By JIM MISUNAS
HOISINGTON — Hoisington’s four-time state wrestling champion Brandon Ball has graduated. Younger brother Jonathan Ball is sidelined with a football injury. That leaves state runner-up Christopher Ball as the only Ball brother remaining. State-ranked and state qualifying wrestler Hunter Hanzlick has elected to not compete in wrestling.
The Cardinals have finished second and fifth the past two seasons at the Class 3-1A state wrestling tournament.
“I have some outstanding kids that will not wrestle this year,” said Hoisington coach Dan Schmidt. “But when we get to the really tough tournaments that matter, I think we will be in the mix. We hope to make a run at a top five finish at State from Hoisington High School.”
Jonathan Ball had placed second (43-2) and fifth (41-4) the past two seasons. Johnathan Ball (145) lost a hard-fought 3-2 overtime decision to No. 1 ranked Corey Tyler of St. Marys. Christopher Ball, (152, 39-7) lost 18-3 to No. 1 ranked Greg Tooley of St. Marys in the finals.
Other Hoisington returning state qualifiers are Austin McHenry (182, 36-11); Justin Bradley, (220, 8-6); Landen Urban, (5th, 285, 37-7); Tanner Cassity, (6th, 113, 27-15); and Sean Urban, (160, 19-15).
State ranked in preseason are Tanner Cassity (6th, 113); Christopher Ball (1st, 152); Justin Bradley (3rd, 220); and Landen Urban (2nd, 285).
Hoisington’s expected lineup will be 106 Dylan Carrier; 126 Tanner Cassity; 132 Dustin Edmondson; 152 Christopher Ball; 160 Sean Urban; 170 Jeremy Breit; 182 Ben Schneider; 195 Austin McHenry; 220 Justin Bradley; and 285 Landen Urban.
“Landen beat many outstanding kids last year including a state champion from Dodge City, and a very good kid from Kapaaun Mt. Carmel,” Schmidt said. “This year, he is weighing in at 253. He wrestles like a 195-pounder even though he is at 285. He is a strong contender to win the 285-pound class. He is off the charts on his bench, cleans, and squats. He is an outstanding athlete and one of the top football recruits in the state.”
Head coach—Dan Schmidt (7th at state)
Seniors—Austin McHenry, 195 (SQ, 182, 36-11); Justin Umphrey, 195; Brody Nicholas, 285; Juniors—Jonathan Ball, 145 (2nd, 145, 43-2); Justin Bradley, 220 (SQ 220, 8-6); Jeremy Breit, 170; Dylan Carrier, 113; Hunter Hanzlick, (SQ 170, 33-15); Colin Hinds, 285; Brinttain Noah, 145; Benjamin Schneider, 182; Landen Urban, 285 (3rd, 285, 37-7); Trevar Younger, 285; Sophomores—Christopher Ball, 152 (2nd 152, 39-7); Tanner Cassity, 126 (SQ 113, 27-15); Jake Curtis, 152; Dustin Edmondson, 132; Damon Luerman, 138; Sean Urban, 160 (SQ 160, 19-15); Jack Williams, 145; Freshmen—Trey Byers 120; Nicholas Long 138; Dante Urban 152; Ethan Nichols 160.
12-5—at Pratt Tournament
12-18—CARDINAL CORNER CLASSIC
1-9—at Ellsworth Tournament
1-14—at Stafford Tournament
1-22-23—at Hays, Prairie Classic
2-6—at Phillipsburg Tournament
2-13—CKL at Hesston
2-19-20—at Class 3A Regional
2-26-27—at Class 3A State, Hays