Sports in Kansas: 2019 State Wrestling Recap

Eureka captured their first ever state title in 3-2-1A. (photo: Tara Beitz)
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas
Feb 25, 2019

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Conor Nicholl takes a look at state wrestling around the state of Kansas in all classes over the past weekend. As always our wrestling coverage at Sports in Kansas is powered by Nex-Tech Wireless. Also a reminder that if you qualified for state or finished in the top six at state we have state qualifer and all-state patches available, as well as regional champ patches. We are the only place with our custom logo patches. Order now by contacting Chet Kuplen at sportsinkansas@gmail.com to recieve your order form! Congrats to all those that made it to state! 

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Class 6A – Derby wins long-awaited title

In a race that came down to the competition’s second to last match, Derby edged Manhattan, 200-197, and won the Class 6A wrestling title. It marked the first time since 1986 the Panthers had captured a state wrestling crown after more than a decade of great success.

From ‘07-17, Derby had finished in the top-five every year and finally broke through with a title under 17th-year coach Bill Ross, who has 10 top-three finishes, according to the Derby Informer. Manhattan held a 193-192 lead entering the finals.

However, Derby won titles from Crew Squires (21-2) at 152 and Triston Wills (33-5) at 182. Both wrestlers were ranked first. Squires defeated Haysville Campus’ Luke Bowen, 5-2. Bowen finished the year 40-5.

Wills won his second consecutive state title with a 9-3 win against Washburn Rural’s Gavin Carter (26-7). Wills’ victory was Derby’s last points of the championship and secured the state title.

They helped the Panthers overcome a big upset loss to 170-pounder Cade Lindsey on Friday. Lindsey, like Wills, has signed with Oklahoma State, but fell to Wichita West’s Quentin Saunders, 3-1, in sudden victory. A freshman, Saunders captured the title at 170 and went 30-1. Lindsey took third and finished 41-2. Saunders’ only loss came to Lindsey at the regional tournament.

However, Manhattan had just one title with Bubba Wilson, who won at 160. A Nebraska signee, Wilson captured his second straight state championship and earned his 150th career victory en route to a 41-2 season this year.

The 220-pound finale was the last match that had either a Derby or Manhattan wrestler. Manhattan’s Christian Schlepp, ranked second, faced top-ranked Ethan Kremer of Mill Valley. Kremer (43-7) defeated Schlepp, 5-1, which secured the state for Derby. Schlepp ended the season 36-7.

Additionally, Garden City took third at 149.5, Washburn Rural fourth at 133, Campus fifth at 125 and Dodge City sixth at 118.5 to round out the teams that scored 100 points.

While Lindsey took the upset loss, though, Derby gained a big upset on the front side at 106 pounds from sophomore Cody Woods in the championship quarterfinals. Woods (28-20) pinned Washburn Rural sophomore Bishop Murray, who was undefeated and ranked first entering state, by fall in 37 seconds.

The two matched again for third/fourth and this time Murray won by fall in 56 seconds.

Derby was the favorite on paper entering the state tournament after the Panthers defeated Manhattan in the regional.  Derby was ranked No. 1 all year. However, the Indians had a great tournament with bonus points and upsets.

Manhattan had a sizable advantage in pins with 27, seven more than second-place Washburn Rural and 10 ahead of third-place Derby. The Indians also a significant edge in seed-place difference at plus-66.

In addition to the champions, Cade Lindsey and Woods, Derby had multiple other placers. At 126, Bryce Wells took second, while Cason Lindsey was second at 132.

Cooper Ross (25-4) took fourth at 145, while Taidon Wills (27-12) was fourth at 160. Bryce Westmoreland (34-9) earned third at 195, and Ronnie Washington (34-13) earned fourth at 285.

For Manhattan, Easton Taylor (36-7) took third at 113, and Tate Sauder was sixth at 120 with a 34-17 mark. At 132, Blaisen Bammes (33-17) was fifth, and Jacob Mitchell (29-19) took fourth at 138. Daron Island-Jones (27-9) was fourth at 152.

At 170, Quincy Saddler (38-11) was second to Wichita West’s Quentin Saunders. Stephen White (30-3) was third at 182, and Damion Ilalio (26-16) was sixth at 285.

WAC schools have great showing at state

Garden City and Dodge City each captured three state titles – including upsets in several brackets.

