cBY JIM MISUNAS
PARK CITY – Great Bend Panther George Weber reached the pinnacle of Kansas high school wrestling in the state championship match. When St. Thomas Aquinas Saint Johnny Akin edged past No. 2 state-ranked Weber 6-3, he accepted the result with the maturity of a champion.
Weber calmly walked off the mat with no signs of anger or disgust. Weber said he knew he'd done his best and did everything he could to win a hard-fought 5A state championship. On this night, No. 1 ranked Akin was just a shade better.
Weber scored an aggressive first-period takedown, but Akin's reversal tied it 2-2 after the first period. Akin led 3-2 with a second-period escape in the evenly-matched showdown. Akin caught Weber on a 3-point near fall for a 6-2 lead and Weber escaped for the final 6-3 margin.
Weber (33-5, 138) reached the 5A state wrestling finals with wins over Spring Hill's Zach Knowlton, 16-0; KC Turner's Byron Kirkwood, 7-5; and 6-4 over Blue Valley Southwest's No. 5 Ethan Cronk with a third-period reversal after gaining a bonus penalty point.
"I'm excited I got to the finals. I'm upset the way it turned out," Weber said. "That's not what I wanted. I wish it would've turned out different. It could've gone either way. Probably my semifinal match was my best one. Every weight class is tough."
Great Bend coach Nathan Broeckelman said Weber matched his expectation by reaching the state championship match.
"It's tough losing in the state finals," he said. "George wrestled a good match, but came up a little short. It was unfortunate, but that's the way it goes. It was a 3-2 match until the end."
Great Bend finished fifth with 93.5 points, shy of Broeckelman's goal. The Panthers earned five state medals.
"We wrestled pretty well for the most part,' Broeckelman said. "We went 4-0 in our final match until George Weber's match. We came up short in a few spots. Earning five medals is a good thing. We want to keep building momentum from there."
Gage Fritz (43-3, 145) and Wyatt Weber (120) lost their semifinal matches. Blue Valley Southwest's No. 3 Brandon Madden state runner-up avenged a midseason loss with a hard-fought 10-2 decision over Fritz. Fritz beat Madden 3-1 at Garden City. Fritz earned third place with a 3-1 victory over McPherson's Rhett Edmonson.
Wyatt Weber (34-16, 120) lost to Goddard's state champion Jason Henschel, Goddard in 2:20 in the semifinals. Weber defeated Aquinas' Jordan Habben 6-0 for fifth place.
Great bend's Kadin Spragis (40-14, 106) placed fifth with an 11-2 victory over Salina Central's Isaac Phimvongsa. Great Bend's No. 6 ranked Drew Liles, GB (40-5, 126) beat KC Schlagle's Jonah Andrews, 6-0 for third place.
Goddard featured state champions Jason Henschel (120), Jerrdon Fisher (132) and Trevor Dopps led the Lions to 205 points and their sixth consecutive team title. Blue Valley Southwest (171.5) was runner-up.
5A STATE PARK CITY
GREAT BEND RESULTS
106–No. 5 Kadin Spragis, GB (40-14), fifth; Spragis pinned Beaman, Pittsburg, 0:43; Treaster, Newton def. Spragis, 7-4; Spragis pinned Barrett, BWSW, 1:31; Spragis def. Miller, Goddard. 8-5; Wright, KMC pinned Spragis, 2:34; 5TH–Spragis def. Phimvongsa, Salina Central, 11-2
113–Avery Wolf, GB (24-17); Ferguson, Shawnee Hts. pinned Wolf, 1:28; Wolf def. Macias, Bonner Springs, 12-4; Stokes, Newton def. Wolf, 5-3
120–No. 4 Wyatt Weber, GB (34-16), fifth; Weber def. Gutierrez, KC Turner, 8-0; Weber def. Habben, Aquinas, 8-0; No. 2 Henschel, Goddard pinned Weber, 2:20; Pappan, Ark City def. Weber, 6-4; 5TH–Weber def. Jordan Habben, Aquinas, 6-0
