Prep of the Week: Tucker Stangel

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(ABC 6 News) — Of all the wrestlers Brent Jennings has seen in his nearly three decades of coaching the Osage Green Devils, he thinks this year was the best team he’s had.

A key contributor to that belief is junior Tucker Stangel who went undefeated en route to his first-ever state title. Facing a formidable opponent in Sergeant Bluff’s Ty Koedam, Stangel was able to reverse fortunes in the final minute to get a narrow 7-6 win and complete his perfect season, 40-0.

“My attacks were not working on him,” Stangel noted. “I could not finish a shot so I had to really use my duck-under. That’s been a big part of my offense.”

“Kind of been signature for him,” Coach Jennings added. “He finds a way to win. Things aren’t always easy but he always seems to be able to pull through and make it happen and finds a way to win and come out on top.”

While he’s gunning for another title when he’s a senior this fall, what he sees as just as big a goal is being a mentor and a source of confidence for his teammates.

“Keeps things light, he keeps things from being too serious,” Jennings continued. “He does a really good job that way, I think that’s necessary. That keeps things even in the heat of battle, we’re in the middle of the state tournament… not getting too hyped up, they’re able to relax and enjoy themselves a little bit while they’re there. “

Now that he knows he’ll be the man to beat next season, Stangel is prepared to face all challengers. But with Osage’s history of bringing home hardware, this is exactly what Stangel has trained for.

After all, devils thrive when the heat is on.

“I think I’m still kind of processing it,” Stangel said. “When I process that I won a state title is when I’m standing on top of the podium just looking up at the crowd and realizing that I was like the pinnacle and it’s just a great goal that I accomplished.”