By CONOR NICHOLL
Week 2 of the Kansas High School rankings featured multiple big class teams, including Mill Valley, Blue Valley Southwest and St. Thomas Aquinas, at the 40-team Council Bluffs tournament in Iowa. Chanute, No. 1 in 4A, had a strong showing in Oklahoma. Hoxie and Beloit had big moves up in 3-2-1A. The girls’ side has featured the return of top-ranked Paola junior Jordyn Knecht from injury, and a bump from Caney Valley, one of the smaller schools that has girls’ wrestling. Plus classification changes notably affected Colby and Scott City. Click here for RANKINGS
The top-three teams remained the same with Garden City, Washburn Rural, and Derby. Mill Valley moved from fifth to fourth.
Multiple Class 6A squads headed to the big Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic in Iowa. The tournament featured 40 teams. Mill Valley was ninth at 275, Olathe South was 15th with 210 points. Gardner-Edgerton was 21st with 158.5 points. Olathe North finished 30th with 120 points, though had a title with Keegan Slyter at 126.
Mill Valley’s Eddie Hughart (9-4) took seventh at 106. Zach Keal (10-3) was fourth at 132. Keal has signed with Army West Point. At 145, Austin Keal (8-4) was fourth.
At 285, Ethan Kremer, a defending state champion at 220, is 6-1 and took second. Kremer won by fall at 1:01, 1:32, 30 seconds, 1:07, 4:24, and a 5-1 decision. In the finals, Kremer fell to Gabriel Greenlee of Ames, Iowa by fall in 3:37. Kremer is ranked first at 285.
Olathe South’s Dallas Koelzer (13-1) took fifth at 138 and is ranked first in Kansas. Koelzer only lost in the quarterfinals by a 7-6 margin to Kearney’s Brayden Smith. Blake Jouret (10-2) was third at 182. Alec Younggren (12-2) was sixth at 220.
Gardner-Edgerton’s Alex Rodriguez (11-3) was seventh at 160. Gus Davis (8-4) earned fourth at 195. Rodriguez is ranked third at 160, while Davis stands second.
Olathe North’s Slyter (12-1) took first at 126 and is ranked first. He opened with a technical fall victory, and then pulled off three wins by fall in 4:55, 3:42, 2:27, and then another technical fall victory. Slyter had a 3:29 fall win in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Slyter won 3-2. In the championship, Slyter defeated Fort Dodge’s Carson Taylor, 6-4 in sudden victory.
Garden City in Colorado
No. 1-ranked Garden City went to the ninth annual Battle of the Best duals in Colorado. Garden City was in Pool B. The Buffs defeated Eaglecrest, 63-15, and then beat Riverdale Ridge, 81-0. GC knocked Centauri, 57-24, and Pine Creek, 57-21. The Buffs defeated Cheyenne Mountain, 40-36, and beat Pueblo County, 47-29. However, GC lost 69-5 to Pomona.
The top-five teams were Goddard, Maize, Great Bend, Blue Valley Southwest and St. Thomas Aquinas. This week, it’s Maize, Goddard, Great Bend, Blue Valley Southwest with McPherson at No. 5. Aquinas is seventh.
Last year, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Jared Simma went 52-2 and tied for the all-time single season record for victories, according to Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association record list.
As well, Aquinas’ Peyton Reeves (50-4) tied for fifth all-time in single season victories. St. James Academy’s Cade Lautt tied for 12th with a 48-3 mark. Simma also set the state record with 372.5 team points, and Reeves was fifth with 343 points.
Aquinas opened with the Big vs. Small Duals in Spring Hill. Aquinas defeated Blue Valley North, 52-30. Then, the Saints lost to Santa Fe Trail, 50-30. Chanute defeated Aquinas, 64-15, and Paola defeated Aquinas, 46-33. The Saints, though, beat Holton, 43-33.
There were six wrestlers that led the field with five pins: Simma, Aquinas’ Tommy Carroll, Paola’s Preston Martin, Olathe Northwest’s Caden Howard, Olathe South’s Younggren and Blue Valley’s Trevor Lister.
Martin is No. 1 at 132 in 4A.
