OMAHA — Aquinas wrestler Kyle Petree had been beaten at least 10 times by Zach Borer from North Bend Central over several years going back to middle school, and not just beaten, but crushed.
Borer had pinned Petree at a tournament earlier this season, and beat him in one match 17-3 just a few weeks ago.
But Petree will mostly remember what happened Friday, when he got one of the most shocking wins of the state tournament with a 16-2 major decision of Borer in the Class C 160-pound semifinals.
Borer is one of the best wrestlers in the state, with the sophomore having a 107-2 record in high school and had plans to win another state title and keep a dream of four state titles alive.
“It’s amazing,” Petree said. “Ever since we were kids we’ve been wrestling each other and I could never get him. Never beat him once. I just started figuring out what he was doing with me.”
Right after he won, the Aquinas coaches jumped into each others arms. Petree had friends yelling at him from the stands as he left the arena floor.
“It’s a big mind game when you get beat that bad by a kid and it’s really tough to come back and do that,” Aquinas coach Eric Pflum said. “What (Petree) did there was pretty impressive. It’s pretty wild. We’re happy.”
Petree had a 35-8 record and No. 3 ranking going into the match, and knows who people would have been picking.
“People probably thought I was going to lose, just because he’s the state champion and really, really good,” he said.
The match was close before Petree began to take control in the third period, and that’s the period that gave Pflum hope they could finally beat Borer.
“We figured something out about two weeks ago with what we needed to do,” Pflum said. “We wrestled (Borer) and knew we had to pick up the pace because we knew he was going to die out in the third period because he was out of shape."
Petree finished second at state last year, and wants to carry the momentum from Friday’s big win into Saturday’s championship match.
"I got to win this now," he said.