The Nebraska-Maine Exchange is coming to Arlington.
On June 28 at 6:30 p.m., Cornhusker State wrestlers will take on a team of those from The Pine Tree State on Eagle mats.
Every summer, wrestlers from both states come together for competition. Whether the matches themselves take place in Maine or Nebraska, the grapplers test themselves against one another for bragging rights.
I mean, wouldn't you be?
The first exchange dual was 34 years ago with the location flipping from the Northeast to the Midwest and back each year since. It was started by former Lincoln Southeast coach Mike Pierce and wrestling official Wally LeFountain.
The event is seen as a cultural experience for the wrestlers, who get to see how each other lives during the trip. The Maine wrestlers arrive in our neck of the woods next Wednesday and are expected to visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and do a little blue-rock shooting in between the wrestling.
The wrestlers from 1,500 miles away will get down to business on June 28 at Arlington High School, though. They'll be facing a Nebraska squad with wrestlers from Arlington (of course!), Fremont, North Bend, Logan View, Winnebago, Gering and Raymond Central on it. All of those wrestlers will be either state tournament medalists or qualifiers.
Since I've been the sports editor here at the Enterprise, two Washington County wrestlers have taken part in the Nebraska-Maine Exchange. Before becoming a two-time state champion, Blair's Jackson Nielsen wrestled in North Bend against Maine competition in 2017.
Then, last year, Arlington's Hunter Gilmore made the trip up to Maine, going 3-1 in his matches. He also went white-water rafting, which sounds like a good time.
So, why not make your way to AHS and check out the unique matches. It's not every day that you can see how the wrestling styles are different and how our state's grapplers stack up.
Admission is free, but you can provide a freewill donation with proceeds going to the Arlington High School wrestling program.