Howard is ranked third at 126 in 6A, and Younggren is sixth at 220. Lister is ranked No. 1 at 220 in 6A.
Then, Aquinas went to the big Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic in Iowa, along with St. James, which finished No. 17 in the 40-team tournament with 178.5 points. Aquinas was 24th with 152.5 points.
Simma (12-1) took second at 160 with dominant victories. He won his matches all by fall in 23 seconds, 1:15, 2:53, 18 seconds, 1:51, one minute and 21 seconds. In the championship, Simma fell to Liberty’s Drake Smith with an 8-7 decision. Smith is 14-0.
At 195, Tommy Carroll (10-1) was second. After a first-round bye, Carroll won by fall in 2:21, 43 seconds, 37 seconds, a minute, 2:17 and then lost, 11-5, to Creighton (Neb.) Prep’s Tony Pray. Simma is first at 160, and Carroll is sixth in a deep weight class at 195, the same spots as last week.
For St. James, Lautt, a North Carolina wrestling commit, is 10-1 after a second-place showing. After a first-round bye, Lautt won by fall in 31 seconds, 39 seconds, 38 seconds, 1:21, and 39 seconds. In the championship, Lautt fell to Millard South’s Isaac Trumble by fall in 3:15. Trumble is 11-0.
Lautt remains second in the rankings.
At Council Bluffs, Blue Valley Southwest finished fourth with 365 points including a title from 170-pounder Seth Nitzel.
Blue Valley Southwest had a variety of top finishers in the big tournament. Tanner Barrett (10-3) was eighth at 106. Hayden Mills (12-2) took seventh at 113. Brett Umentum (11-2) was seventh at 126. Brandon Madden (11-1) took second at 145. Madden had a first-round bye.
Then, he had a win by fall in 1 minute, 27 seconds, an 8-2 decision, a fall in 1:01, a 12-2 major decision. In the semifinals, Madden defeated Mill Valley’s Austin Keal, 7-0. Keal and Slyter are both Arkansas-Little Rock signees.
In the championship, Madden fell, 9-1, to Underwood’s Nick Hamilton in the final. Hamilton is 13-0. Madden is ranked first at 145. BVSW is fourth in the team rankings.
At 170, Nitzel (12-0) had a bye. He then won by technical fall, major decision, technical fall, major decision and then back-to-back decisions by 7-6 and 4-3 margins. Jackson McCall (10-2) took sixth at 182 pounds. John Hubbel (12-1) was fifth at 220. Nitzel is first at 170, and McCall is third at 182.
A big rankings change occurred at 195. McPherson senior Landon Frantz was fourth at 182 on Nov. 18. Then, Frantz rose to third in the Dec. 10 poll. He is now No. 1 ranked at 195. Frantz went 7-0 at the Colby Eagle duals, all by pin. The first six came in 2:41 or less, including to Colby’s Hagan Booi, a state runner-up. He also pinned Hays High’s Gavin Meyers in 3:48. Meyers, with recent football offers from Colorado and Kansas State, moved from first to second.
Frantz was third at 182 last winter, including a 9-3 decision versus Meyers in the third-place match at state.
The top-four teams in 4A stayed the same with Chanute, Andale, Marysville, and K.C. Piper. Scott City moved from 3-2-1A to 4A in the new classifications released. SC is fifth in 4A.
No. 1-ranked Chanute headed to the Perry (Okla.) Tournament of Champions. The tournament featured 23 teams and was heavy with Oklahoma squads. Chanute earned fourth with 131 points, while Arkansas City was fifth at 130.5.
For Chanute, sophomore 106-pounder Trent Clements (9-1) finished in third. The previous weekend, Clements was 5-0 at the Big vs. Small Duals in Spring Hill. Clements is still first at 106.
At 160, Parker Winder (8-2) also finished third at Perry. Junior Brayden Dillow (9-0) earned the championship at 182. He is ranked third at 182.
Dillow had a first-round bye and then had decisions by scores of 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 and 4-3. At the Big vs. Small Duals, Dillow had a win by fall in 39 seconds, a forfeit, and a win by fall in 57 seconds. Then, Dillow defeated Olathe South’s Blake Jouret, 1-0, and Blue Valley West’s Matt Lancaster, 3-1, in two marquee wins in the Duals.
