The Fort Calhoun wrestling team finished Saturday's Fremont Bergan Duals with three wins and just one loss.
A single team in attendance, Millard North, did better.
After the Pioneers' second dual win, a 51-24 rout of the host Knights, coach Drew Welchert broke the huddle and shared his thoughts on a 2-0 start.
“Some things are coming together for some guys today,” he said. “We have a better chance to get some of those wins and we are picking them up.”
Before taking out Bergan, FCHS had also bested Elkhorn 48-30. The success — in addition to a 1-1 showing Thursday — was leaving a positive, 2021 impression.
“It's nice,” Welchert said. “It's a good feeling.”
The Pioneers lost their next dual to the tournament champion Mustangs, 57-15, but bounced back with a 54-24 victory over Columbus Scotus. With that, Calhoun improved to 4-2 since returning to the mats after the holiday break.
Focus, Welchert said, has been key to the Pioneers' progress and success during a difficult season amid COVID-19 and the recent passing of schoolmate Isaac Blizzard.
“When you walk into the practice room, when you walk into a competition, you're here,” the coach said of his team's approach. “Your mind is here. You're physically here. You focus everything you have on this goal today, and that's what they've been doing.”
But it didn't always translate to victories early on.
“They've been great in the practice room, and we've been a little timid in competition,” Welchert said. “Finally, from Thursday and now today, everyone is focused on competing. Everybody is competing at their best.”
Trey McCoy (106 pounds), Ely Olberding (113), John McKennan (132) and Jesse Hartline (220) all went unbeaten during Saturday's event in Fremont. McCoy was 2-0 with a 31-second pin, Olberding was 3-0 with three first-period pins, McKennan was 3-0 with two more pins and Hartline was 4-0.
Hartline's efforts in particular highlighted the Pioneers' dual win against Bergan. The 220-pounder confidently wrestled around his opponent before sticking him in just 58 seconds.
“(Jesse) has always been a competitor and he's always had some fire. He's always been ready to go,” Welchert said. “And we're finally getting to a point where we're fine-tuning some of that.”
That development showed against Millard North when Hartline flipped from his quick, aggressive approach to a measured 2-0 grind against the Mustangs' Chris Shiney.
“We're able to bring it, but we're also able to pump the breaks a little bit and make some good decisions,” Welchert said. “That's where he's at now.”
FCHS' Lance Olberding (three), Aaron Duros (two), Ethan Shaner (one) and Grant Nixon (one) added their own match victories before the Pioneers broke their last huddle of the 3-1 day in Fremont. They next compete 4 p.m. Thursday at Yutan.
FCHS goes 1-1 at Platteview
The Fort Calhoun wrestling team won eight contested matches, including six by pin, Thursday at a Platteview triangular.
The Pioneers fell to the host Trojans 59-22, but defeated Louisville 59-18.
In the victory, the Olberding brothers, McKennan and Hartline earned pins, while Shaner claimed a technical fall.
In defeat, Hartline and McCoy pinned Platteview wrestlers, and Lance Olberding picked up a major decision.