For Dodge City, Damian Mendez defeated Campus’ Dylan Sheler at 106 in a 5-3 decision. Mendez went 41-7, and Sheler was 37-13 in a matchup of two freshmen. The bracket opened up after Murray’s surprising loss. Murray, a defending state champion, finished 40-1.

At 113, Garden City’s Silas Pineda beat Campus’ Kale McCracken, who hadn’t lost this season, in a 3-1 decision. Pineda went 41-11, and McCracken finished 43-1.

At 120, DC’s Couy Weil delivered an upset against Olathe Northwest’s Caden Howard. Entering state, Mill Valley’s Zach Keal was ranked first and Howard second. The two matched up in the 6A East regional, and Keal gave Howard his first loss of the year.

At state, Weil, a senior, ended his career with a 6-2 decision and 37-11 record. Howard, a junior, went 46-2. Keal, also a junior, took third at 45-6. Weil pinned Keal in the championship semifinals by 3:16.

At 132, Garden City junior Jacob Holt defeated Panther sophomore Cason Lindsey, 8-3. Holt finished 37-3, and Lindsey was 28-9.

At 138, Dodge City junior Garrett Edwards beat Campus sophomore Nathan Bowen, 5-3, in an overtime tiebreaker. Edwards went 39-10, and Bowen finished 38-6.

At 285, Garden City’s Refugio Chairez beat Lawrence’s Ejae Jewsome by fall in 3 minutes, 31 seconds. Entering state, Dodge City’s Evan Darville was ranked first and had defeated Chairez at the regional final last week.

However, Chairez finished 28-9, Jewsome was 29-10 and Darville took third at 36-3. In a rare score for a 285-pound match, Jewsome defeated Darville, 13-12, in the championship semifinals.

Other champions

As well, Olathe North’s Keegan Slyter defeated Derby’s Bryce Wells at 126 in an all-junior final. Slyter finished 46-4, and Wells was 24-12 after the 4-3 decision.

At 145, Lawrence Free State’s Elijah Jacobs beat Blue Valley West’s Zach Schram in a matchup of seniors. Jacobs won 10-4, finished 27-4, while Schram was 45-4.

At 195, Washburn Rural’s Preston Williams defeated Campus’ Brycen Schroeder. Williams (32-2) won by fall in 4:52 and dropped Schroeder to 35-9.

Class 5A – As expected, Goddard rolls to title

Goddard easily cruised to its fifth state title with 225 points. Arkansas City was second at 151, while Blue Valley Southwest was third at 125. Maize took fourth at 123.5, and St. Thomas Aquinas was fifth at 97.

Rounding out the top-10, Great Bend took sixth, Bonner Springs seventh, McPherson eighth, Newton ninth and Salina Central tenth. Entering state, Goddard was first, Arkansas City stood second, Maize third and BVSW was fourth in the rankings.

Just 16.5 points separated sixth to tenth. Goddard had nearly a 100-point advantage after the first day of competition Friday. Every Lion placed except Jayden Miller at 106 pounds, who still went 1-2.

Junior Jason Henschel, a defending champion, won at 113 and finished 32-4. Henschel captured his four matches by fall, fall, technical fall and a 6-0 decision versus BVSWU’s Brett Umentum, 6-0. Umentum, who was ranked second, ended his freshman year, 40-10.

At 120, senior Lucas Glover had pulled the upset in regionals and defeated Newton junior Grant Treaster and Arkansas City sophomore Kael Pappan, who were both ranked above him.

In the semifinals, Glover beat Pappan in the semifinals by ultimate tiebreaker, and then Treaster won, 6-3, versus Glover in the final. Treaster went 29-4, Glover 33-14, and Pappan 38-11.

Freshman Jerrdon Fisher (42-8) took third at 126, and sophomore Logan Davidson took fourth at 132.

Sophomore Jace Fisher (32-9) was second at 138, and sophomore Cayleb Atkins (38-10) took fourth at 145. Sophomore Nolan Craine (44-8) took second at 152, junior Trevor Dopps (41-8) was second at 160.

At 170, senior Troy Fisher, who is nationally ranked and a Northwestern University commit, won a state title with a 29-3 record. Senior Cayden Atkins (37-11) was second at 182, and senior Trenton Willert (40-15) was fourth at 220.

