It’s a smaller number of Class 3-1A state qualifiers for Hoisington High School than competed last year, but Cardinals head coach Dan Schmidt said his seven wrestlers have a lot going for them.
Starting today at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, the seven will look to top last year’s second-place team finish.
“We don’t have the quantity that we had last year,” Schmidt said, “but we still have the quality. Plus last year, we didn’t have that many regional champs. We may have had one in (Brandon) Ball. That’s it.”
This year, the Cardinals had five regional champs, the most in school history.
Ball (126-pound weight class), Chance Demel (145), Hagen Hanzlick (182), Avery Urban (195) and Cayton Janousek (220) claimed regional titles last Saturday. Darwin Brickley (285) seized second and Landon Harmon (113) finished fourth to snag places in the state competition.
Even with the quality wrestlers, the recent weather has cost the Cardinals some quality practice time.
“We’ve been interrupted with snow,” Schmidt said. “We couldn’t practice (Wednesday) and we’re getting in an hour (on Thursday). It’s going to test the kids’ focus. Hopefully, we deal with it well.”
The snow altered the times for the state tournament as well, with today’s weigh-in starting at 2 p.m. and the first match starting at 4.
“It hurts us a little because it’ll run late (tonight),” Schmidt said. “We come home between days. We don’t stay up there (in Hays) over night. Then we have to get up early in the morning for Saturday’s matches.
“We’ve had some conditioning. We’ve had some 6 a.m. practices this year, so, we should be ready.”
CLASS 3-1A STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
113 — Landon Harmon
126 — Brandon Ball
145 — Chance Demel
182 — Hagen Hanzlick
195 — Avery Urban
220 — Cayton Janousek
285 — Darwin Brickley