Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2013

State wrestling 2013: Meet the Chieftains

Senior Julius Coats is one of eight Tonganoxie High wrestlers who will represent their school Friday and Saturday at the Class 4A state tournament in Salina.

Senior Julius Coats is one of eight Tonganoxie High wrestlers who will represent their school Friday and Saturday at the Class 4A state tournament in Salina.

February 21, 2013

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One week after leading Tonganoxie High to its first-ever regional championship, eight Chieftain wrestlers have hit the road to the Salina Bicentennial Center for Friday and Saturday's Class 4A state tournament. The eight state qualifiers — highlighted by four regional champions — match the school record set by last year's team.

Friday's first round is scheduled for 4 p.m. A complete tournament schedule is available here. Here is a look at the THS state qualifiers and how they wrestled their way to the state's biggest stage.

Dalton Tavis (126 pounds)

Year: Sophomore

Season record: 16-5

Regional finish: First

Other notable finishes: Third at Holton, Third at Baldwin, Third at KVL

Previous state appearances: 2012 (Did not place)

Notes: Tavis transferred out of state after his freshman season, but returned midway through the 2012-13 campaign. He won his first regional title last week by pinning Sumner Academy's Donte Boose, who had lost just one match all season. He'll open state competition against Luis Mendoze of Ulysses (13-17).

Clayton Himpel (132 pounds)

Year: Junior

Season record: 37-4

Regional finish: First

Other notable finishes: First at Wamego, First at Eudora, First at Tonganoxie, First at Louisburg, First at Holton, First at KVL

Previous state appearances: 2011 (Fourth), 2012 (Did not place)

Notes: Himpel, the Chieftains' only three-time state qualifier, moved from 120 pounds to 132 in January. He's he's gone 12-2 since making the switch. He won a regional title against Baldwin's Tucker Clark, scoring a two-point takedown as time expired in the final period. He'll take on Goodland's Brook Bahe (20-9) in his state opener.

Asher Huseman (152 pounds)

Year: Sophomore

Season record: 35-8

Regional finish: Second

Other notable finishes: Second at Wamego, Third at Eudora, First at Tonganoxie, First at Louisburg, First at Holton, Second at Baldwin, Second at KVL

Previous state appearances: 2012 (Sixth)

Notes: Huseman was the only THS wrestler to medal at last year's state tournament. He was the team's only regular varsity wrestler to avoid getting pinned all season. He'll wrestle against Prairie View's Cordell Dunlop (32-18) in the first round of state.

Gus Dent (170 pounds)

Year: Senior

Season record: 19-11

Regional finish: Third

Other notable finishes: First at Wamego, Third at Tonganoxie, Third at Louisburg, First at KVL

Previous state appearances: None

Notes: Dent is headed to state after spending the last three seasons at the junior varsity level. He needed two overtime matches to punch his ticket at last week's regional, including a quarterfinal win that required three extra periods. He'll open state against Darick Jones of Clearwater (35-5).

Luke Carey (182 pounds)

Year: Junior

Season record: 27-13

Regional finish: Second

Other notable finshes: Second at Wamego, Second at Tonganoxie, Second at Louisburg, Third at Baldwin, Third at KVL

Previous state appearances: None

Notes: Carey, a first-time state qualifier, has ignited several late surges by the Chieftains throughout the season. He went a perfect 4-0 in dual competition and wrestled his way to the championship round in four tournaments. He'll take on Royal Valley's Tristen Ogden (27-10) in his state opener.

Julius Coats (195 pounds)

Year: Senior

Season record: 32-4

Regional finish: First

Other notable finishes: Second at Wamego, Second at Eudora, Second at Tonganoxie, Second at Louisburg, First at Basehor-Linwood, First at Baldwin, First at KVL

Previous state appearances: 2012 (Did not place)

Notes: Coats will enter state as the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class. He opened the season with three straight runner-up finishes, but a title at the Bobcat Classic on Jan. 12 kicked off his current streak of 14 straight wins, 10 of which have come by pin. He'll open state against Troy Quenzer of Colby (31-11).

Thomas Miller (220 pounds)

Year: Senior

Season record: 35-8

Regional finish: Second

Other notable finishes: Second at Wamego, Third at Eudora, Second at Tonganoxie, First at Louisburg, Second at Holton, First at Baldwin, First at KVL

Previous state appearances: 2012 (Did not place)

Notes: Miller came within one win of a medal at last year's state tournament. He's been on a tear in recent weeks, winning 11 of his last 13 matches. All but five of his wins this season have come by pin. He'll wrestle against Osawatomie's Tanner Foulk (29-15) in the first round.

Zeke Kissinger (285 pounds)

Year: Junior

Season record: 20-6

Regional finish: First

Other notable finishes: Second at Tonganoxie, Second at Louisburg, Third at KVL

Previous state appearances: None

Notes: Kissinger is 6-1 since returning from a shoulder injury on Jan. 31. He clinched a regional title last week with a 2-0 victory against Perry-Lecompton's Brendan Neal. He'll open his first state tournament against Will Divine of Chanute (31-8).

Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the tournament. Use the hashtag #MirrorSports to join the conversation.

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