OMAHA – Sidney senior Derek Robb became just the 29th athlete in Nebraska high school wrestling history to win four consecutive individual state championships when he beat Northwest senior Dalton Quandt by a major decision, 13-4, Saturday afternoon at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.
The 152-pounder finishes his final year as a Red Raider with an unbeaten, 61-0, record and is Sidney High School’s first four-time state champion since 1978.
Robb’s victory was one of two individual championships for the Red Raiders. An escape point from junior Trey Arellano was the difference in his second-straight championship. Arellano won a 1-0 decision over Scottsbluff senior Mario Ybarra. Arellano finished the season 56-3.
The pair’s victories bring much-needed positive news to the town of 6,000 people. Bass Pro, which finalized its $5 billion purchase of Sidney-based Cabela’s last year, announced this week they’re offering employees the former headquarters buyout packages, giving them two weeks to accept the offers before Bass turns to layoffs, threatening around 2,000 jobs.
Robb thinks bringing home an individual title and a fourth-place finish as a team means a lot to the southern panhandle town. It’s the first time since 1995 the Red Raiders finished in the top-five of the team standings.
“We’ve been going through some tough times. District champs this year, that’s huge for our town. I think that brings a lot of respect to Sidney and people feel proud to be there.”
His fourth individual title at the Nebraska School Activities Association State Wrestling Championships “hasn’t registered yet,” according to Robb.
About the legacy he wants to leave behind at Sidney High School, Robb says it all comes down to hard work.
“With hard work, you can do anything. Just keep pushing yourself towards those goals. Goals are very important. For little kids, just keep pushing and working hard.”
A great champion on and off the mat, Robb is undecided on what school he will be attending after he graduates in May. He is also unsure if he will continue his wrestling career.
Another Raider wrestler, senior Kaden Vowers, finished as the Class B 126-pound runner-up. He lost an ultimate tie breaker match with Omaha Skutt sophomore Nicholas Stoltenburg to finish the year 57-4.