Unlike the other All-Western Athletic Conference selections, the wrestling portion was cut-and-dried.
The all-conference selections weren’t made in a vote by the league’s coaches. They were determined during the Western Athletic Conference meet during the regular season.
The Panthers had one first-team all-conference selection in 112-pound sophomore Chris Burley, who went on to win the Class 5A state championship in his weight classification. Thus far, he is the only athlete from Great Bend to win a state championship during the 2010-11 school year. Chris Burley pinned Newton’s Quentin Harrison at Hartman Arena in Park City to capture all of the marbles and finish 34-2.
“He did everything he needed to do right,” Great Bend head coach Norbert Muth said of Chris Burley. “At the beginning of the year, he was wrestling at 119 pounds and I told him that I felt he was in between weights. He wasn’t a big 119-pounder by any means. He would probably have to sacrifice a great deal to make weight at 112.
“He told me he wanted to wrestle at 112, and he was able to do keep his weight down and do that. That’s a maturity thing that I saw from him this year as compared to last year; how he prepared and those things.”
Great Bend had six second-place finishers become honorable mention selections in Ryan Des Lauriers (103, freshman), Greg Burley (125, freshman), Kade Sander (130, freshman), Willie Godfrey (135, freshman), Jake Schridde (160, senior) and Simon Sullivan (171, senior).
Schridde, competing in his first state tournament as a senior, was a fourth-place finisher at the state meet. He had a 39-8 record through the regional meet.
“I thought Jake got short-changed a little bit during his career with injuries, and he was able to put together a solid senior campaign,” Muth said.
Muth said it will be a challenge for the underclassmen to advance to state again next season, just as it will be for them to try and become the top wrestler in their weight class in the conference.
“You never stay the same,” Muth said. “You either get better or you get worse. You cannot rest on your laurels. Just because you made it to state this year doesn’t mean you’ll make it next year.
“Our goal in the program is if you’re a state qualifier, then your want to be a state placer the following year. If you’re a state placer, then your goal is to be a state champion the following year.”
CONFERENCE WRESTLING TEAM
103 — CJ Maynard, freshman, Dodge City; 112 — Chris Burley, sophomore, Great Bend; 119 — Dane Edwards, sophomore; Dodge City; 125 — Korey Pfannenstiel, senior, Hays; 130 — Colt McElroy, senior, Garden City; 145 — Braxton Medina, junior, Garden City; 152 — Preston Weigel, freshman, Hays; 160 — Jacob Eggers, junior, Dodge City; 171 — Anthony Shockley, senior, Garden City; 189 — Aaron DeLeon, senior, Garden City; 215 — Justin McPhail, senior, Liberal; 285 — Jesse Trent, senior, Dodge City.
103 — Ryan Des Lauriers, freshman, Great Bend; 112 — Anthony Calderon, junior, Garden City; 119 — Derek Stiles, junior, Hays; 125 — Greg Burley, freshman, Great Bend; 130 — Kade Sander, freshman, Great Bend; 135 — Willie Godfrey, freshman, Great Bend; 140 — Tyson Phyllis, junior, Garden City; 152 — Jonathon Heimton, sophomore, Garden City; 160 — Jake Schridde, senior, Great Bend; 171 — Simon Sullivan, senior, Great Bend; 189 — Chandler Rule, sophomore, Hays; 215 — Cash Dreiling, sophomore, Hays; 285 — Luke Madden, junior, Hays.