North Platte wrestling prepares for season to begin on Saturday

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The North Platte wrestling team sent five wrestlers to State in 2019. Jaylan Ruffin, Brock Little, Darian Diaz, Cash Arensdorf, and Gavyn Brauer represented the Bulldogs in Omaha, and are all returning as juniors this year.

Dale Hall returns as head coach for the Bulldogs, who sent five wrestlers to State last year (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

All five wrestlers finished in sixth place or better, with Arensdorf and Little finishing sixth, Brauer and Ruffin in fourth, and Diaz taking home gold in the 126 weight class.

"Expectations have gotten a bit higher. We had a great group of sophomores, how they're juniors, they're a little more mature, they know what to expect," said head coach Dale Hall.

Aside from the five juniors, the Bulldogs have a large and diverse team, and Hall is optimistic coming into the year.

"I'm excited with the group we have and these kids are excited and expecting to do well," Hall said.

However, Hall isn't sure how the wrestlers will look against outside competition until he sees it first hand, and he will be given that opportunity Saturday, as the Bulldogs open their season at the Cozad invitational.

"Until you actually get out on the mat, and get into competition it's going to be tough. The kids have been working hard throughout the first couple of weeks, I don't know if I've thrown too much at them, or not enough, we'll find out on Saturday," Hall said.

To Hall, a successful season is not going to be measured by how many wrestlers go to State, or how many wrestlers medal at State, but rather by every wrestler on the team performing to the best of their ability.

"I want to see the guys go out and wrestle to their ability, and when the state tournament is done, if they've done that, that's success," Hall said.