For Arkansas City, Kael Pappan (9-1) won the title at 120. He had a bye, and then wins by 13-4, a fall in 1:49, and 3-1 and 7-5 decisions. Pappan is ranked fourth.
At 145, Trig Tennant (9-1) took second and lost in a tiebreaker in the title match. He remained third in the 5A rankings. At 195, Deston Miller (8-2) won the title. Miller earned victories by fall in 1:40 and 2:38, along with decisions in 9-4 and 3-1. Miller dropped from third to fourth.
Arkansas City moved up a spot from seventh to sixth in 5A.
Colby, the defending 3-2-1A runner-up, transition to Class 4A as expected. In the first week, The Eagles won the Hoxie Invitational with 187 points, while Hoxie was second at 152.5, and Plainville third at 115. Colby finished with titlists Tyler Voss (120), Hagan Booi (195), and Rowdy Farr (220). Booi is second at 195 in 4A.
Last winter, Colby was strong in the upper weights and called Farr, then mainly a varsity backup, a strong practice partner. Farr has emerged with a nice start. At Hoxie, he captured all five matchups by fall: 1:04, 1:04, 41 seconds, 23 and 2:45. Declan Ryan (5-0) earned the crown at 285 with four wins by fall and a major decision.
Marysville, the defending 4A champion, earned several titles at the Clay Center tournament last weekend, including 145 with Jonny Crome (5-0). He captured all five wins by fall and stayed second at 145 in in the latest rankings. Noah Ackerman (5-0) won at 160 with four victories by fall in 2:21 and an 11-2 major decision victory in the finals. Crome was the only wrestler with five wins by fall in the field.
Garron Champoux (3-0) earned the title at 195 with a bye and three wins by fall: 23, 58 and 57 seconds. Jack Lott is 4-0 at 220 with wins by fall in 44, 1:02, 26 and 42 seconds.
Champoux is first at 195 again.
Scott City had six individual champions as they won the 54th annual Ulysses Tournament. Kaden Wren (138) and Justus McDaniel (145) are ranked number one in 4A in their weight classes as the Beavers are fifth this week in the KWCA.
Hoxie and Beloit took over the top-two slots in 3-2-1A this week with big performances. After the top duo, previously No. 1 Norton is ranked third, followed by Goodland, Phillipsburg, Hoisington, Rossville, Republic County, Oberlin and Eureka.
Last week, the top-10 was Norton, Colby, Hoxie, Beloit, Phillipsburg, Eureka, Hoisington, Rossville, Oberlin and Goodland.
Hoxie freshman Derek Johnson has made an instant impact at 132. He was the USA Kids’ wrestling champion in Freestyle and Greco in June and competed in national duals in mid-June. Johnson has opened with back-to-back championships at the Hoxie Invitational on Dec. 7 and again at Clay Center on last Saturday. Johnson has quickly vaulted from sixth to third at 132 in this week’s rankings.
At its own Invitational, Hoxie had championships at 113 with Dayton Bell, Drew Bell at 126, and Johnson at 132.
Dayton Bell is up to third at 113 after first place at Hoxie and second at Clay Center.
Drew Bell earned wins by four falls: 15 seconds, 3:49, 25 and 48 seconds. Johnson had a win by fall in 55 seconds, a 7-2 decision, a technical fall victory and a fall in the championship by 43 seconds.
Drew Bell moved from third to second at 126. Silver Lake’s Kai Allen, a defending state champion, was No. 1 at 126 and bumped a weight class to take over No. 1 at 132.
At 152, Aidan Baalman (5-0) captured the championship with all first-period falls. Baalman remained third at 152 rankings.
At Clay Center, Hoxie won the title with 147 points in a strong 12-team field, a day after Hoxie lost just three matches in two duals. Valley Center was second at 128.5, and Marysville, the defending 4A titlist, is third at 114.5. Clay Center took fourth at 112.5.
