Huskies win Central Conference gold

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Alongside the celebration the Aurora wrestling team had Saturday afternoon in Lexington after winning the Central Conference tournament was another notch on the confidence belt.
It wasn’t just that the Huskies won its first Central Conference tournament since 2006. They proved to themselves and everyone else that as the matches get tougher, the Huskies keep coming.
Surely, that’s bound to pay off in a few weeks’ time.
Aurora proved itself to be a contender on Saturday with its performance, with six wrestlers qualifying for finals and winning four of those.
It was quite the 90-minute span for Aurora during the Central Conference finals.
The championship round began at 106, sending out Aurora’s Caden Svoboda trying to solidify his spot as one of Class B’s best 106-pounders.
It was a tough match against one of the top freshmen at the weight but in the end, Svoboda controlled the match and picked up a pinfall in the third period.
Not only that, but it gave Svoboda something he hasn’t seen for some time, Aurora coach Derek Keasling pointed out. Someone made Svoboda work for it.
“Caden wrestled great and had a tough freshman in the finals. He controlled the match so well and finished it with the pin,” Keasling said. “That’s probably the best someone has wrestled him in quite a while. It’s nice to have him challenged and pushed a little bit.”
Next man up in the finals for Aurora was Trevor Kluck, a junior who still sports an undefeated record of 38-0.
His finals opponent was GINW’s Collin Quandt, and the two certainly aren’t strangers.
The two met in the opening match of the season as Kluck came from behind to win a convincing decision.
It wasn’t even that close Saturday as Kluck never once found himself in any negative predicament against Quandt or any of his other opponents.
“Trevor is just down to business as always,” Keasling said. “He’s in the toughest bracket in the tournament and goes to work. He’s never in any real jeopardy.”
Kluck’s season record moves to 38-0 and the possibility of an undefeated state champion is creeping closer.
Kluck will certainly be the last one to think about undefeated records or the like. The kid is so laser-focused on the next opponent and that’s what makes him so great. He’s going to be fun to watch over the next three weeks.
Then things got interesting.
Aurora had Kolby Wessels at 160, Mack Owens at 170 and Brekyn Papineau at 182 all in finals matches had a chance of all competing at the same time.
That becomes challenging for the sports guy, let me tell you.
Wessels started his match first and like Svoboda and Wessels, looked to be in complete control throughout his match.
The Aurora senior has looked strong over the last couple of weeks and that’s no accident, according to Keasling. He’s compiled a near 20-match win streak since mid-January, where he struggled at the Central City meet.
“We challenged him after that and since then he’s just responded,” Keasling said of Wessels. “He has two tournament wins in a row and just has that senior grit.”
However, because he couldn’t earn an early pinfall, Owens’ match began while Wessels was still on the mat.
Oh, boy.
As Wessels finished his match in style, making it 3-for-3 in the finals for Aurora, Owens was battling tough with York’s Kobe Lyons.
Owens was unable to score a point in that match, but Keasling isn’t worried.
The way Owens works, the kid is a sponge. He learns so much, especially after losing to one of the top wrestlers at his weight. He’s going to be real tough down the stretch.
Papineau’s match began right around the time Owens’ ended and he eventually lost his first match of the season.
The way it stands, Papineau missed the first half of the season and is still catching up to the crowd. He will be a weapon for Aurora the next few weeks.
Aaron Jividen wowed the crowd during the heavyweight final and gave people something to talk about as they headed home.
Jividen was trailing in the match and just looking for anything to go his way when it happened.
It almost seemed like it was the moment he was waiting for as Jividen made a quick, sweeping move to send York’s Beau Woods to his back and picked up the pinfall seconds later.
It happened so quick that it almost seemed to catch him off guard, let alone his teammates and coaches who celebrated behind him.  
“Aaron worked his tail off in that match,” Keasling said. “It was kind of slipping away from him and just not going his way. He kept wrestling, hit a nice roll and got the pin. That was fun to see.”
What does it all mean?
If you’re the rest of the field, I sure wouldn’t want to see an Aurora kid in my bracket over the next three weeks.
RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at


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