Published Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm / Updated at 9:23 pm
Decorated wrestlers ready for a duel
Flatwater Fracas
When: Friday and Saturday
Where: Heartland Events Center, Grand Island
Tickets: $7 for adults, $5 for students

Perkins vs. Schany
A matchup at the Flatwater Fracas features a pair of three-time state champions in JaVaughn Perkins of Omaha North and Will Schany of Blair.

Weight class: 182
Combined record: 242-14
Combined state titles: 6

In Grand Island on Friday morning, a wrestling match right out of the wild west awaits.

On one side is a rough-and-tumble small-town talent. The biggest fish in the Class B pond.

The other side features a star from the city. Perhaps the toughest guy in Class A.

“A showdown at high noon,” is what Omaha North coach Anders Christiansen calls it.

Nebraska high school wrestling history will be made at the Heartland Events Center when Blair’s Will Schany and North’s JaVaughn Perkins square off at the Flatwater Fracas.

Each is a three-time state champion and is widely considered among the top five or 10 high school wrestlers in the United States at 182. Combined, their career record is 242-14. They won national championships on the same weekend this offseason and both will wrestle in college — Schany at Virginia and Perkins at Division II Notre Dame in Cleveland.

And they’ll both be heavy favorites in February to add to a select group of only 19 wrestlers in Nebraska history to win four state titles.

“It’s pretty cool that you can go right up or down the road and get two kids that are at that level,” said Schany, whose hometown is just north of Omaha. “It’s just one match, but it’s a big match.”

It’s believed that Friday’s showdown will be the first regular-season match involving two wrestlers with three state titles already on their résumés.

“It’ll be a special moment for both teams,” Perkins said.

Schany and Perkins admit they’re a little sick of all the talk.

“I’m just ready for it,” Perkins said.

The talk started around North almost immediately after the conclusion of last season when it was apparent Perkins would make the move from 160 to 182.

The hype made its way to Blair, too.

“I told (Schany on Monday) that it was official and he had a big ol’ grin,” Blair coach Erich Warner said. “He wants it. This is one of those times that you can point at and say, ‘This is why you put in all the work.’”

Christiansen said he can’t help but think back to a summer match between a couple of his buddies that had some of the same anticipation. Former Bennington standout Brett Allgood and ex-Omaha Skutt star Todd Meneely got together in an offseason tournament that Christiansen said was one for the ages.

“They shut everything else down and everyone gathered around the mat to watch it,” Christiansen said. “That’s the kind of matchup this is. We have one of the best matches in the history of Nebraska here.”

As for the actual wrestling, both participants expect a heavy dose of physical. They’ve rarely been in the same tournament, but each said he has seen enough of the other to know what to expect.

Schany perhaps has an advantage in terms of being in wrestling shape. Both are also football stars, but Perkins’ North team went all the way to the state title and he didn’t get started on the mat until after Thanksgiving. Perkins is also coming off a fourth-place showing at the prestigious Walsh Ironman tournament in Ohio last week, a grueling two-day run littered with nationally ranked opponents.

But no one will be thinking about any of that when the whistle sounds Friday morning.

“They may not realize it right now,” Christiansen said, “but 15, 20 years down the road when they are sitting around talking wrestling, they’re going to understand that they were a part of something special.”

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Nick Rubek    |   402-850-0781    |  

Nick Rubek covers Nebraska football, Omaha Beef football and high school sports throughout the state, including football, wrestling and soccer.

Each week during the high school sports season, highlights a matchup in the ongoing "Hiland Dairy Game of the Week" series. Previous matchups »

Refuel with Hiland »

< >
2013 All-Nebraska football, volleyball teams
View The World-Herald's selections to the 2013 All-Nebraska football and volleyball teams.
2013 Super Six football team
Meet The World-Herald's 2013 Super Six team, honoring the area's top college football prospects.
All-Nebraska basketball teams 'shake' it up
Being known more for their ability to shake off a defender than for their dance moves didn't stop our 2013 All-Nebraska basketball selections from busting a few "Harlem Shake"-inspired moves.
Facebook: Nebraska Prep Zone Page
The Nebraska Prep Zone Facebook page is your home on the social web to get the latest Nebraska prep sports news, photos, updates and more from around the Midlands.
Map: Nebraska Stadiums
Need help finding a stadium in the state of Nebraska? We've got you covered with this interactive map of high school and college facilities from across the state.
Nebraska high school all-time swimming leaders
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Nebraska high school swimming and diving competition.
Nebraska high school all-time track charts
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Nebraska high school track and field competition.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
Western Iowa high school all-time track charts
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Western Iowa high school track and field competition.