It’s anybody’s game on Saturday when Great Bend High School’s wrestling team opens up the postseason with a Class 5A regional tournament at Wichita Heights.
Things kick off at 9 a.m., and according to Panthers head coach Norbert Muth, the first round is the most important.
“That first match is ultimately most important,” Muth said. “There can be no slow starts. You have to win that first match. You have to finish in the top 4 to advance.”
The regional will feature Hays, Maize South, Newton, Salina Central, Salina South, Valley Center and host Heights.
Newton is ranked No. 5 in 5A on the latest Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association poll.
Muth said anyone of his 13-wrestler lineup has a shot at qualifying for the 5A state tournament, which will be held at Hartman Arena in Park City starting on Friday, Feb. 28.
“We talked to the whole team, we think they have a good shot at qualifying,” Muth said. “Honestly, all of our kid have a shot. It rarely works out that way, but I think we should do very well.
“We’ve had a good week in practice, and we’re all healthy.”
Great Bend has three wrestlers who are ranked in the state in their respective weight classes.
Kade Sander is No. 2 at 152 pounds.
Christian Rivas is No. 5 in 160, and Jacob Crane is No. 5 at 285.
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
Class 5A regional tournament
Great Bend lineup
106 — Eric Vazquez
113 — Ryan DesLauriers
120 — Keaton Sander
126 — Cody Liles
132 — Cody Lytle
138 — Zack Schridde
145 — Mason Yellowwolf
152 — Kade Sander
160 — Christian Rivas
170 — Andrew Reed
182 — Masen Torres
195 — Justin Henry
220 — open
285 — Jacob Crane