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DeLong, Jacobson Golden At SNC

Panthers Carl Jacobson and Luke DeLong are conference champions.

Jacobson and DeLong both went 3-0 on Friday night to claim Southern Nebraska Conference (SNC) Wrestling Tournament titles at 140 and 145 pounds, respectively. It was a good night for the Panthers on the mats at the talent-laden 11-team tournament, as three other FC grapplers earned medals in Wilber.

Richard Knoche split his matches on February 4 to take third at 103 pounds. Trevor Dohrman and Cole Curtis both went 2-2 in their weight brackets to take fourth at 152 and 215 pounds, respectively.

"Taking home five medals was a great day for the Panthers," FC head coach Ryan Komenda said. "Carl and Luke brought home gold medals for our team. Luke, Carl and Cole (Curtis) will be Wrestlers of the Week for us and Trevor (Dohrman) will be Practice Wrestler of the Week."

Winning matches but failing to earn a medal at the SNC Tournament for FC were Jake Martin, 1-2 at 135; Shawn Yates, 1-2 at 171; and Zach Ekeler, 1-2 at 285.

Jacobson, a senior, improved to 39-4 on the season and DeLong, a junior, is now 44-1 entering C-3 District Tournament action in St. Paul. Wrestling begins at 3 p.m. this Friday at districts with winners advancing to start again at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

DeLong is the clear favorite at 145 pounds, while Wood River's Jensen McTavish looms large in the 140-pound bracket. The lighter weight classes at St. Paul appear to be not nearly as stacked as the higher weight divisions.

The 152 and 160-pound weight divisions at districts feature only one state-rated wrestler in each—Aaron Rerucha of David City at 152 and Austin Wilson of Hastings St. Cecilia at 160, while the 215 and 285-pound classes have five state-rated grapplers in them—Jack Gangwish of Wood River, Jake Schwartz of David City and Matt Costello of St. Paul at 215 and Chad Hartman of Gibbon and Josh Bramsteadt of Centennial at 285.

Jacobson and DeLong both won their respective weight classes the week before at the 13-team Hastings St. Cecilia Wrestling Invite. The pair was joined by Zach Ekeler as gold-medal winners for FC. Ekeler went 4-0 at the meet. The Panther 285-pounder is 26-14 on the season heading into district action.

"If we keep wrestling hard, we have a great shot at taking some wrestlers to the State Tourney in Omaha," Komenda said.

Also earning medals for the Panthers on January 29 in Hastings were Jesse Salmon, 4-1 and second at 145 pounds; and Cole Curtis, 2-3 and sixth at 215 pounds.

Trevor Dohrman and Shawn Yates both went 3-2 in their respective weight divisions but failed to earn a medal. Jake Martin and Matt Wright were 1-4 in Hastings. Jake Davenport went 1-3 at the meet at 285 pounds.

"Overall, we wrestled well and came away with three champions," Komenda said. "Jesse (Salmon) put in a solid performance by placing second behind Luke in the 145-pound weight class."