By CONOR NICHOLL
Significant rankings changes, and girls’ milestones
The Nov. 18 to Dec. 10 Rankings brought significant shuffle in all four boys’ classifications, as well as the girls’ poll. This season marks the first winter girls’ wrestling is a KSHSAA sanctioned sport. Notably, Goddard is the new top team in 5A, Norton is the new No. 1 squad in 3-2-1A boys, and McPherson bumped into the top spot in the girls’ rankings. Multiple top wrestlers, including Hoisington’s Wyatt Pedigo and Nickerson’s Nichole Moore, were among those that have changed weight classes.
On Thursday, another milestone event occurs with a key Western Athletic Conference dual between Dodge City (No. 7 6A boys) and Great Bend (No. 3 5A boys). Before the boys’ dual, the girls will have the first ever WAC girls’ dual.
On Dec. 2, Washburn Rural faced K.C. Harmon in the first-ever girls’ dual. WR won, 48 -18. Many of the squads will open this week.
While the other three boys’ classification rankings and the girls’ poll had significant updates, Class 6A had limited changes. On Nov. 18, the top-10 went Garden City, Washburn Rural, Derby, Mill Valley, Olathe North, Olathe South, Dodge City, Manhattan, Wichita West and Haysville Campus.
On Dec. 10, Garden City, Rural and Derby are the top-three. Olathe South moved to fourth, and Mill Valley fifth, with Olathe North sixth. Dodge City, Manhattan and Wichita West remained seventh through ninth. Gardner-Edgerton replaced Haysville Campus at tenth.
The biggest change occurred with Mill Valley sophomore Easton Taylor, who moved from fourth at 126 on Nov. 18 to first at 120 on Dec. 10.
Garden City senior Jacob Holt was ranked first at 138 and has bumped up to first at 145. Olathe South senior Dallas Koelzer was second at 132 and is now first at 138.
Slyter commits to Little Rock
Olathe North senior Keegan Slyter, ranked No. 1 at 126, has committed to Arkansas-Little Rock.
The 5A rankings went through changes, too. Maize, Goddard, Blue Valley Southwest, St. Thomas Aquinas, Great Bend, Arkansas City, McPherson, Newton, Lansing and Basehor-Linwood were the top-10 on No. 18.
For the Dec. 10 rankings, Goddard and Maize flipped spots. The 3-5 spots now has Great Bend, Blue Valley Southwest and St. Thomas Aquinas. McPherson, Arkansas City, Newton, Lansing and Maize South are the back half of the top-10.
Great Bend senior Carsyn Schooler was second at 138, and moved down a weight class to first at 132. He helped Great Bend win the Valley Center tournament. GB won with 211 points, with Valley Center second at 152, Rose Hill third at 142. Schooler, and senior Gage Fritz each won its weight class. Fritz is ranked second at 145.
Avery Wolf, Wyatt Weber, Drew Liles, Toby West and Owen Ridgeway all took second. Kaden Spragis took third, along with Quinn Hoffman, Scott Heilman and Eli Witte. In the latest rankings, Spragis is sixth at 106, Wolf ranks sixth at 113, Weber is fifth at 120.
Liles is fourth at 126, George Weber stands third at 152, and Alex Randolph ranks fourth at 160.
Meyers picks up scholarship from Colorado football
At 195, Hays sophomore Gavin Meyers moved from second to first. Meyers recently picked up a football offer from Colorado.
Goddard moves up
Goddard had a couple of wrestlers move up. Goddard sophomore Jerrdon Fisher moved from third to second. Senior 285-pounder Devon Dawon was unranked at 285 and jumped to third from Nov. 18 to Dec. 10.
On Dec. 4, Basehor-Linwood broke a six-year dual loss streak to Bonner Springs with a 42-35.
Blue Valley Southwest wins Burlington Duals
Blue Valley Southwest won the Burlington Wildcat Duals. Burlington is second, Washburn Rural third, Maize South fourth, Baldwin fifth and defending 3-2-1A champion Eureka sixth.
The Nov. 18 rankings featured Chanute, Marysville, Andale, Scott City, Holton, Pratt, Winfield, Abilene, Frontenac and KC Piper.
The Dec. 10 poll had Chanute, Andale, Marysville, and K.C. