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Great Bend’s state entries leave today

POSTED February 22, 2012 11:04 p.m.
Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune/


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 It’s sufficient to say the Great Bend High School Panthers wrestling team will be well-represented at this weekend’s Class 6-5A state tournament.
Coming out of the state’s toughest 5A regional, Great Bend qualified eight wrestlers for the state tourney, set for Friday and Saturday at Hartman Arena in Park City on the outskirts of Wichita.
Ryan DesLauriers (106 pounds), Chris Burley (120), Brett Roberts (126), Greg Burley (132), Brodie Bretz (138), Emerson Campbell (152) Darian Yager (160) and Bryce Hofmeister (170) have qualified from Great Bend.
 “I think, by far, we competed in the toughest Class 5A regional,” Great Bend head coach Norbert Muth said. “I feel like we did well to get eight through. We got the ones qualified that wrestled up to their seeds and probably should have been there.
“For all of our kids, I know it sounds like a cliché’, but it’s really important for them to understand that it’s one match at a time. You can’t look past that first match. The state tournament, I have always said, is a place where dreams are made, but it can also be replaced by dreams destroyed. If you don’t go in there and focus on what your doing … if you tighten up and wrestle not to lose, bad things can happen.”
In the Burleys — Chris and Greg — you have brothers that have bona-fide chances of winning state championships. Chris Burley is the defending state champion at 112 pounds and bumped up a weight class this season. Ranked No. 2 in 5A, he wound up losing by decision 3-2 in a regional final last Saturday to Newton’s Quinton Harrison at Salina South, the wrestler whom he defeated last year in the state finals to capture all of the marbles.
“It’s a different scenario this year,” Muth said of the 120-pound class at the state meet. “The kid from St. Thomas Aquinas (top-ranked freshman Isaac Dulgarian), he’s on the other side of the bracket with Harrison.
“We want to take care of what we’re doing and win on our side of the bracket that first day and hopefully, have some good things happen.”
The regional title loss has Chris Burley, 31-4,  focused on the ultimate prize.
“It has pushed me to want to get better this weekend,” he said. “In the back of my mind, I would like a rematch (with Harrison).
“(Greg Burley) has an excellent chance of making it to the finals, especially if he can get through a tough semifinals match. It would be awesome if we could both be in the finals this year.”
Greg Burley (132), meanwhile, with a 19-2 mark, is coming off a regional championship in which he was ranked No. 6 coming in and defeated third-ranked Luke Lee of Andover Central, 6-4.
“It gives you a boost and gets you amped up for state,” Greg Burley said. “I’m pretty confident about my chances. I definitely don’t count myself out of any matches.
“It’s definitely kind of cool, going for state titles with your brother, but then again, you try not to think about it and you try to go out there and wrestle the match like you would any other match and take each match one step at a time.”
Check out the KSHSAA website under the wrestling link for complete first-round brackets.

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