Pelster Takes Second At ‘145’ At State

OMAHA — Wolfpack senior Ryan Pelster gave wrestling fans a tournament to remember, competing at the Class D State Wrestling Championships which wrapped up Saturday afternoon.
“It was something I’ve always dreamed of,” Pelster said of wrestling for a state championship. “It definitely was the most exciting point in my life so far.”
Pelster capped a career where he reached close to 100 victories, by wrestling in the 145-pound championship match at the CenturyLink. Fans there, and those surrounding TVs across the state, watched Pelster “go the distance” before coming out on the short end of a 7 to 4 score against champion Devon Walker of Elm Creek.
The final was a rematch from earlier this year, at the Burwell Invite, where Walker defeated Pelster 10 to 9. Coaches and wrestlers on both sides of the mat knew this would be a tough match and it was.
Walker scored two points on a takedown to take the early lead, Pelster then registered an escape. Pelster registered an escape and a takedown in the third period, but it was too little, too late as Walker prevailed.
The finals match capped a busy tourney for Pelster who came into Omaha riding high after winning the D2 District title.
“I’m still trying to soak it in,” Pelster said Monday morning. “Looking back, I’m proud of myself and what I accomplished.” He said he experienced an adrenaline rush like never before when he participated in the “Parade of Champions” just before his championship match. Being nervous is nothing new for the wrestler who has been competing for 13 years. “You learn to get used to it,” he said about that feeling right before a match begins.
Pelster was ready for battle when the state tournament began with a confidence gained from winning the district title the previous week. In his first match Thursday, Pelster faced Marshal Holtzclaw of Thayer Central. With a 26-18 record, Holtzclaw fell behind early and proved to be no match for the Wolfpack senior. Pelster took the lead in the first period and never trailed as he claimed an 8 to 1 decision.
In the quarterfinals Thursday night, Pelster faced Matthew Sweet of Franklin. Sweet had pinned his first round opponent, but there would be no pin against Pelster. Pelster only allowed Sweet one point on an escape, winning 4 to 1.
By virtue of his two victories Thursday night, Pelster took a 33-9 record into the semi-finals Friday against Dawson Trampe of Amherst. Trampe entered the match with a 22-5 record. Early in the second period, Pelster got a reversal on Trampe to take a 2 to 0 lead. In the third period, Trampe was awarded one point as Pelster was called for stalling. Still, Pelster prevailed in the match, leaping into Coach Mike Zegers arms knowing that he was going to wrestle for a state championship the next day.
“There was no room for error,” Pelster said about his semi-final match. He said the match, the closest one he has competed in, was the most physically draining as everything was “riding on the line.”
“I get more tired in six minutes than after my mile or two-mile runs in track,” said the senior. “It really toughens you up for life.”
Head Coach Doug Jones said defeating Trampe was no easy task. “He (Trampe) was a tremendous ‘rider’ and was very strong. He was tough to get away from,” Jones said. That’s why the reversal was so important in the match. He said he was concerned about being called again for stalling. “There’s the challenge of staying aggressive, going for the fall, but you don’t want to get careless,” Jones said.
Pelster capped his senior season with a 34-10 record, a district championship and a silver medal for finishing second at state.