Troy Fisher was arguably the most dominant wrestler in the field with falls in 1:05, 1:39, 1:19 and a technical fall victory against Blue Valley Southwest junior Seth Nitzel. It marked the only year all three  Fisher brothers were able to wrestle together.

Arkansas City with solid showing

At 132, Arkansas City senior Gabe Buckbee defeated Maize senior Aidan Campbell, 6-5, in ultimate tiebreaker. Buckbee was ranked second and went 27-4, and Campbell was ranked first and went 43-3.

At 152, senior Montez Robinson captured the crown with a 2-1 decision versus Goddard sophomore Nolan Craine. Robinson went 43-5.

Overall, AC had eight state placers with its two champions.

BVSW with titlists

At 106, Blue Valley Southwest freshman Hayden Mills (37-6) won the championship against Maize South junior Ian Demoss, 3-1.

Demoss finished 34-12. At 138, top-ranked Brandon Madden, a junior, defeated Goddard’s Jace Fisher, 4-2, in the finals.

Maize with champions

In a highly anticipated match, 145-pound junior Devin Gomez faced Aquinas’ sophomore Jared Simma. Gomez won, 7-3, and completed a 50-0 season. Simma went 52-2. Last year, Maize’s Kyle Haas took a surprise loss to Salina Central’s Taylon Peters at the state tournament and finished third. This time, Haas completed a dominant season with a 44-1 mark in his sophomore year and capped with a 4-2 championship decision versus Goddard senior Cayden Atkins.

Great Bend with school history

The Panthers, with coach Nathan Broeckelman, completed a great season on the boys’ and girls’ side. GB girls took fourth, and the boys placed seven of eight at the state meet. It tied the 1999 team for the most medals in Panther annals.

As well, Gage Fritz took third at 145 and set the single season school record with 44 wins. He lost just four matches all season. Great Bend went 8-0 in the first round.

Overall, Wyatt Weber (35-14) took sixth at 106, along with junior Drew Liles (23-11) at 120. Liles had missed most of the season with injury and had fallen out of the rankings before he earned his second state medal. Schooler (34-10) was runner-up at 126, while Jeffrey Spragis, the only state qualifying senior, took third at 34-12.

At 138, George Weber (43-5) earned sixth at 138, while Alex Randolph (37-8) was fourth at 152.

Hendrickson caps great career

For the second time this season, Newton senior Wyatt Hendrickson, an Air Force signing, met up with St. James junior Cade Lautt. Both have been nationally ranked, and Hendrickson is third in the country. Hendrickson had a fall in 1:28 and went 37-0. Lautt finished 48-3.

Big excitement at 126, 160 and 195

The 126-pound class had plenty of excitement and upsets. Great Bend junior Carsyn Schooler was ranked sixth, but beat freshman Jerrdon Fisher, who was ranked first. In the finals, Salina Central senior Drew Burgoon won 5-2 and completed a 39-1 season.

The 160 class was expected to have a rematch between Goddard senior Trevor Dopps and McPherson’s Scott Radke, ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively. In the regional tournament, Dopps defeated Radke by ultimate tiebreaker. This time, Radke won 3-1 and completed his senior season with a 40-2 mark.

One of the more intriguing finals came at 195 between two wrestlers who had not met this season and are on the opposite ends of the state. Kansas City-Turner senior Cameron Bates (46-0) defeated Salina Central senior Taylon Peters (35-3) by sudden victory, 3-1, for the title.

At 285, Wichita Northwest’s Marcus Hicks defeated Valley Center junior Tony Caldwell for the fourth time this season, including at regionals and state. Hicks finished 36-1 with a 3-1 sudden victory in overtime. Caldwell finished 36-6.

Class 4A – Marysville wins close race

In a relatively open Class 4A field, Marysville won the first state wrestling crown in school history. In a rarity, the Bulldogs captured a state wrestling title without an individual champion. Marysville had 112.5 points, while Winfield was second with 100. Scott City took third at 92. Pratt was fourth at 86, followed by Frontenac, Chanute, Tonganoxie and Ulysses, all whom had at least 74 points.

Winfield led the field with 11 pins, while Ulysses was second with 10, and Marysville had nine. The Bulldogs, who were ranked second behind Chanute in the final poll, accumulated a high number of placings.

