Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Tom Southard
The Observer 

Low On Numbers, Big On Results

Four Of Kimball's Five Wrestlers Made It To State; Cluff Set School Escape Record


March 19, 2020

Sarinda Bateman / For The Observer

Connor Cluff's wrestling arsenal is deep. He put up good numbers in escapes, reversals, takedowns, near falls and falls this past season. Next year, he'll be looked at to provide senior leadership on a Longhorn team that could be quite formidable.

For certain there were highs and lows for the Kimball High wrestlers in the 2019-20 season and let's start with junior Connor Cluff setting a new Kimball High School record in escapes improving the record from 35 to 45!

Another high was Kimball qualifying 4 wrestlers for the State Tournament!

Coach Wade Brashear had 5 wrestlers this season, at least who finished this season, and to have 4 qualifying for the state tournament is exceptional! Those 4 include senior Stephen Bateman, junior Connor Cluff, freshmen Trey Schindler and Matt Johnson. Senior Joseph Burris was one win away from qualifying.

Bateman and Johnson were named to the WTC All Conference team and Burris was Honorable Mention.

With Bateman and Burris graduating, this means that 3 lettermen, and 3 state qualifiers will be returning! It would also appear that there could be some good incoming 9th graders from this year's 8th grade wrestling team will join the Longhorns next season.



Taking a look back at the past season, Bateman at 285 pounds had the most wins with 25 and scored the most team points with 145. He also had 121 match points, led the team in take downs with 32 and registered 15 falls. He also had 17 escapes and 26 reversals.

Among his season highlights was winning the gold at the Garden County Tournament. The top disappointment of the season was Steve breaking his leg in the first period of his first match at the state tournament. It ended his High School career and his chance at a state medal. Mr. Bateman will be missed for certain next season.



Senior Joseph Burris experienced some injury problems that limited his matches but when he was healthy he was fun to watch as he gave great effort. Joseph won 7 matches and scored 35 team points plus 41 match points. He filled the 145 pound weight class for Kimball. It will be hard to replace his enthusiasm and leadership.



Junior Connor Cluff at 126 pounds won 22 matches, scoring 98 team points and a team high 220 match points. As mentioned, he now holds the school record for escapes at 45, led the team in reversals with 29, had 27 takedowns, 10 near falls and 15 falls. His senior year could be very promising and exciting.



Trey Schindler, as a freshman, wrestled at a very tough weight class filling the 138 pound spot for Kimball. Trey won 23 matches, scoring 188 match points and 119.5 team points. He led Kimball with 32 take downs and 17 wins by fall. He also had 17 escapes, 26 reversals, and 10 near falls.



Matt Johnson wrestled at the lightest weight class of 106 pounds but he wrestled at about 30 pounds under that weight all season, meaning he was giving up about 30 pounds every time he took to the mat. Nonetheless, he held his own and like Schindler now has the chance of becoming a 4 time state qualifier. Matt had 9 wins, scoring 78 match points and 43 team points. He had 24 take downs, 5 falls, and 9 reversals among his achievements. This young man will come back bigger and stronger and already has outstanding knowledge and technique. His future is bright.

Congrats to coaches Wade Brashear and Bob Culek and this year's Kimball High Wrestling team.


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