For wrestlers in Nebraska the month of January is the home stretch before the post-season. However, Central City, class C's top team, spent part of the final moth off the mats due to an illness.
"Mine - it spread from behind me ear down my neck and my hairline," Central City wrestler Jake Brown said.
He is referring to a skin infection known as gladiatorum - or as the wrestling world calls it - mat herpes.
"Your lymph nodes get a little swollen right here," Brown said, pointing to his neck. "That sort of hurt - moving my neck a little bit, but not too bad. It was bearable."
Several contracted the infection which can be spread through skin-on-skin contact. Tough as it is this time of year, the Bison left the mat for a while.
"Agonizing decision - we're not the only team in the state that's going through this, but I feel like we were the team that took the biggest initiative," coach Darin Garfield said.
As a team Central City ran and lifted weights instead of wrestling for a week.
"We conditioned hard every day," wrestler Jake Anderson said. "A lot of the guys kept their focus, so it was nice."
Four wrestlers missed competition time in the middle of the month.
A pleasant surprise for Garfield though; the Bison only got hungrier.
"I think they realize now how much they actually missed practicing," Garfield said. "Which is kind of funny, but you never know what you're missing until you can't do it, so I think for them to have the opportunity to get back on the mats and not just be conditioning was a pleasant deal for them."
For Jake Anderson, the week off served as a learning experience.
"It was a problem. Last weekend I had some conditioning problems, but this weekend, I'll be working extra hard to get those back up," Anderson said.
Garfield says that skin infections like this are just a part of the sport and the time off proved to be a good choice. With the conference tournament this weekend, the Bison are healthy and ready to go.
"We've sat out for so long, we're just ready to get back out there," Anderson said. "We've only had four matches since we've been back and we're just itching for some more competition."