Chietain wrestlers snag wins, build for future in at Salina
The Tonganoxie High wrestling team was able to make a little bit of noise at this year’s Class 4A state wrestling tournament.
The Chieftains, who sent six teams to the tournament, had two wrestlers win their first matches — freshman Patterson Starcher in overtime, 6-2, in the 113-pound division and freshman Gad Huseman, 7-3, in his opening round match at 126.
Starcher and Huseman both lost in the quarterfinals, but battled in the consolation bracket.
Huseman finished the tournament 2-2, while Starcher went 1-2.
Freshman Aiden McClellan got an exciting overtime victory, 4-2, in the consolation bracket at 106 before finishing the tournament 1-2.
Senior Dalton Tavis was able to get a state victory in the consolation bracket, but also finished 1-2 at 145.
Senior Garrett Martin (138) and freshman Devin Duncan (170) both went 0-2 at the state competition at Salina’s Bicentennial Center.
McClellan finished his season at 20-17, while Starcher ended his rookie season at 32-14.
Huseman hit the 30-win plateau with the two victories. His freshman season ended at 30-14.
Martin finished up his high school wrestling career with a 28-20 senior campaign, while Tavis, who missed last year with an injury, finished his senior season at 23-9.
And Duncan, a freshman, finished with a 5-6 varsity record.
Tonganoxie’s third senior, Asher Huseman, who placed second at last year’s tournament, had his senior season cut short with a knee injury.
All things considered, THS coach Ross Starcher was pleased with how his team competed at state.
“We wrestled good and showed a lot of heart,” Starcher said. “Our seniors left everything they had out on the mat.
“It was hard to see the seniors go out like that. They put a lot of work in and you just want them to achieve all their goals.”
Though THS says goodbye to three seniors, the future also looks promising with a handful of freshmen getting state experience.
“Four returning qualifiers is a great base to build on for next year,” Starcher said. “I think it left the freshmen hungry for more. I’m very excited for next year.”
The state champion had a fairly local feel.
Baldwin, the host of Tonganoxie’s regional the previous weekend, won the state title with 113 points. That was just ahead of Chanute’s 105. Defending champion Holton placed third with 87.
Kaw Valley foe Basehor-Linwood placed sixth with 70.
Tonganoxie finished tied for 41st with six points.