Parrett reaches title match; team places fifth
Derek Parrett's reaction in his semifinal match at the Gerald Sadowski Wrestling Invitational in Holton spoke volumes.
Parrett, a senior, pumped his fist in the air after pinning Rock Creek's Ryan Buss in the 215-pound weight class. The pin came in the first period and Parrett advanced to his first-ever tournament championship.
"All week I had my partners push me hard in practice," Parrett said. "I think it all finally came together that second match. ... It felt good sitting out the next two rounds, not wrestling guys in the wrestle-backs like I usually do. Hopefully I can win a tournament, not just take second."
In the finals, Parrett lost to Andover Central's Jaydan Bird in the first period.
Parrett had to settle for second, but THS coach Jeremy Goebel said it was a big step for his senior wrestler.
"I think he's starting to turn it on," Goebel said. "Saturday he wrestled really well. Hopefully this will get him a little bit of a taste of what it's like to wrestle in the finals, and that will carry over into the postseason."
Parrett's win against Buss was key, Goebel said, because Buss was seeded above Parrett at No. 2 in the tournament.
Both wrestlers will compete at regionals next month in Holton, so Parrett's win Saturday should help his seeding position at regionals.
Tonganoxie finished the tournament in fifth place with 139 points. Lansing won the meet with 179.5, while Royal Valley finished second with 170.5.
"If we would have had a couple more kids win, we would have been in the thick of things," Goebel said. "Our team goal was to bring home a plaque, so hopefully that will motivate us."
Pleasant Ridge, which just beat out Tonganoxie last month at the PRHS tournament, finished third with 166. Andover Central, meanwhile, placed fourth with 146.5.
Geobel said his squad "didn't do too bad" Saturday in Holton.
"I think as a whole our team expects to win now," Goebel said. "It's not just something that happens. All of them expect to perform well. Each time we wrestle our team's getting better.
"And hopefully that continues throughout the season and finishes at the Bicentennial Center in late February."
The arena, of course, is the sight of the Class 4A state tournament Feb. 23 and 24 in Salina.
Parrett could be one Chieftain heading west on Interstate 70 next month, as well as Matt Brock and Travis Adcox. Brock placed first at Holton at 130, improving his record to 28-2, while Travis Adcox finished second at 135 and moved to 23-4. Both have honorable mention distinction in the 4A state rankings.
Kevin Hamm placed third at 112 Saturday, moving his record to 18-6. Rob Schlicht now is 10-15 after a fifth-place finish at 103, while Jonathan Ferris placed sixth at Holton at 140 and moved to 15-7 this season.
"Blaize Oelschlaeger had a good day," Goebel said. "He won his first two and wrestled really tough. Rob Schlicht wrestled tough. Cameron Adcox wrestled well, too."
Oelschlaeger improved to 7-9, while Cameron Adcox now stands at 5-3 heading into the final few weeks of the season.
THS to wrestle at Baldwin
The Chieftains will compete in arguably their toughest regular-season meet Saturday when they travel to Baldwin for the Bulldogs' high-profile invitational.
Abilene, ranked No. 15 in 4A, and last year's state runner-up, will compete, as will Andover Central, which currently is ranked No. 8 in 4A. Santa Fe Trail, No. 9 in 4A and last year's fourth-place team also will travel to Baldwin. Baldwin High, meanwhile, is ranked No. 13.
And then there's Oak Park, the juggernaut from Missouri that's ranked No. 3 nationally and No. 1 in Missouri Class 4.
Tonganoxie won't wrestle any midweek duals this week, so THS will have a full week to prepare for Baldwin.
"It has its pros and cons," Goebel said. "Five days of practice is good, but those duals help kind of break up the week and help get you going for the weekend. But then again, kids just don't have to make weight but only once."
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