Athlete of the week: Burke/Gregory's Jonah Beck wrestling to perfect start
GREGORY -- Burke/Gregory senior Jonah Beck is undefeated this season, despite having wrestled at two weight classes. Beck started the season wrestling at 184 pounds and placed first at the Stanley County Invite on Dec. 6. After winning the tourna...
GREGORY -- Burke/Gregory senior Jonah Beck is undefeated this season, despite having wrestled at two weight classes.
Beck started the season wrestling at 184 pounds and placed first at the Stanley County Invite on Dec. 6. After winning the tournament, Burke/Gregory head coach John Hansen decided the team and Beck would both benefit if he dropped down to 170.
"It wasn't a real tough challenge for him to drop down to 170," Hansen said. "I think 170 is more of an ideal size for his body."
Three wrestling meets later, it seems it was a good move. Beck remains unbeaten through 11 matches, including a first-place finish at the Titan Invite over the weekend in Plankinton.
For his efforts, Beck has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.
"After coming down to 170, he seems to be in the right place now," Hansen said. "He is wrestling really well at this point and wrestling very aggressive."
Beck's first-place finish helped lead Burke/Gregory to win the Titan Invite. Burke/Grergoy won the 16-team event with 245 points.
"Jonah is looking very good," Hansen said. "He's not satisfied with just beating his opponent. He is always looking to pick up bonus points, and we appreciate the extra effort he puts out for our team trying to pick up pins."
Along with the Stanley County Invite and Titan Invite, Beck won his two matches by pin at the Wagner triangular on Dec. 11 and earned another first-place finish at the Burke/Gregory Invite on Dec. 13.
"He has a lot of different ways to attack his opponents," Hansen said. "He uses everything he has to get the pin."
Beck's highest finish in the state tournament is fourth place, which he earned as a sophomore in 2013. Hansen said Beck suffered a disappointing season last year after finishing seventh at state.
"He needs to continue to do what he has been doing," Hansen said. "He's a senior that shows great leadership in the practice room."
Hansen said Beck has found plenty of success on the mat this year because of how he competes with his two brothers during practices. Freshman J.J. Beck, a freshman, wrestles at 152 and junior Noah Beck, a junior, wrestles at 160.
"All three brothers really push each other in practice," Hansen said. "It's a real plus for our team that we can really push each other in practice at all weight levels."
Noah Beck also took first at the Titan Invite.
The Burke/Gregory wrestling team competes at the McCook Central Invite on Jan. 3 in Salem.