OMAHA – Freshman Aaron Ohnoutka was determined.
The Bishop Neumann freshman entered his first ever Nebraska State Wrestling Championship undaunted.
His confidence nearly resulted in a gold medal.
Ohnoutka methodically dissected his first three opponents while earning a match up with fellow freshman Ely Olberding in the Class C 106 pound final on Saturday afternoon.
Olberding led 4-0 before Ohnoutka scored a nearfall, earning him three points. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and the FC freshman was able to sneak away with the narrow one-point win.
“Aaron was ready to wrestle from the very start. He took one match at a time and proved that he deserved to be in the final. Aaron beat three very good kids to be able to walk in the “Parade of Champions”,” said Bishop Neumann Coach Daryl Braunsroth.
Ohnoutka finished 45-5 in his first year on the varsity mat.
His teammate, Seth Fairbanks, also medaled at the meet. The Cavalier junior ended up in fifth place while wrestling at 138 pounds. Fairbanks earned his third win of the tournament when he scored a 6-4 decision over David City’s Zackery Barlean in the match for fifth place, improving his final record to 43-13.
“Seth turned in some of his best wrestling over the weekend. We are looking forward to Seth coming back and making some noise at the state level,” said Braunsroth.
Cavalier sophomore Sam Vrana earned a pair of wins at the state meet and ended a good year with a mark of 37-16.
“Sam proved he deserved to be at the state meet after earning two wins,” Braunsroth added.
Cavalier senior Jon Matulka won his first match by a first period pinfall and was leading in his other two matches before getting caught and pinned. Matulka finished the season with a record of 37-8.
“Jon was a virtual unknown coming into the season and he ended up having a phenomenal year,” said Braunsroth.
Freshmen Cade Lierman (113) and Adam Ohnoutka also got a chance to wrestle on the state’s biggest stage.
Lierman finished his freshman season with a record ot 27-22 while Ohnoutka won 27 of his 54 matches.
Both wrestlers battled but lost both of their matches.
“Both those guys have their best days ahead of them. They both have bright futures ahead of them,” said Braunsroth.
The Cavaliers placed 15th at the state meet after accumulating 37 team points.
Five of the six qualifiers will return next season after combining for 179 wins in 2020.
“We have some talented guys coming back who are only going to get better,” Braunsroth added.