BY JIM MISUNAS
PARK CITY — Great Bend's ultimate goal is to compete for a top three Class 5A state wrestling trophy. Three rounds are wrestled Friday with the championship matches scheduled Saturday.
Great Bend's No. 2 state-ranked George Weber (30-4, 138) and No. 2 state-ranked Gage Fritz (41-2) are the highest ranked Panther wrestlers heading to Friday's 5A state wrestling championship. Weber would have to beat the fourth-or-fifth-ranked wrestler to likely meet Aquinas' No. 1 ranked Johnny Akin (38-6) in the finals. Weber downed Wichita Carroll's No. 3 ranked Matt Gottschalk 14-0 in the regional finals.
"George wrestled the best he has all season at regionals," said Great Bend coach Nathan Broeckelman. "He's either beaten or placed ahead in a tournament on his side of the bracket."
Fritz will have to beat No. 3 Brandon Madden of Blue Valley Southwest (38-3) to earn another shot at Arkansas City's regional champion Trig Tennant (43-6). Tennant edged Fritz 6-5 in the regional final. Valley Center's No. 5 ranked Alyeus Craig pinned Drew Liles (35-4, 126) in the regional final.
"If we wrestle well, we'd like to get into the team race," said Great Bend coach Nathan Broeckelman. "We'd love to win as many medals as we can."
Other Panthers qualifying are fifth-place Kadin Spragis (36-12, 106), sixth-place Avery Wolf (23-15, 113), fourth-place Wyatt Weber (31-14, 120), sixth-place Carsyn Schooler (30-6, 132), seventh-place Owen Ridgeway (21,-15, 152), sixth-place Alex Randolph (36-7, 160), eighth-place Eli Witte (15-13, 182) and sixth-place Kevin Alan Miramontes (26-20, 285).
Ridgeway, Witte and Miramontes are first-time state qualifiers.
"It's nice to see those guys get to state, but this is one last opportunity this weekend," Broeckelman said.
3A HAYS – Two-time Hoisington state champion Wyatt Pedigo (33-0, 195) is a solid favorite to be crowned a three-time state champion at Fort Hays State.
"We have the best 195-pound wrestler in the state in Wyatt Pedigo," said Hoisington coach Dan Schmidt. "Wyatt will look to end his career with his third state title this weekend. We were excited to have six wrestlers qualify for the state tournament. We got three juniors and two freshmen into the state tournament."
Larned's No. 1 ranked Samajay Alboyd (23-4) joins six ranked wrestlers from Larned and Hoisington including Larned's No. 5 Dillen Hook (27-1, 113), Larned's No. 3 Braydon Lemuz (27-4, 138), Hoisington's No. 4 Cole Steinert (25-6, 152) and Hoisington's No. 4 Joshua Ball (21-3, 170).
5A STATE PARK CITY
GREAT BEND ENTRIES
106–No. 5 Kadin Spragis, GB (36-12) vs. Gabe Beaman, Pittsburg (25-13)
113–Avery Wolf, GB (23-15) vs. Brock Ferguson, Shawnee Heights (35-4)
120–No. 4 Wyatt Weber, GB (31-14) vs. Nick Gutierrez, KC Turner (32-13)
126–No. 6 Drew Liles, GB (35-4) vs. Ty Lewis, Shawnee Heights (26-19)
132–No. 6 Carsyn Schooler, GB (30-6) vs. Jace Tapia, Bonner Springs (28-13)
138–No. 2 George Weber, GB (30-4) vs. Zach Knowlton, Spring Hill (16-18)
145–No. 2 Gage Fritz, GB (41-2) vs. Napoleon Cox, Leavenworth (17-17)
152–Owen Ridgeway, GB (21-15) vs. No. 4 Dan McMullen, BWSW (18-8)
160–Alex Randolph, GB (36-7) vs. Jakob Stovall, Spring Hill (33-8)
182–Eli Witte, GB (15-13) vs. No. 3 Jackson McCall, BVSW (40-8)
285–Kevin Alan Miramontes, GB (26-20) vs. Evan Mills, Seaman (25-11)
3A STATE HAYS
HOISINGTON, LARNED ENTRIES
106–Eastin Redetzke, H (23-14) vs. No. 3 Corbin White, Jayhawk Linn (31-4)
113–No. 5 Dillen Hook, L (27-1) vs. Devin Dultmeier, Silver Lake (29-11); Quentin Boxberger, H (10-14) vs. Connor Collins, Osage City (26-7)
120–Michael Saenz, L (22-7) vs. Connor Hughes, Eureka (10-7)
126–Gatlin Hoch, L (24-9) vs. Wyatt Johnson, Council Grove (32-6)
138–No. 3 Braydon Lemuz, L (27-4) vs. Nick Mandi, Norton (18-9)
145–No. 1 Samajay Alboyd, L (23-4) vs. Wyatt Bird, Wellington (24-7)
152—No. 4 Cole Steinert, H (25-6) vs. Caleb Lisk, Mission Valley (27-10)
170–No. 4 Joshua Ball (21-3) vs. Justice Dunbar, Mission Valley (19-7)
195–No. 1 Wyatt Pedigo, H (33-0) vs. Jon Grame, Mission Valley (20-7)
220–Hector Garcia, L (15-9) vs. Joe Martin, Douglass (32-10); Cole Gilliland, H (26-8) vs. Dylan Helbing, Burden Central (20-9)