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Five Star Performer: Hastings Tiger Boys Wrestling
This week's News 5 Five Star Performers brought to us by Aurora Cooperative have already met, and perhaps exceeded expectations.
8 Members of the Hastings Tiger wrestling team will be on the mat tomorrow morning to compete in the opening round of the state championship matches.
As the Hastings Tiger wrestlers practice for this week's state championship matches in Omaha, one date on the wall stands out.
1988, yes it has been a quarter of a century sicne then coach Howard Sheeley's squad took home the Class A state title.
Current coach Brian Lauz was a member of that squad.
Eight of coach Laux wrestlers have earned the opportunity this week to compete at the Century Link Center this year and that's the most wrestlers the Tigers have sent to state in quite some time.
"At the beginning of the year we talked to our kinds about becoming relevant and we talked about ways that you as an athlete and you as being a member of our program that you can become relevant in the sports and we'll have eight guys that will have that opportunity Thursday," said Brain Laux, Hastings Tiger Wrestling Coach.
Competing in the state championship is an awesome feeling.
However, these tickets know that they can't let the moment overwhelm them.
"The excitement leading up to it is a lot more than the excitement when you're actually on the mat. When you're on the mat its just like every other tournament, there are two people on the mat, one wins and one loses," said Caleb Neugen, Hastings Tiger 145lb Wrestler.
Tiger 106lb Nolan Laux hasn't lost all season. Ranked #1 in his weight class, the sophomore knows Omaha having finished third place last year.
"Nolan, he's a great wrestler. He works hard in practice, just all around a good person and I really don't see anybody beating him this year and he's just a nice kid," said Eric Heston, Hastings Tiger 126lb Wrestler.
There is no doubt that among the competitors the elimination of Olympic wrestling for the 2020 Olympics announced just yesterday will be a hot topic of conversation at the state wrestling tournament.
"O, that's just horrible. I hope we cam get that changed or taken back. That's just an awful t hing to do. I don't know why they would do that," said Huy Truong, Hastings Tiger 138lb Wrestler.
The Tigers hit the mat for the first of two sessions tomorrow morning. By late afternoon we'll know just how many medals they'll still have a chance to win in the state tournament this week.
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