Henn qualifies for State Wrestling Tournament

PLAINVIEW — Elgin Public-Pope John senior Luke Henn will be taking his considerable wrestling skills to the NSAA State Wrestling Championships starting this Thursday in Omaha.
Henn was the lone Wolfpack wrestler who qualified for state from the Class D District 1 Tournament at Plainview Saturday. Wrestling at 138 pounds, Henn placed fourth. The top four wrestlers in each weight class qualify for state.
“Anything can happen at districts,” Coach Trey Rossman said. “We’ve been preaching all year about finishing, trusting your training … That moment when you punch your ticket to state, it’s like no other feeling in the world.
Henn’s best performance at the tournament came in the “heartbreak” round. The winner was assured a trip to state, the loser would see their season end. Henn matched up against Slate Micheel of Twin Loup. Henn recorded the first points of the match with a takedown and was in control the rest of the way to win 11 to 3. As the third period ended, Henn celebrated, leaping into the arms of Coach Trey Rossman as assistant coach Ryan Pelster looked on.
“He’s a lot stronger than he looks, I was surprised I got that first takedown,” Henn said of Micheel,” Henn said.
About the district tournament, Henn said, “I really had to concentrate on my technique and my strength. I knew I wasn’t very conditioned, so I knew I had to get kids in the first or second by out-muscling them or having better technique. All those matches, I was dead tired in the end.”
Henn will take a 10-3 record to the state meet.
Three other Wolfpack
wrestlers competed at Plainview.
Freshman Carter Beckman faced an uphill battle to earn a state berth. Five of the top 10 wrestlers in Class D at 106, were at Plainview. Beckman split his first two matches, then pinned Triston Wells in 48 seconds to advance to a consolation round five match against Nolan Osborn of Twin Loup. The first match of the day Saturday would be the last match of the season for Beckman as he lost four to two, ending his freshman season with an impressive 25-7 record.
Norman Grothe split his first two matches, setting up a match against Lane McBride of Twin Loup. Showing the skill set which will make him a solid contender for state next year, Grothe pinned McBride in 45 seconds. The next round wouldn’t be so kind to the sophomore as Grothe lost 10 to two to Summerland’s Rafe Grebin. Grothe finished the season with a 13-19 record.
Freshman Cale Kinney had a tough draw at 113 pounds. Braxton Volk of Pender and Cole Booth of Neligh-Oakdale both pinned Kinney. Kinney’s season record fell to 4-23 with the losses.
Rossman said he was proud of the way the Wolfpack competed.
“That’s the warrior mentality we talk about every day, Be the man in the arena, take everything head on, don’t run away from the competition. I can say that about all our wrestlers. We had a lot of loaded weight brackets, but we competed our tails off … That’s the mamba mentality (a reference to the late NBA great Kobe Bryant). You’re not out of it until you count yourself out of it.”