Haas places third to lead T-Birds at Bethany Swede Open

Cloud County freshman Devin Haas finished third in the 184-pound division at the Bethany Swede Open
Cloud County freshman Devin Haas finished third in the 184-pound division at the Bethany Swede Open

LINDSBORG, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College wrestling team returned to competition on Saturday at the Bethany Swede Open.

Freshman 184-pounder Devin Haas highlighted what head coach Chris Freije called a collective positive step forward over the weekend for the T-Birds as Haas third overall after posting a 3-1 tournament record.

"Everyone went deeper in the tournament than they did the previous weekend. Again, it goes in to being process driven, and each individual focusing on consistently being better today than they were yesterday," Freije said. "Seeing that positive progression each of the last two weekends, in the room, and at the intra-squad shows we are on that course.

Haas suffered his lone loss in the championship bracket semi-final, but responded with a pin of Kole Rollins (unattached) in 2:33 in the consolation semi-finals.

Fellow freshmen Jorge Vega (125) and Benny Hernandez (285) each had strong performances as well, with each finishing just outside the podium.

Vega finished with a 3-2 tournament record and advanced to the consolation semi-final before losing a 5-0 decision to Cannon Randle (unattached).

As for Hernandez, the heavyweight rebounded from an opening round loss to win four straight matches, including wins over KJCCC foes Brandon Huntley from Pratt (Dec 3-1) and Brix Brickley from Barton (Fall 3:18). Hernandez advanced to the fifth round of the consolation bracket before losing a 7-2 decision to Bryson McGowan from Oklahoma City University.

Cloud County will look to build off Saturday's experience when they travel to the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open this upcoming Saturday. Action gets underway at 9 a.m.

"Consistency, and getting comfortable with the grind of college wrestling are two of the most difficult things for young wrestlers. Little by little our guys are starting to understand, and become more comfortable with those," Freije said. "A common theme with us is 'brick by brick.' As a staff, we feel comfortable in saying that where we are as a team, and the skill set each wrestler has right now in November will not be the same in December, January, and February. That comes from accomplishing the set tasks each day, and pushing past those limits the next day, and the next day. And doing that consistently over time."