New NSAA Wrestling Event Headed to Kearney

Kearney is already home to several state high school championships including cross country, golf, and one act play, but next year they'll add a brand new event to their calendar.

Nebraska School Activities Association Assistant Director Ron Higdon says next year's high school wrestling season will be one week longer with the addition of a Dual Wrestling Championships.

"It's something that our member schools want and that's kind of how the NSAA operates - we go by what our member schools suggest and vote on and that's what they voted on," says Higdon.

Higdon says 32 teams - eight from each class - will advance through the tournament as a team, different than the individual championships wrestlers compete in now.

"There'll be a lot of kids that get state experience because their team will qualify in a dual situation where they wouldn't qualify as an individual at all," says Higdon.

The NSAA has already chosen a venue for the inaugural championships - Kearney will host the 2013 and 2014 events.

Kearney Visitor's Bureau Director Roger Jasnoch says it's already a win for Kearney.

"Some will come in, stay the night before, night after, so we might be able to get a few sleeping rooms there, certainly the restaurants will be busy that day," he says. "Probably one of the most important things is we have an opportunity to showcase our university to a number of students and family members that might be looking for continuing education."

Jasnoch says they aren't sure what to expect in terms of numbers, but says the UNK Health and Sports Center, the chosen venue, can seat over 3,000 people.

"We certainly have the capacity and parking to be able to accommodate a large group like that."

While Jasnoch says the tournament will attract spectators to Kearney, the NSAA believes it might even attract more students to the sport.

"I think that it could possibly build our numbers in wrestling because if you look at some of the teams that have an open weight class here or there, or they have a really good dual team, they might even try harder to get somebody out for wrestling," says Higdon.

Higdon says the NSAA is still working on how teams will qualify for the Dual Wrestling Championships.

The Kearney dates are set for February 23, 2013 and March 1, 2014.


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