Athlete of the week 12/10/13: Kocer wins first tournament
WAGNER — Last year in the State B 160-pound championship match, David Kocer defeated Philip’s Chandlier Sudbeck.
Two of the class’s top wrestlers moved up to the 170-pound weight class this season and squared off Saturday in the title match at the Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes tournament.
Kocer once again edged Sudbeck to take the early-season title, winning 5-4.
“He’s wrestled him before, so he knew the style of wrestler he is and executed his game plan,” first-year Wagner coach Brady Nolz said of Kocer.
In last year’s state championship match, Kocer beat Sudbeck 3-0.
Kocer was the top seed at 170 Saturday and eased through his first two rounds, earning two pins. Kocer pinned Ben Stiegelmeier, of Sunshine Bible Academy, in 1 minute, 28 seconds in the opening round and Jesse Kirsch, of Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes, in the semifinals in 2:22.
For his efforts, Kocer has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
Kocer has started the season 4-0 and Nolz said pressure doesn’t faze the veteran senior.
“I think there’s pressure there but he doesn’t let it get to him,” Nolz said. “Whether it’s a first-round match of a title match, he wrestles the same.
“He’s a great kid to coach. He looks to learn every day and doesn’t think he’s too good to learn new things. He’s a solid wrestler. He’s good on his feet and on the mat. He doesn’t have a weakness.”
Kocer and the Red Raiders are back in action Thursday against Burke/Gregory and Winner. The triangular begins at 5:30 p.m. in Gregory.
On Page B1 of Monday’s edition, a photo of Austin Soukup was incorrectly identified as Kocer and placed in a story about the Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes wrestling tournament.