Athlete of the Week: Bon Homme senior wrestler Nathan Kloucek picking up big victoriesTYNDALL — In two straight weekends, Bon Homme senior Nathan Kloucek knocked off two of Mitchell High School’s top wrestlers.
TYNDALL — In two straight weekends, Bon Homme senior Nathan Kloucek knocked off two of Mitchell High School’s top wrestlers.
Last weekend, Kloucek defeated Brent Havlik 3-2 in the 160-pound finals of the Jerry Opbroek Invitational, an annual tournament hosted by Mitchell High School.
Saturday, Kloucek defeated Justin Greenway 5-1 in the 171-pound championship match at the Winner Wrestling Invitational.
“Winning those two matches boosted my confidence quite a bit,” said Kloucek, who’s ranked No. 2 at 160 pounds in Class B.
For picking up three pins at the Winner tournament and then defeating Greenway, Kloucek has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week. The award is a weekly award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
Saturday, Kloucek weighed-in with his clothes on at 164 pounds. He said he was giving up about 15 pounds to wrestle in the tougher weight class, which held Greenway — ranked No. 2 in Class A — and Redfield/Doland’s Dallas Jungwirth, who’s ranked No. 2 at 171 in Class B.
“We moved up and it was probably the toughest weight class in the tournament,” Bon Homme coach Mark Stoebner said. “Going in, we knew Greenway is a big, strong kid. We knew (Kloucek) had to come out and get going on offense.”
Kloucek picked up the match’s first takedown in the first period and rode Greenway out for much of the remaining time.
Last weekend, Kloucek picked up a takedown against Havlik in the second period for the deciding score.
So who was a tougher opponent, according to Kloucek?
“I’d say Havlik, because he’s a little tougher to score on,” Koloucek said of the reigning Class A 160-pound state champion. “He stayed in good position and I took less risks against him. But they’re both pretty tough kids, and given the fact they’re both juniors makes them both really good.”
Kloucek is 27-1 this season. His loss came against an Iowa opponent at an Elk Point/Jefferson tournament Dec. 14. Kloucek was pinned by Iowa’s No. 1 ranked 160-pounder in the second period while trailing 4-1.
“That match motivated me a lot,” he said. “Losing is one thing, but getting pinned is something I didn’t want to happen my senior year. But I’m going to do my best not to let it happen again.”
As a sophomore, Kloucek took seventh at the state tournament and he placed fourth last season. Despite it being his senior year, Stoebner said there is no state champion goal for Kloucek.
Standing in Kloucek’s way are two returning state champions, including Tri-Valley’s Garrett Heiberger — who’s ranked No. 1 in Class B at 160 pounds — and Webster’s Logan Storley, a five-time state champion and ranked No. 1 at 171 pounds in Class B.
“We really don’t talk about it,” Stoebner said. “All you can do is wrestle your best. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not because of lack of effort.”