Thursday, 30 wrestlers from the nine furthest northwest counties in Kansas will begin their quest to bring home a state title.
Seven different area schools will be represented over the three day event. Unlike the past couple of years where you would see all of the schools in the area going to one location—usually Hays—this year they will be split. Colby, who is now 4A will head to Salina and the rest of the lot will be in Hays.
21 of the area wrestlers will be competing at FHSU Gross Memorial Coliseum on Friday & Saturday. They include:
Hoxie: The Indians were your Norton regional champs as a team and look to be the 321A State title favorites going into the weekend with eight guys qualifying, five of them were regional champs at their respected weights. Dylan Wiemer & Aiden Baalman lead the way as they not only were regional champs but also are three-time state qualifiers with Wiemer taking home the title last year and placing fifth the year before that. Baalman placed fourth last year at state. Drew Bell in also back at state after taking fourth. He also was a regional title. Drew Bretz, Derek Johnson are all first time qualifiers who won regional championships. Andrew Foote, Wayne Shepard & Brandon Baker are the other three state qualifiers.
Goodland: DJ Knox who finished runner-up last year as a freshman and was a regional champ at 106 this past weekend. As well as Dawson Holub who is back in the state tournament after qualifying last year and Mason Hernandez, a first time qualifier.
St. Francis: Shadyron Blanka, who won the Norton regional at 195 pounds and back after making it to state last year at 182. As well as Grain Cooper & Jayce Nider. Cooper is also back against after making it at 120 last year.
Atwood-Rawlins County: Cyrus Green & Eddie Hanson. Both are at state for the first time.
Oberlin-Decatur Community: Dawson Kempt, who took first at the Norton regional at 145 pounds and Gavin Uehlin who placed third at regionals and is back after making it to state last year.
Oakley: After qualifying at 132 last season Eric Cain is back for the Plainsmen for the second straight year but will be wrestling at 138. Three other Plainsmen qualified for the first time in Tyler Schoenberger, Aidan Stephenson & Wyatt Glassman.
All the other nine area wrestlers will be heading to the Tony Pizza Events Center in Salina.
Colby, who was moved up to 4A this year after being in 321A the last couple of seasons, will bring six wrestlers to compete on Friday & Saturday. Tyler Voss was the lone regional champ for the Eagles at 120 and is back after taking third last year at 106. Aiden Cook is back again as well, as is Cade Lanning who took sixth last year at the 321A state tourney. Declan Ryan is also back at state for the second year in a row. 195 pounder Hagn Booi returns for his third straight year to the state tournament, he took second last year.
And last but certainly not least are the three area ladies who will be wrestling at state for the first ever on Thursday in Salina. Hoxie’s Ashlyn Kaus & Marissa Porsch as well as Oakley’s Mikyah Cain. Both Porsch & Kaus each took sixth at the Girls West Regional two weeks ago. Cain was the area’s highest finisher taking third.
Start time for the girls on Thursday is at 9 AM CT with gates opening at 7:15 AM. As for the boys the wrestling will begin at 10 AM CT on Friday and then resume with consolation wrestle backs at 9 AM CT on Saturday. Gets open at 8 AM CT on Friday & 7 AM CT on Saturday.