Athlete of the week: Neises takes home title, despite not being favored
HOWARD — Of the eight Class B state wrestling champions, seven were predicted to win their weight class over the weekend.
The only wrestler who wasn’t ranked atop his weight class heading into the tournament was Howard’s Bailey Neises. The junior 126-pounder was ranked second in the final Class B wrestling rankings.
Neises edged Philip’s Jed Brown in the title match by a 4-3 decision to win his first state championship. On the way to the title match, Neises recorded two pins and a 3-0 decision.
For his efforts, Neises was named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
In the South Dakota wrestling rankings, John Lemer, of Canton, was predicted to win the tournament. Lemer fell in the quarterfinals to Brown by a 3-2 decision and ended up getting knocked out of the tournament in the wrestlebacks.
Neises came into the season with a 21-1 record and wrestled his way to the top of the podium, finishing his record to 25-1.
As a sophomore, Neises took fourth at 113 pounds.