KEARNEY, Nebraska — The Cloud County Community College wrestling team was back on the mats Saturday at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open in what was their last competition before Thanksgiving break.
A pair of freshmen middle weights highlighted the weekend for the T-Birds, who faced high caliber talent from the NJCAA, NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I ranks.
"I was really excited from what we saw from our 141-pounders, Bryce Gfeller and Tyren Castonguay. They wrestled very well (Saturday)," said Cloud County interim head coach, Cody Cole. "They're buying into the process and moving in the right direction."
Gfeller finished the tournament with a 3-2 mark, putting him just outside of the podium. One of his wins included a 2-0 decision over Mario Kastl out of the Air Force Academy.
Castonguay was 2-2 in the tournament, earning wins over Justin Skerce from Pratt (Fall 1:20) and Charles McCombs out of Iowa Western (Dec 8-3). His two losses came against NCAA DII opponents.
Overall, Cole said Saturday was another positive step forward for the team as they still adjust to the changes of wrestling at the collegiate level.
"I think our talent and stamina is good. It's our technique that is catching up," Cole said. "We're giving up some weird positions that our guys weren't use to at the high school level, and it's the higher caliber of talent that puts them in those positions. We're a little out of position at times and we'll need to fix that going into the break."
Up next for the T-Birds will be their first true dual action this season as they will compete in Kansas Wesleyan Tri-Meet on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
"We'll carry our 10 guys and see how we match up against two tough NAIA teams," Cole said. "This is a good segway to the dual part of our season. We've seen (Kansas Wesleyan) at a lot of the opens, so we've seen their guys and it should be a fun dual. It'll give us a chance before we wrestle a conference opponent to kind of get into the dual feel."