Schultz takes runner-up at state wrestling


OMAHA — Wayne High senior Garrett Schultz had a tremendous weekend, even though he came up one match short of a title.

The 120-pounder simply didn’t have an answer for the attack of Waverly’s Hunter Jacobsen, who dominated Schultz in a 9-1 major decision in Saturday’s finals of the Nebraska State Wrestling Championships at the CHI Center in Omaha.

Schultz came into the finals after a heart-stopping 3-1 overtime win over Scottsbluff’s Christopher Gamino to become Wayne’s first state finalist since Mike Leatherdale won the 285-pound title in 2020, but couldn’t ride that wave of momentum against Jacobsen, who made his third state finals appearance and won his first title Saturday afternoon.

“That kid is tough,” Wayne coach Levi Pofahl said after the match. “We knew he was good on his feet and I thought we’d match up well on our feet with him, but he’s just a better wrestler and that’s how things go sometimes.”

Jacobsen got the first takedown midway through the first period and tilted Schultz for a two-point nearfall to take a 4-0 lead. He escaped Schultz’s control for a 5-0 lead going to the third period, then got an early escape to take command in the third.

Schultz escaped from Jacobsen’s control quickly, but a final takedown made for the final score to give him the state title.

For Schultz (40-6), it was a bittersweet finish to a four-year career that saw him qualify for state four times and earn three medals, including sixth-place finishes in 2021 and 2023.

“One thing you never had to worry about with Garrett is his effort level,” Pofahl said. “He’s going to bring it every day in the (practice) room and on the mat, and it’s been that way for four years.”

Pofahl said Schultz wanted to prove doubters wrong about where he was among the wrestlers in his class.

“We went into this week with the idea that they’ve doubted him,” he said. “In all those rankings, he’s never been up there and he had a chip on his shoulder and went in there every time with the idea that he belonged there.”