The Team Nebraska AAU Girls Wrestling Team, comprised of Estefania Barragan, Brisa Figueroa, Katy Figueroa, and Brithany Cervantes from West Point-Beemer, and Marissa Burt from Tekamah-Herman, along with others from Nebraska, took 2nd place at Disney Nationals in Orlando, FL last month. Barragan says the team started things off with a close win over a team from Florida. “Yeah the first day we wrestled we had two duals. We had a bye the first round, and before we even wrestled we had a clinic. And then we had a bye, and then we wrestled against Florida Monsters. And we did pretty good I guess. They looked really tough. We beat them 34-33.”
Team Nebraska followed that up with a 54-18 drubbing of Iowa. The team then went on to defeat Orange City 60-12, the Michigan Lady Pittbulls 42-30, and Georgia 49-18. The only loss was to Team Mutiny, 48-18.
The team also went to the beach and miniature golfed during their trip.
Barragan says things went better than expected. “It was. When we went out there I didn’t really see us placing cause it’s Florida. They’re probably really wrestling more than we have. We didn’t practice that much so I kind of thought we were not going to place at all. And I was kind of surprised the way I did I guess overall. I usually get really, really nervous when this stuff happens, and I usually choke and lose. But I did alright I guess.”
Barragan and Cervantes were each named AAU National All-Americans.
Cervantes says she bounced back strong from a slow start in what was otherwise an up and down tournament. “So by the first day I myself lost the first match versus a girl. It was really, really tough. But then I came back on the second one, and I put more even energy to that one. And I ended up pinning her. And then I had an exhibition match, and I also won that one. And then the next day I lost my first one again, I won my second one with pin, and then I lost my last one, my third one, versus the Mutiny girl in Florida. That one was a really close match. I got a bloody nose.”
Burt, on the other hand, was hoping for a better outcome for herself. “Well I guess I didn’t do as well in Florida as I would of liked to. But they had a lot harder competition. The first day I went out and lost both of my matches. But then the second day I went out a little more ready, and again lost my first one, and won my second one, I think it might of been Georgia. And then the next day I only won one and lost against Team Mutiny.”
Brisa Figueroa says she had a rough go of things overall. “The first day I did not do as well as I had planned. I lost both my matches. The second day I won my first one, and lost the second. And then the third day I lost my next two matches.”
Katy Figueroa went 2-1. “I didn’t do that bad. I won my first match, lost my second, and won my last one.”
Other players on the team from the local area include Ponca’s Brooke Languis and Schuyler’s Carla Chacon, who did not wrestle due to injury.
Barragan says it’s time for Nebraska to make Girls Wrestling a sanctioned sport. “I hope this shows that we are good enough to have our own sport. Cause it’s not like we’re going against girls from town, we’re beating girls out of state. So that has to mean we’re ready to have our own sport. If it doesn’t then I don’t know what we have to do to get our own sport cause we’re trying our hardest and it doesn’t seem to work.”
Burt adds this showing proves they’re ready for their own State Tournament. “I hope that this really pushes to get us a girls state because a lot of these teams that we’re beating from out of state are sanctioned and they have their own sport, and they’re competing against other girls, and we don’t. So that really shows that we are good enough to have our own sport, our own team.”
Brisa Figueroa wrestled at 100 pounds, Katy Figueroa at 118, Burt at 126, Cervantes at 148, and Barragan at 185.
The team was coached by West Point-Beemer’s Ray Maxwell, Wayne’s Sonya Legate, Winnebago’s Adam Tranmer, and Les Painter from Cambridge.