Junior Isaac Novotny (29-13) was fifth at 120, and senior Ethan Crownover (36-8) took fourth at 126. Junior Jonny Crome (40-6) was fourth at 138. Junior Noah Ackerman (35-7) earned fifth at 160. Junior Storm Slupianek (30-8) was second at 170.

Senior Matt Lindhorst (30-12) was sixth at 182, and junior Garron Champoux (39-3) collected the runner-up at 195.

Winfield takes second

Winfield, which has enjoyed a big recent climb in the wrestling ranks, was eighth in the final wrestling poll. However, the Vikings enjoyed a great state tournament. Braden Ledford (36-9) was ranked third but won the state title at 113.

He defeated both wrestlers ranked higher than him in the semifinals and championship with wins against Osawatomie freshman Chance Mitzner and Abilene junior Will Stroda. He defeated Mitzner, 12-4, and Stroda, 2-1.

At 182, senior Owen Braungardt (37-3) won the title with three wins by fall in 2:55 or less and a 4-1 decision.

Senior Chris Ray (26-16) took sixth at 120, junior Chance Price (34-9) was fifth at 138. Senior Sebastian Morrissey (21-15) was sixth at 195, and junior Zach Phillips (19-20) was sixth at 220.

Scott City with titlists; Frontenac’s McDaniel goes perfect for school’s first crown

Scott City, which ranked third in the final poll, had just six qualifiers and five won a match. However, all five placed. As expected, junior Justus McDaniel (29-3) won at 132 with a fall, a 14-2 major decision, a 10-9 decision and a 10-3 win in the finals.

At 138, Kaden Wren (37-4) lost to Frontenac’s Riley McDaniel, 10-6, in the finals. McDaniel went 39-0 to become Frontenac’s first ever state champion wrestler. McDaniel is a three-time state placer.

At 170, Wyatt Hayes continued his brilliant three-sport career and captured the title at 170. Hayes went 36-2 with three falls and an 8-2 decision.

At 145, senior Theron Tucker (33-9) took sixth, and senior Kyle Sherwood (34-10) took fifth at 220.

Tonganoxie with first titlists

Tonganoxie earned its first two championships with senior Korbin Riedel at 152, and junior Connor Searcy at 195. At 152, Riedel went 42-0 and earned a 16-6 major decision in the championship against Burlington’s Cael Johnson. Searcy went 28-2 and defeated 3-1 against Marysville’s Champoux.

Undefeated Weber leads other champions; Morgan wins for El Dorado

At 106, Pratt sophomore Devon Weber finished 41-0 with a state title in a 5-2 decision against Chanute sophomore Trent Clements. At 120, Abilene sophomore Hector Serratos (31-8) garnered the crown, and Paola junior Preston Martin (42-3) won at 126.

At 145, Clearwater’s Darryl Rylant defeated Frontenac’s Mason Jameson, 4-1, in the finals. At 160, LaCygne-Prairie View senior Gavin Cullor (36-1) won the title.

At 220, El Dorado senior Braden Morgan, a nationally ranked wrestler, went 32-2 and won by technical fall in the finals.

At 285, Bishop Miege senior Sean Ryan defeated K.C. Piper senior LeMoses White, 1-0. Ryan went 32-2 and became the first individual wrestling champion for Miege since 1987.

Class 3-2-1A – Eureka wins title, first athletic crown in school history

Eureka enjoyed a great state tournament and won with 113 points, while Colby was second at 95 and Hoxie third at 86. Eureka’s high point total surprised several coaches, including Tornado coach Mike Davison.

Davison led Eureka to the first athletic title in any sport in school history. Eureka’s only other crown was a Scholar’s Bowl crown in 1988. Entering the tournament, Eureka and Colby the state favorites, while Colby was ranked No. 1.

Eureka’s twin brothers of Kendall (37-1) and Kolby Beitz (31-2) again won state titles. Kendall captured the crown at 113, and Kolby won at 120. Both scored 27.5 individual points. The difference came with the Tornado two other state finalists: sophomore Brennan Lowe at 138, and sophomore Brent Escareno at 152.

Lowe won the state title, and Escareno was second. Both defeated a wrestler in a key state match they had lost to earlier in the season. Eureka became the first eastern team to win a 3-2-1A state title since 2001.

