2014-15 Season Opening Remarks
Hello wrestlers, wrestling fans and coaches. Welcome to the start of the 2014-15 scholastic and college wrestling season! This is the 15th year of Huskermat's coverage of wrestling throughout our state. Hard to believe it's been that long since this small little generic site got started based on an idea that there should be more timely wrestling rankings produced. In a way, Huskermat is now synonymous with wrestling in our state. This generation of wrestlers has grown up with the site since they began competing in the sport! The promotion of our great sport and it's athletes that put in countless hours of work throughout the season and the year are the main reasons why this site has continued it's existence since 1999.
In a way, this upcoming season is all about new beginnings and a new era in our state. Gone is one of the greatest collective groups of graduating classes that Nebraska has ever seen. An unthinkable five 4x state champions were crowned a year ago and our state sent three wrestlers to major D1 programs and countless others to major small college schools. There will be another class like that down the road but we're about 6 years ago from seeing anything close to that according to my estimation. Also gone are a number of longtime coaches who have been in the game since the founding of Huskermat: Kenny Loosvelt of Madison; Brett Shuler of Plattsmouth; Jim Kasik of Schuyler; Mike Schadwinkel of Grand Island; Rick Benson of Columbus; and Chad Fuller of Syracuse among the departures. While we'll miss them on the mat and wish them great luck in their endeavors, some enthusiastic young replacement coaches will provide some new excitement this year!
Some of the top storylines of the upcoming season:
Will Wyoming recruit Doyle Trout become the 25th 4x state champion in Nebraska history?
Who will emerge from a crowded field in Class A? Millard South, Omaha North, Kearney and Grand Island look like they'll fight it out for a state team championship.
Powerhouse Omaha Skutt looks like a strong favorite in Class B while O'Neill and David City should go down the wire once again in Class C. Amherst shows no signs of slowing down their dominance in Class D and may actually field their best team in school history if they can get the weights sorted out.
Four freshmen won state titles a year ago: Korbin Meink of Omaha Skutt; Jeff Heinz of Omaha Skutt; Colton Wolfe of Columbus and Christian Miller of Plainview. Can they remain on track to become 4x state champions?
We also need to do everything we can to get as many fans as possible to the state duals in late February. I'm told the event is in severe danger and will be given just two years to boost attendance or be done. There is zero reason why anyone should oppose this event. The more wrestling and competition, the better! Anyone who has attended the inaugural two years has seen some incredible dual action and great individual matches. This is an event worth keeping so please do what you can to support and promote the State Dual Championships!
Can the Huskers field one of their best teams in recent memory? While it appears Jake Sueflohn is out for the season with injury, the Huskers should be strong behind the outstanding senior duo of James Green and Robert Kokesh. It should be fun to see Jordan Burroughs' impact on the Husker wrestling room as well!
We also boast some of the best small college programs in the country with the likes of UNK, Chadron State, Hastings, Midland, York and Concordia.
One thing that remains constant is the Huskermat model for coverage. With our Premium Insiders paid service we'll provide you unmatched analysis from the preseason right to the state tournament and state duals. Among the features that paid members will receive:
Elite 30 Wrestler lists for each class
Preseason Class Team Ratings and Analysis
Preseason State Champion Selections
Weekly Reviews and Notes
Individual and Team Ratings
All Class Power Ratings
State Tournament Forecast
State Duals Coverage
Past Season Archives
One other constant is the price of the coverage has not been increased one penny since 2003. For $24.95 you'll get all the above and you will not find that analysis anywhere else. Period. No newspaper or media outlet has the experience or knowledge to provide you this type of unique analysis of HS and college wrestling in this state. With access to unique information gathered from contact in the wrestling community, we are at the forefront of almost all "Insider" knowledge and will bring that information to you as a paid subscriber. Well over 90% of our paid members renew on a yearly basis and most attrition is because their son has graduated and they no longer follow the sport in-depth. This site doesn't pay for itself. Your "donation" ensures that we continue to have a great source for promotion of our great sport. I assure you, you'll find that the paid membership is worth every penny.
There are several ways to follow us throughout the season:
You can register a nickname and post on the forums at Huskermat.hoop.la
You can follow us on Twitter (@huskermat). Twitter has become the dominant source for communication and as of this article, there are close to 3600 active followers and growing by the day. We tweet live results and happenings and you can use the hashtag #nebwrestle to consolidate posts about wrestling in our state. If you don't know much about Twitter, ask someone young in your family about how it works. It's very easy to use and is an awesome way to reach out to the wrestling community.
You can sign up for paid membership on the front page of www.huskermat.com by clicking on the Insiders logo on the right. We use the secure Paypal system as we've always done. Remember, if you are renewing your membership and using the same email address as before your login information will remain the same. 12 months will be added to your subscription expiration date and you don't have to wait until your current membership expires to renew. If you're signing up using a new email address, you'll receive a confirmation with login information in your email. PLEASE check your spam filter for login information especially if you're using a gmail or yahoo address. We are not always able to respond immediately so if you can check your spam filter, it will probably resolve your issue of trying to find your login information. As premium stories are posted you'll find them on the Huskermat.com front page and also on the left side of the Huskermat.hoop.la website. I will also tweet a link every time a new Insider story if posted so make sure you follow on Twitter.
Finally, I'd like to mention our great season sponsors who help offset the costs of running Huskermat.com. Nebraska USA Wrestling, AAU Wrestling, Huskerland Wrestling, Ken Chertow and the NSWCA. You'll find their banner ads with links to their websites at Huskermat.hoop.la. Please pass them a note to let them know you appreciate their support of Huskermat and their promotion of wrestling in our state.
We will start posting preseason information around October 26th so make sure you check Twitter or follow the website for updates.
Looking forward to another wild and crazy season! Let the fun begin!
Yours in wrestling,