126–No. 6 Drew Liles, GB (40-5), third; Liles pinned Lewis, Shawnee Hts. 2:26; Vanderpool, Bonner Springs def. Liles, 2-1; Liles pinned Ochoa, SS, 4:28; Liles def. Aldrich, WNW, 6-0; Liles def. Adam, SC, 5-3; 3RD–Liles vs. Jonah Andrews, KC Schlagle, 6-0
132–No. 6 Carsyn Schooler, GB (32-8); Schooler pinned Tapia, Bonner Springs, 3:10; Tungjaroenkul, Emporia def. Schooler, 1-0; Schooler def. Smith, Seaman, 6-0; Maki, Andover def. Schooler, 13-9, OT
138–No. 2 George Weber, GB (33-5), second; Weber def. Knowlton, Spring Hill, 16-0; Weber def. Kirkwood, KC Turner, 7-5; Weber def. No. 5 Cronk, BVSW, 6-5; 1ST–Johnny Akin, Aquinas def. Weber, 6-3
145–No. 2 Gage Fritz, GB (45-3), third; Fritz def. Cox, Leavenworth, 17-2; Fritz def. Walker, Shawnee Hts. 11-3; No. 3 Madden, BWSW def. Fritz, 11-2; Fritz def. Davidson, Goddard, 9-5; 3RD–Fritz def. Edmonson, McPherson, 3-1
152–Owen Ridgeway, GB (23-17); No. 4 Dan McMullen, BWSW pinned Ridgeway, 3:10; Ridgeway vs. Daniels, Bonner Springs, 12-5; Jacobson, Basehor pinned Ridgeway, 3:34
160–Alex Randolph, GB (37-9); Randolph def. Stovall, Spring Hill, 7-5; Wheeler, Maize def. Randolph, 8-3; Moler, VC pinned Randolph, 4:12
182–Eli Witte, GB (15-15); No. 3 McCall, BVSW pinned Witte, 3:09; Spencer, Lenexa St. James pinned Witte, 3:48
285–Kevin Alan Miramontes, GB (27-22); Mills, Seaman pinned Miramontes, 1:43; Miramontes pinned Lawrence, Lansing, 4:09; Ritter, Maize def. Miramontes, 5-2, OT
5A TEAM TOTALS–1–Goddard 205; 2–Blue Valley SW 171.5; 3–Maize High 162.5; 4–Arkansas City 139; 5–Great Bend 93.5; 6–St. Thomas Aquinas 86.5; 7–McPherson 79; 8–Newton 74; 9–Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 67.5; 10–Lenexa St. James 62
5A STATE FINALS
106–1–Treaster, Newton def. Shabazz, Maize High, 3-0; 3–Wright, KMC vs. Root, Andover, 8-3; 5–Spragis, Great Bend def. Phimvongsa, Salina Central, 11-2
113–1–Mills, BWSW pinned Dickey, Arkansas City, 1:30; 3–Ferguson, Shawnee Hts. pinned Stokes, Newton, 0:15; 5–Padgett, Maize pinned Ross, Basehor, 3:45
120–1–Henschel, Goddard def. Treaster, Newton, 1-0; 3–Pappan, Arkansas City def. Patterson, Maize, 6-1; 5–Weber, Great Bend def. Habben, Aquinas, 6-0
126–1–Umentum, BWSW def. Craig, Valley Center, 3-0; 3–Liles, Great Bend def. Andrews, KC Schlagle, 6-0; 5–Adam, SC def. Vanderpool, Bonner Springs, 3-1
132–1–Fisher, Goddard def. Taylor, Lansing, 9-1; 3–Tungjaroenkul, Emporia def. Maki, Andover, 3-1; 5–Hughbanks, Maize def. Walter, KMC, 7-1
138–1–Akin, Aquinas def. George Weber, Great Bend, 6-3; 3–Cronk, BWSW pinned Gottschalk, Carroll, 4:40; 5–Mock, Newton pinned Kirkwood, KC Turner , 2:31
145–1–Tennant, Arkansas City def. Madden, BWSW, 4-3; 3–Fritz, Great Bend def. Edmonson, McPherson, 3-1; 5–Davidson, Goddard def. Walker, Shawnee Hts..7-0
152–1–Gomez, Maize High def. McLain, Lansing, 11-3; 3–Fisher, Goddard def. McMullen, BWSW, 1-0; 5–Jacobson, Basehor def. Dickie, Spring Hill, 4-3
160–1–Simma, Aquinas def. Atkins, Goddard, 4-2; 3–Wheeler, Maize def. Trail, Carroll, 5-1; 5–Williams, Seaman def. Stovall, Spring Hill, 5-3
170–1–Villalpando, Maize High def. Nitzel, BWSW, 7-4; 3–Craine, Goddard def. Fury, KMC, 7-2; 5–Clarke, McPherson def. Bahm, Arkansas City, 11-7
182–1–Dopps, Goddard def. McCall, BVSW, 3-0; 3–Lough, Arkansas City def. Cox, Maize South, 10-3; 5–Frisch, KMC pinned Robinson, Hays, 3:42
195–1–Frantz, McPherson def. Glass, Goddard, 6-2; 3–Miller, Arkansas City; def. Robinson, Leavenworth, 8-3; 5–Stean, St. James pinned Wilcutt, Basehor, 2:47
220–1–Lautt, St. James def. Haas, Maize High, 3-1; 3–Thrash, McPherson pinned Hubbel, BWSW, 4:28; 5–Nutting, Hays def. Ross, WNW, 9-8
285–1–Caldwell, Valley Center def. Shannon, Arkansas City, 7-3; 3–Dawson, Goddard def. Carroll, Aquinas, 5-3; 5–Spencer, St. James def. Castle, KC Turner, 8-4