Johnson earned tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and improved to 12-0. He won by a 4-2 decision, by fall in 37 seconds, fall in 3:19, fall by 1:40 and an 8-2 decision in the finals versus Clay Center’s Parker Tholstrup.
Additionally, Drew Bretz (9-2) captured the title at 120. He earned a win by fall in 1:19 in the finals versus Clay Center’s Garett Kalivoda. Drew Bell (11-1) took second at 126 against Valley Center’s Alyeus Craig.
At 152, Baalman (12-0) went 5-0, including a 13-6 decision versus Salina South’s Caleb Copeland in the final. Copeland is 8-1.
For Valley Center, junior Alyeus Craig (8-0) dominated with four victories and a first-round bye. He is ranked No. 6 at 126 in 5A. Craig had three wins by fall and a 10-0 major decision victory in the semifinals. At 138, Quentin Kirk (9-1) picked up four falls and an injury default victory.
At 285, Tony Caldwell (10-0) delivered four first-period falls, and a 9-2 victory in his second match. The finals was a 28-second pin versus Clay Center’s Logan McDonald (10-1). Caldwell is No. 1 ranked in 5A.
Beloit won the 13-team Railer Round Robin in Ellis. The Trojans tallied 180.5 points with Hoisington second at 125, host Ellis third with 110.5, and WaKeeney-Trego at 103. Beloit had 34 pins, 12 more than any other team. For Beloit, Mason Fuller (6-1) was second at 120 to Council Grove’s Tom VanValkenburg, ranked No. 4 in the class.
In a key match at 145, Tate Kadel (6-1) fell to Oberlin’s Dawson Kempt in an 8-4 decision. Kempt improved to 11-0. Kempt is second, Kadel third at 145. Last week, Kadel was third at 138, and Kempt third at 145.
At 152, Hunter Prochaska had his first matches off the season and went 5-0, all by falls. He is unranked. He earned his falls in 1:11, 24 seconds, 14 seconds, 1:05 and 3:12 in the finals versus Hillsboro’s Tristan Rathbone (6-1). At 182, Brennan Walker stayed perfect at 7-0.
He captured four victories by fall in 2:50 or less. In the finals, he earned a fall in 3:24 versus Stockton’s Rylan Basart. At 195, Braden Burks (6-0) captured the title with an 8-4 decision in the championship against Ellis’ Toby Woodworth.
At 285, Beloit’s Creighton Johnson has emerged as the No. 1-ranked wrestler following season-ending injuries to Lakin’s Hadley Panzer and Hoisington’s Riley Philbern, and the graduation of Sabetha’s Elliott Strahm. Johnson, a placer at 220 last season, is 7-0, including 5-0 in the tournament. He had victories against several top opponents: Cimarron’s Hunter Renick (4-0), WaKeeney-Trego’s Parker Opat (7-2) and Lincoln’s Tra Barrientes (2-1). Opat is fourth, and Barrientes is third in the rankings.
For Hoisington, Eastin Redetzke (6-3) placed first at 106, and Evan Foltz (5-0) earned the crown at 132. Foltz earned 5-4 and 8-6 decisions in his last two matches versus Oberlin’s Corbin Wessel, and Hillsboro’s Garrett Helmer. Redetzke moved into the rankings at No. 6 this week.
At 220, two-time defending state champion Wyatt Pedigo opened his season in dominant fashion with wins by fall in 18, 14, 18, 23 and 1:56 in the championship versus WaKeeney’s Dillon Dunn (8-1). Dunn is still ranked third at 220.
For Ellis, Jarrett Mader (6-1) captured the title at 113 with two decisions at 8-5 and 8-2. At 126, Gannon Winter (6-4) fell to Council Grove’s Wyatt Johnson by fall in 59 seconds. Johnson improved to 13-0.
At 160, Konnor Pfeifer (10-0) was dominant with a technical fall victory and wins by fall in 5:08, 37 seconds, 41 seconds and a 5-1 victory versus Hillsboro’s Andre Patton. Pfeifer improved from No. 3 to No. 2 in the rankings.
