Last season, the Kearney High wrestling team finished second for both the State Championships and State Duals for the second straight year. The Bearcats lost both state competitions to the Millard South Patriots. Kearney fell by 23 points in the State Championships in Omaha and 16 points in the State Duals in Kearney. Head coach Tyler Swarm enters his 6th year as head coach with a career record of 75-17 at Kearney High.
The Bearcats return the most points scored at the State Championships from a season ago which includes all but two state qualifiers from last season. Those returning state qualifiers include sophomores Brayden Smith, Rylie Steele, and Guage McBride, juniors Phillip Moomey, Nick James, and Tyson Cepel, and seniors Lee Herrington, Teontae Wilson, Judd Kuchera, Tyler Tracey, and Sean Jackson. State placers includes Moomey finishing 1st, Herrington at 1st, James in 2nd, and Jackson at 4th in their respective weight classes.
New Varsity Wrestlers
Kearney has some spots to fill but there are certainly some intriguing options to consider if your Coach Swarm. The weight classes that will be battled for in the preseason will be the 152, 160, 170, 182, and 220 pound weight classes. For the 160, 170, and 180 pound weight classes expect the names of seniors Matt Oliphant and Steven Berumen, junior Jeremiah Hagemann, and sophomores Dominick Travis and Tristan Southwell to compete for those spots. The 220 pound needs to be replaced as well with senior Edwin Manzano and junior Dalynn Sherwood expected to battle it out. Also, don’t be surprised if freshman Guage Fergueson pops up in a few meets this year as he is battling for that 113 pound weight division.
The Bearcats possibly return the best team they’ve ever had under Coach Swarm. With Millard South graduating major talent and losing their coach, this is the year that Bearcats have the best possibility to win it all in both the State Championships and State Duals. However, Lincoln East has surprised many with the three impactful transfers. Those transfers include a 2015 Class B state champion, 2016 Class A state champion, and a 2016 state qualifier which suggests that the Spartans could be the stiffest competition for the Bearcats. In any regard, with Kearney’s somewhat weak district, all 14 varsity wrestlers should qualify for state with several expected to place. The Bearcats should easily be top three in both State Championships and State Duals with winning both not out of the question.