmates and friends is something he will cherish for a long time.

“To be able to share that moment it means everything, we’ve had plenty of memories but that one we will remember forever.”

Brock Little had an emotional moment at state when he jumped into his father’s arms, and that same family-like feeling is one he shares with his teammates.

“I mean I have a bond with these guys like I’ve never been able to think about. I’ve never had a bond with anybody else like I have a bond with these guys, they’re my family and I’d do anything for them.”

The squad definitely achieved heights that warrant recognition, and they got just that as another successful chapter in the Bulldogs’ history book comes to an end.

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