Nice ring to it: Tonganoxie High boys wrestling gets final hardware to commemorate state championship
Tonganoxie High boys wrestling team members now have one more reminder of their state title back in February.
Wrestlers gathered Thursday in their new wrestling room in the USD 464 Administrative Center just west of the THS Learning Center as they received their Jostens rings.
THS coach Brett Delich said the finished ring has been weeks in the works, but he wanted the jewelry to have certain symbolism for the Tonganoxie champions.
The Tonganoxie “T” is on the face of the rings, with the wrestler’s name and weight class on one side. There also is the school’s Chieftain head logo on a side. And underneath, the word “unity” can be found in gold.
Delich said the word served as the team’s mantra this past season as the wrestling squad became the first THS team since boys cross country in 1991 to win a state title.
“We were one as a team,” Delich said, reflecting on the 2021-22 squad that made history. “That’s why we won, I think.”
THS won Frontier League and Class 4A regional titles before capturing the ultimate prize at the state championships at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina. Tonganoxie scored 132 points after finishing third the year before.
Tonganoxie will look to repeat as state champs this coming winter. The team loses a strong senior class, including Gabe Bailey, who won Tonganoxie’s lone individual title at 182 and Grayson Sonntag, who took second at 138.
But THS will have several wrestlers back, including juniors-to-be Noah Bailey and Tyler Pankey, who both placed second at state, and classmates Braeden Moore and Colton Brusven, who placed third at state. Seniors-to-be Wyatt Harris and Hunter Benedict also were state qualifiers this past February.