OMAHA — The Fairbury Jeffs got two wrestlers into Friday’s NSAA State Wrestling semifinals.
Justyn Franklin won his two first matches in the Class B 152-pound division while Jacob Johnson won his first two matches in the 170-pound division.
Franklin (37-3) defeated Gretna’s Kobe Everson by pinfall in the first round and then defeated Alliance’s Danny Vallejo by a 5-4 decision in the second round.
Franklin will face Omaha Skutt Catholic’s Billy Higgins (45-3) in the semifinals on Friday.
Jordan Johnson won his first round match by pinfall over Adams’ Central’s Corey Brown. In the quarterfinals, he won an overtime decision over Wahoo’s Sam Kilterman.
Johnson (32-4) will face Nebraska City’s Darin Sornson (40-2) in the semifinals on Friday.
Fairbury coach Derek Garfield said Franklin and Johnson are two completely different stories. Franklin is a senior who has never been to state and Johnson is a sophomore who experienced state as a freshman last year.
“It’s two ends of the spectrum, but they both did what they needed to do,” Garfield said. “They’re seasoned kids who knew what was on the line and they both came through. It’s really nice that they have medals in their pocket, but now they just have to go out and see what happens.”
The semifinals are slated to start at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Damian Green got a win for Fairbury in the 160-pound division. He beat Douglas County West’s Gavin Lawson 2-1 in the first round, but lost a tiebreaker to Omaha Skutt’s Alex VanDyke in the quarterfinals.
Fairbury’s remaining wrestlers suffered losses in the first round. Logan Slater lost an 11-4 decision to Scottsbluff’s Robert Prince in the 132-pound division while Anthony Moyer lost a 6-5 decision to Alliances’ Rey Valdez in the 145-pound division.
Patrick Ondrak suffered a 6-5 loss to Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs’ Sean Anson in the 182-pound division. Paul Mach lost a 1-0 decision to Blair’s Cory Harper in the 285-pound division.
“We had four guys get beat by one point,” Garfield said. It was just one of those days where we couldn’t get the big point. But they have great opportunities to wrestle back through tomorrow. They just have to wrestle one match at a time and not look ahead and hopefully we can squeak some other guys in for a medal.”
The five Fairbury wrestlers who didn’t reach the semifinals can still navigate their way through the consolation bracket and win a medal. The Class B consolation rounds start at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
Norris had one wrestler qualify for state. Louis Gray lost a 5-3 decision to Jake Menard of Bennington in the first round. Gray will also have a chance to wrestle through the consolation bracket.
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