Wrestler shines at all-star dual
Ross Starcher took one final shot at a wrestling victory last week at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
The Tonganoxie senior fell to Brandon Simpson of Richmond, Mo., on March 8, but THS coach Jeremy Goebel didn't see it as a loss.
"The score didn't show it, but we beat him," Goebel said.
Starcher and Simpson locked horns in the Metro Classic, an all-star event that pitted Missouri and Kansas metro wrestlers against one another.
Starcher held his own against the Missouri wrestler who had a career high school record of 129-6. Simpson won the match by a 9-5 decision.
"I think the kid was a three-time state champion and had a lot national honors to go with it," Goebel said.
Simpson had to stop the match twice because of shoulder injuries, but held on for the victory against Starcher, who finished second at state last month in the 171-pound division against Santa Fe Trail's Justin Wiscombe.
"Ross had a heck of a match," Goebel said. "We took it to him. It was pretty impressive."
Starcher said the competition didn't differ from anyone he's faced in his own state. The best thing about the all-star dual, he said, was the crowd.
"It was pretty cool," Starcher said. "The fans really got into it more."
Missouri won the dual by a 35-16 score. The Missouri team featured wrestlers from Oak Park, a Missouri state champion squad that ran away with the Baldwin Invitational earlier in the season.
The week before the Metro Classic, Starcher and Goebel attended practices for the Kansas squad at Olathe North. While there, Starcher saw some familiar faces from fellow Class 4A schools. Santa Fe Trail had two wrestlers compete at the event, while Spring Hill had a wrestler on the squad as well.
Starcher, a four-time state qualifier with a 143-26 overall record, attracted attention from several people at the Metro Classic.
But last week's match likely was his last.
Starcher plans to attend Pittsburg State in the fall and major in diesel mechanics.