SALINA — Wrestlers from across the state converged on Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina over the weekend for the KSHSAA Class 4A Boys Wrestling State Championships. Four area wrestlers qualified for the tournament a week prior, though none returned with a medal.
The Labette County Grizzlies landed a trio of wrestlers in the championship tournament, with sophomore Cason Wyrick finding the only win on the weekend.
“It's pretty disappointing for them and me, you definitely always want to do better,” Labette County head coach Chas Thompson said.
Wyrick — who finished sixth overall as a freshman — went just 1-2 at 132 pounds.
“We expected him to place,” Thompson said. “It was one of the toughest brackets in the tournament, it just didn’t go how we wanted.”
After a disappointing 7-2 loss in the opening round, Wyrick bounced back to grab a fall against Rose Hill’s Boeden Whitted. Saturday was a quick affair for the sophomore, as he suffered a fall to Gregery Martinez of Holcomb to end his season at 21-7.
Freshman Chaston Goleman (106 pounds) and sophomore Chris Stephens (285 pounds) were unable to find a win on Friday, ending their season on day one of the event.
Goleman surrendered a pair of quick falls, finishing his first prep season with a record of 21-13.
“He’s a tough kid, he’s just a little undersized,” Thompson said, noting the young wrestler has yet to crest 100 pounds.
Stephens had a shot at advancing to Saturday, but was unable to keep Elijah Eslinger of Louisburg on his back with a headlock, eventually giving up a fall the other way.
“He put himself in a good position in the first round to pin a returning placer, just didn’t convert it. He’s improving a lot,” Thompson said.
Stephens fought hard in his backside match, trailing just 1-0 entering the final period. Stephens escaped to tie things up, but was then taken to his back for the fall.
“Having three returning state qualifiers (next season) will be great,” Thompson said. “These three have been here so hopefully we can bring a few guys back with them next year, start building off of them and get some medals.”
As the lone representative for Parsons, sophomore Kaden Berry was unable to get the Vikings on the board. Berry finished the tournament 0-2, ending his season with a record of 12-7.
Berry was not completely out-classed, however. His first round match with Santa Fe Trail’s Drake Kirby saw Berry trade blows in the first period, good for a 6-6 tie. After surrendering a reversal in the next period, Berry was unable to hold off as he was pinned.
Berry’s second match was just as close, as he trailed just 2-1 entering the final period. Dylan Hanna of Clearwater tallied a second takedown in the third period for the win.
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