Nichols, wrestling team succeed at league

Junior Derek Boeken stands off against a wrestler from Smoky Valley High School during the league meet.
Junior Derek Boeken stands off against a wrestler from Smoky Valley High School during the league meet.

Three Sterling High School wrestlers traveled to Hesston on Feb. 13 to compete in the CKL League Meet for Nickerson High School.

Senior Zane Nichols, junior Derek Boeken and freshman Dylan Stewart, wearing their Nickerson singlets, wrestled in four matches.

“It’s weird wrestling for Nickerson instead of Sterling,” Boeken said. “It just feels different saying you’re a Panther instead of a Black Bear.”

Nichols went undefeated on the day, pinning three out of his four opponents, earning him first place in the 152-pound weight class.

“It was pretty amazing. I was ecstatic walking off the mat,” he said. “Knowing I had taken first place in my league was the best feeling ever.”

Boeken, in his eighth year of wrestling, brought home fifth place at the tournament.

“It was better than last year. I only won one match last year,” he said. “It’s nice to know that I’ve improved after just a year of wrestling.”

At the beginning of the season, Nichols set goals for himself, including bringing home a league championship.

“My goals at the beginning of the season were to win every match I could in order to put myself in the best position possible going into regionals,” he said. “My biggest goal is to make it to state.”

Nichols, Boeken and Stewart traveled to Cimmaron on Feb. 19 and 20, vying for a state spot.

Nichols qualified for the state meet in Hays on Feb. 26 and 27 by placing fourth at the Cimmaron regional.