Cimarron’s Tate Seabolt earned the title at 170 with five wins by fall. Pedigo, Prochaska, VanValkenburg, Seabolt and Walker all tied for the team with five victories by fall. Pedigo easily had the least time in 3 minutes, 9 seconds. Seabolt is first at 170.
Previous No. 1-ranked Norton opened in the eight-team Duster (Neb.) Scramble with six Nebraska squads. Hill City finished third at 135, and Norton took fifth at 122. Hill City had multiple runner-ups with Carter Underhill (106), Kaleb Atkins (113), Colt Segarra (160), Jadyn Walker (170) and Jayce Hamel (182).
For Norton, 106-pounder Darius Shields (7-1) captured the championship with a 5-0 record, all by falls in 2:58 or less. Judson Wiltfong (4-0) was dominant with a 220 title with four wins by fall, all in 2:58 or less. Schields is second, and Wiltfong is fifth – in the same positions as last week.
The top-four teams in the Dec. 15 rankings didn’t change with McPherson, Great Bend, Nickerson and Douglass. Caney Valley bumped to fifth to replace to Labette County, which fell to seventh.
This marks the first year that girls is an official KSHSAA sport. In the past, girls had to only wrestle versus boys in sanctioned events. This year, girls have the option to wrestle boys if it is a boys-only competition.
At the Clay Center tournament, two elite girls – Marysville’s Elise Rose and Nickerson’s Nichole Moore – chose to compete in the boys’ division. Rose (1-3) took sixth at 126. Moore, No. 2 ranked nationally by Flo Wrestling, went 2-2 and placed third at 113. Moore is ranked No. 1 in Kansas girls at 116, and Rose is ranked second at 123. Rose is No. 15 nationally.
Paola’s Jordyn Knecht, who has been nationally ranked, missed last season with an injury. Knecht, ranked No. 1 at 123, has returned with back-to-back championships. She took first in varsity girls at the Spring Hill JV and Girls Mixer on Dec. 5, and first at 125A in the Fort Osage Girls Scramble.
At the Scramble, the weight classes featured multiple weight classes of various skill sets. Gardner-Edgerton won with 102 points, the only girls’ squad in the top-12. Paola tied for 13th with 22 points. At 125A, Knecht (5-0) won by fall in 3:35 and with an 8-0 major decision.
Hoxie’s Marissa Porsch opened 3-0 with a Dec. 7 championship at the Hoxie Invitational. She won by falls in 1:37, 49 seconds and 1:07. Ashlyn Kaus (2-1) also won the title at 143. At the Dec. 14 Onaga tournament, Porsch took second, and Kaus third.
The Kan Okla tournament featured a big field with Shawnee Heights, Labette County, Wellington, Independence, Coffeyville, Caney Valley, Cherryvale, and Pittsburg, among other teams. The competition was split in varsity boys, JV boys and varsity girls.
At 101, Labette County sophomore Chloe Gile took first with two wins. Gile remained fourth at 101.
Independence’s junior Alexis Allen, ranked fourth in the classification, earned the championship at 109. Wellington freshman Anna Cullens (4-0) earned the title at 116. Erie freshman Breanna Ross improved to 6-0 with a title at 123. Wellington sophomore Kaitlyn Hain (3-0) captured the title at 130.
Caney Valley senior Cassidy Anderson won at 136 with three victories and stands fourth. Labette County senior Abbie Jones (5-0) is ranked first at 143. She won by fall in 58 seconds, 27 seconds, 16 and 13 seconds and 3:54. Caney Valley senior Miracole Walters captured the title at 155. Pittsburg junior Mercedes Angeles finished as the 170 title, Independence’s Christina Brimm captured the championship at 191. Caney Valley senior Grace Pinkerton, ranked first at 235, earned the title.
At the Great Bend JV/Girls tournament, No. 1-ranked McPherson received a championship at 123 from Kaleigh Marbut. Haley Schafer earned the title at 143, and Holli Giddings won at 155A. Marbut is ranked third at 123, Schafer is second at 143, and Giddings is second at 155.
Junction City’s Elisa Robinson, ranked No. 1 nationally, went 5-0 at 191 with falls in 2:14, 2:33, an 8-0 major decision, a fall in 42 seconds and a fall in 2:36.