Climbing onto the stand!
Nashua-Plainfield’s Jakob Whitinger stood in the tunnel at Wells Fargo Arena, and even though he had just saw his season end with a loss, the smile never left his face.
“I came down here to get on the stand,” the sophomore 113-pounder said Saturday afternoon, “and tonight, I get to get up on that thing. I wanted higher — everyone does — but man, this has been such a cool few days.”
Whitinger had company Saturday night, too, as senior teammate Brock Dietz finished sixth at 103, and even the one Husky who didn’t get a win at the Class 1A state tournament was far from downcast.
“My goal was to get to state,” said senior 195-pound Nathan Dettmer, “and to walk out there and get to wrestle in a place like this … well, I’m going to remember that for a really long time.”
For the Huskies’ coach, Al Frost, the 2018 tournament was, in a word, special; after all, a year ago, Nashua-Plainfield didn’t send a single wrestler to state, and it had been three years since the Huskies had someone place in Des Moines.
“It beats the heck out of staying home,” he said, “and hats off to these three kids. And throw [Tristan] Brase into that group, too. I know he didn’t get to wrestle here, but those four guys, they gave us some pretty doggone good effort all year.”
LET’S START WITH Dietz, who came into the season with a singular goal — make it to Des Moines.
He had been close to state before, but just like in cross country, he had to wait until his senior year to make his initial appearance on the big stage, and just like his fall sport, he made it memorable.
--For the full story, please see the Feb. 22 Reporter.