The Bulldogs scored 146 points to finish just ahead of Chadron, Scottsbluff and Alliance. The Cardinals took second with 133.5 points and three champions, while Scottsbluff had 129.5 points and four champions. Alliance had 111 points. Gering had just one individual champion.
Gering coach Randy Hughes said his team wrestled well while picking up the tournament title.
"Today was a mixed bag. It was 90 percent good and 10 percent not quite so good," the Bulldog first-year coach said. "But overall as a team, we are head and shoulders over where we were. I am extremely happy with the way the team wrestled. Guys have been putting in a lot of work. We had two-a-days coming into this week, and I think our extra practice paid off."
What made Hughes especially proud was that the Bulldogs won the title with a team effort, which included one first place finisher (Francisco Garcia at 140), four second-place finishers, two third-place finishers, and four fourth-place finishers.
"To come away with the team title is big because we don't have a lot of high-level wrestling experience," he said. "I said overall that we are a team in development. This is the first tournament that we have participated in and won, so it feels really good. I know the guys are proud. They have put in the work behind it and it paid off. For me, as a coach, a parent, and a community member, it is really nice to be able to have guys work hard and see it pay off because I believe those are life accomplishments that will stay with them a long time."
Gering's win was highlighted by the first-place finish of Garcia at 140. Garcia registered a 5-0 win against Newcastle's Zack Talbot.
"Francisco Garcia wrestled tough matches all day," Hughes said. "He got put into a hold in the championship match and could have folded, but he didn't. He gutted it out and came through with a big win in the match. That was the win that launched the second half of the finals and set the tone. I see that as a really big win for us."
The Bulldogs actually had two tournament champions. Besides Garcia, Hunter Dierkson won the 285-pound weight class with a pin in 2:36 over Alliance's Dominick Boyles. His tournament wins, however, didn't count in the team scoring as the senior wrestled unattached.
Chadron, which had nine wrestlers finish in the top four, had three champions. Brandon Dehling pinned Alliance's Tyler Smith in 3:56 to win the 130 title; Colby Riesen had a 10-6 decision over Gering's Dylan Wolf at 145; and Austin Brown earned a hard-fought 3-1 decision over Sterling's Brady Barton at 215.
Scottsbluff also had an impressive tournament, recording four wins. Colton Adams pinned Sterling's Austin Krier in 2:35 to win the 112 class; Terrance Hessler had a major decision (17-5) over Alliance's Kelby Nelson at 125; Tyler Nation earned a technical fall (21-6) over Merino's Ty Lebsock at 135; and Willie Schwartzkopf pinned Sidney's David Matthes in 1:32 at 171.
Alliance had one champion as Andrew Garcia pinned Gering's Jessy Richards in 3:04 at 160.
Gering will be back in action next week with five duals, beginning with an encounter with Scottsbluff on Thursday. Gering will then head to Lexington to face Lexington, Omaha Skutt, Grand Island Northwest, and Gothenburg on Friday.
Gering had 146 points, Chadron 133.5, Scottsbluff 129.5, Alliance 111, Merino 91, Sterling 89, Newcastle 83.5, Sidney 65, Unattached seniors 22, Morrill 11.
103 - Alex Rettinghounse, Newcastle, decision over Damien Hort, Gering, 7-2.
112 - Colton Adams, Scottsbluff, pinned Austin Krier, Sterling, 2:38.
119 - Aris Shimp, Merino, major decision over Matt Sorensen, Gering, 12-2.
125 - Terrance Hessler, Scottsbluff, major decision over Kelby Nelson, Alliance, 17-6.
130 - Brandon Dehling, Chadron, pinned Tyler Smith, Alliance, 3:56.
135 - Tyler Nation, Scottsbluff, technical fall over Ty Lebsock, Merino, 21-6.
140 - Francisco Garcia, Gering, decision over Zack Talbot, Newcastle, 5-0.
145 - Colby Riesen, Chadron, decision over Dylan Wolf, Gering, 10-6.
152 - Luke Engelhaupt, Sterling, pinned Daxton Taylor, Newcastle, 1:12.
160 - Andrew Garza, Alliance, pinned Jessy Richards, Gering, 3:04.
171 - Willie Schwartzkopf, Scottsbluff, pinned David Matthes, Sidney, 1:32.
189 - Tuff Gibson, Merino, deciion over Pedro Monroy, Alliance, 6-5.
215 - Austin Brown, Chadron, decision over Brady Barton, Sterling, 3-1.
285 - Hunter Dierkson, Unattached, pinned Dominick Bowles, Alliance, 2:35.
103 - Cody Scherbarth, Chadron, pinned Leon Johnson, Merino, 3:25.
112 - Garrett Seweld, Merino, pinned James Lopez, Gering, 1:56.
119 - James Vermillion, Alliance, pinned Dane Aurich, Sidney, 2:24.
125 - Kyle Hunter, Merino, pinned Wyatt Ivie, Newcastle, 3:52.
130 - Fidel Ochoa, Sterling, pinned Jose Arraya, Gering, 1.35.
135 - Willie McClure, Chadron, decision over Steven Garcia, Gering, 3-0.
140 - Justin Schemmer, Chadron, decision over Tristen Whited, Sterling, 3-0.
145 - Jesse Larralde, Newcastle, pinned Justin Sage, Sidney, 1:49.
152 - ALex Jaconsen, Sidney, major decision over Jacon Rexus, Gering, 11-3.
160 - Jed Weis, Scottsbluff, decision over Cooper Cogdill, Chadron, 9-7.
171 - Avery Petit, Gering, pinned Tre Frederick, Chadron, 1:55.
189 - Zach Lurz, Chadron, decision over Kolby Aulick, Scottsbluff, 9-4.
215 - Avery Montanez, Scottsbluff, pinned Sean Neal, Sidney, 2:37.
285 - Dylan Barin, Gering, decision over Andrew Aratani, Morrill, 7-5.