Colby with multiple state placers

While Colby had no state titlists, the Eagles enjoyed plenty of state medalists. Senior Kory Finley (38-12) and sophomore Hagan Booi (39-7) were runner-ups at 182 and 195, respectively. Freshman Tyler Voss was third at 106. Senior Kurt Schroeder took fifth at 138 and finished 34-9.

Junior Cade Lanning made a big turnaround and took sixth at 152. Lanning went 24-21 after he won just one match in January and wasn’t ranked entering state. At 220, Tucker Branum (23-7) took sixth.

Porsch – best ever in 3-2-1A?

Hoxie senior Dayton Porsch pinned his way through the bracket for the second straight season and easily won at 160 pounds. A University of Northern Iowa signee, Porsch became the ninth 3-2-1A wrestler and 33rd in state history to win four state titles. He and Hoxie’s Mat Gilliland – Porsch’s longtime practice partner – are the only four timers from the longtime traditional Indian program.

On the Smoky Hill TV broadcast, analyst Mike Holliday, one of the most respected wrestling minds in Kansas, called Porsch the best wrestler in 3-2-1A history. Porsch finished his career 145-2, the best winning percentage in classification annuals. He went 41-1 this year.

Hoxie earned third with just four wrestlers, all regional champions. At 132, senior Dylan Weimer was ranked sixth but defeated three higher-ranked wrestlers to win the title. Weimer finished 36-6. Freshman Drew Bell (35-7) took fourth at 120, and sophomore Aidan Baalman (35-12) was second at 145.

Panzer defeats Strahm at 285

In the 285-pound championship semifinals Friday, Lakin junior Hadley Panzer met up with Sabetha senior Elliott Strahm. Last year, the two met up in the semifinals, and Strahm won by sudden victory in overtime en route to the championship. Panzer took third.

This year, both wrestlers came to state with perfect records and matched up again in the semifinals – the only match where two perfect wrestlers met. This time, Panzer won in a 4-2 overtime tiebreaker and then won by technical fall in the finals. Panzer finished 39-0. Strahm pinned his way to third place.

Dominance with undefeated/one-loss wrestlers

In addition to the Beitzs, Porsch and Panzer, 3-2-1A had multiple wrestlers complete dominant seasons. At 220, Brookville Ell-Saline senior Nick Davenport finished 40-0 and defeated Norton senior Hayden Wiltfong, 4-0, in the finals.

Davenport defeated Wiltfong in the Panther Classic earlier this season and in the third place match last year at state. Wiltfong went 31-3 and his only other loss came against Newton’s Wyatt Hendrickson.

At 152, Mankato-Rock Hills senior Zane Colson went 39-0 and was the first state titlist for the Grizzlies since the early 2000s and second in school history. Colson went to state all four seasons and took fourth as a junior. He co-oped with Beloit every year.

Holcomb senior Tanner Johnson became the first Longhorn individual state champion in school history. At 182, Johnson defeated Colby’s Finley, 9-4. Johnson completed a 31-1 season after he qualified for the 4A championships last year.

Porsch and Hoisington 195-pound junior Wyatt Pedigo were the only ones to pin their way through the bracket. Pedigo captured his second straight title and went 39-1 this winter.

Other champions, upsets

At 170, Plainville junior Jordan Finnesy defeated Riley County’s Mikey Waggoner in overtime Friday. Waggoner entered the tournament undefeated and eventually took third. Finnesy won the state title after a runner-up finish last winter with a 10-3 victory against Norton junior Cole Amlong. Finnesy finished 38-2.

At 106, Rossville junior Zach Archer defeated No. 1-ranked Tyler Voss of Colby in the semifinals. Then, he delivered a 10-2 victory in the championship against Goodland freshman D.J. Knox. Archer, like Finnesy, was ranked second. He finished 39-4 in his junior year.

At 126, Silver Lake sophomore Kai Allen, ranked third, defeated No. 1-ranked Alec Segarra of Hill City in the semifinals, 1-0. In the championship, he defeated Phillipsburg’s Jacob Sisson, a defending titlist, 3-2. SL assistant coach is Colt Rogers, a former four-time 3-2-1A state champion from Smith Center.

At 145, Riley County Luke Richard (43-0) defeated Plainville senior Brandon Rohr, 13-3, in the finals. Rohr was ranked fifth after he didn’t make state last year and enjoyed a nice season with a 33-6 record.