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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.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.