Winter Sports 2019-20

T H U R S D A Y , D E C E M B E R 5 , 2 0 1 9 Bob Hamar, sports editor The Grand Island Independent winter SPORTS preview 20 19-20 your GUIDE to prep basketball, wrestling and swimming C D EFENDING A STATE TITLE Northwest wrestlers ‘All in’ for season GINW sets sights on another state championship By Marc Zavala It took a team effort for Northwest to capture its first state championship last year. The same thing will need to happened if the Vikings want to repeat. That’s a reason why Northwest coach Brian Sybrandts came up with the theme “All in” for the 2019-20 season. He said he wants that for all the wrestlers on the team, not just those on varsity. “We need everybody to be all in all year if we want to win it again,” Sybrandts said. “That’s the way it was last year. We need every- body focused and all in during wrestling practices andmeets andmake good choices during the season.” The Vikings, who beat 7-time Omaha Skutt 96-91 for the Class B state title last year, have a good nucleus coming back that will help them have a chance to repeat. They return five state qualifers, including state champion Grady Griess, state runner-up finisher Grady Arends and two-time medalist Collin Quandt. Sybrandts said with the Vikings being the returning state champi- ons, there will be some pressure because other teams know what to expect from Northwest this season. But he said he hopes that doesn’t stop them from achieving the No. 1 goal they want to achieve — another state championship. “I know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot in every tournament and every dual we compete in this year,” Sybrandts said. “They will be gunning for us so we’ll have to be ready every time out. But our goal is to win another state title.” Griess captured the 195-pound state title one year after he lost in the final in the same weight class. The Navy wrestling commit has had an impressive career with going a full six minutes in just three matches during the past two years. Most of the matches have ended either in pin or a techni- cal fall. Sybrandts said the Northwest senior does all the things possible to be successful. “You can’t ask for a better kid than Grady Griess,” he said. “He’s a great student, hard worker and wants to be the best. He puts in so much time in the weight room. He’s everything you want for a perfect wres- tler. He’s a great role model to the younger kids, who look up to him. He’s just one of those kids that doesn’t come around very often. He’s hungry and motivated for another state championship.” Quandt and Arends also return. Quandt is a three-time state qualifier that also finished second in 2018 before taking third in last year’s meet. Arends made the state finals as a sophomore one year after not making the state tournament the previous season. Sybrandts said he’s excited to see what those two wrestlers can do. “We’ve been blessed with having Collin around as well. He’s been close to a state championship the past two years. That’s his ultimate goal,” Sybrandts said. “He’s a great kid just like Grady (Griess), who works hard. “And Grady (Arends) will be moving up to 113. He really had to work to get down to 106. INSIDE Boys Basketball: Page 2C Girls Basketball: Page 3C Wrestling: Page 4C Team capsules: Page 10-12D BH Media News Service Northwest’s Grady Griess (right) is a returning state champion for the Vikings. ■ turn to VIKINGS , page 4C