Monday, November 20, 2023

Nebraska Kearney Younes Hospitality Recap & Review (2023-2024)


Another great NCAA Division II tournament that took place this weekend was the UNK  Younes Hospitality Open.  A great tournament that provided some great wrestling.   Let's take a look at all of what unfolded weight by weight. 

And He's Not Even In College Yet 

The four time Nebraska High School State champion will one day be Husker, but for right now he's at the Elite Accelerator Program & he's already showing signs of greatness.  Kael Lauridsen is his name & the dominated last year's 3rd place finisher Quade Smith of Chadron State 11-4 in the semi-finals & then took out UNK's Zach Quarda 11-2 in the finals. 

Quentrevion Campbell Wins 133 lbs As Wyoming's Josh Kyle Takes 3rd The "Hard Way" 

A UNK Younes Hospitality Runner-up last season, Quentrevion Campbell would not be denied a title this season, as he took out DI opponent David Saenz of Wyoming 9-4 in the finals.  On the other side of the bracket, Josh Kyle came back from a first round loss to capture 3rd place. 

I think everyone of us has a story of "he didn't even look like the same wrestler" be it good or bad.  It's simply that is usually doesn't happen on the same day! Kyle looked half asleep dropping a 9-1 major decision to Kole Bascoe in the first round. It sure as Hell woke him up, as Kyle then rattled off six victories to come back to 3rd place.  One of which included a 13-10 decision over CaRon Watson of Briar Cliff.  Bascoe on the other hand, failed to place.  Just goes to show the unpredictability and parity of this sport. 

An All DI Final at 141 lbs 

Two time NCAA DII All American Nick James of UNK did his best to defend the Younes Hospitality Title he won last season, but dropped a 7-3 decision to Wyoming's Stockton O'Brien in the semi-finals.  O'Brien then dropped a 12-11 decision to Blake Cushing of Nebraska in the finals, as James came back to claim 3rd place. 

Wins Over DI Opponents in both Semi-finals, 149 Final is All DII

A backup to Carter Noehre last season, Cody Thompson demonstrated he is more than ready to represent the Mines in varsity action.  An 8-5 decision over DI opponent Brady Collins of Nebraska in the semis, Thompson was then able to secure a takedown & backpoints as he defeated John Burger of UNK 13-6 sudden victory in the finals.  Burger himself took out a DI opponent in the semi-finals, defeated Warren Carr of Wyoming 4-1 overtime.  Collins then defeated Carr 10-8 for 3rd.  

No Thoughts on 157 

Aaden Valdez Dominates 157 lbs, As We See Revenge In Consolation Finals

The Grizzly shredded through the competition, winning the UNK Younes Hospitality Open with a 16-3 major decision in the finals over Sam Bruss of Mary.  Meanwhile in the consolation final, Kaden Hart of Nebraska-Kearney took out Tristan Davis of Colorado School of Mines 8-3,  Davis had defeated Hart earlier in the tournament by a 7-1 score. 

Otgonbayar Batsuuri Represents NJCAA At 174 lbs 

In the only weight class won by a NJCAA representative, Otgonbayar Batsuuri of Northwest Kansas Tech more that gave us a glimpse of what he's capable of throughout the season.  The Maverick stuck DI opponent Elise Brown Ton of Nebraska in 2:25 in the semi-finals. He then scored a 15-5 major decision over NCAA DII All American Cole Hernandez of Western Colorado in the finals.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Coach Guillot has already gotten some phone calls from Coaches who want to get a hold of this kid after his NJCAA career has ended. 

184 Finals A Rematch of Last Year's 5th Place Match 

 Last year Wyatt Lidberg of Mary defeated Jason Bynarowicz of Colorado School of Mines for 5th place. This year he'd once again defeat the Miner by a score of 13-11 for 1st. 

How Are They This Good? This Early? 

Another future Nebraska Cornhusker, who hasn't even reached college yet, who is totally taking names & kicking ass as a member of the EAP.  I just cannot get over how good some of these kids are, while they're still so young. It just goes to show how advanced the training methods are & how good the coaching has gotten at the youth & high school level.   Camden McDanel didn't just win any tournament this past weekend. He won a tournament that featured two NCAA DII All Americans! One of them a two timer!  Holy cow. 

After a 5-3 victory over Tereus Henry of Fort Hays State who finished 3rd in the D2 nation last season, he then took out Caden Steffen of Southwest Minnesota State 7-3 in the finals.  It just astonishes me how prepared these kids are from even before day one. 


Not a whole lot of thoughts concerning HWT either.  Was glad to see Crow Howard of UNK win a home title after finishing 3rd last season though.  Thought this was a very good tournament. It almost always is. 

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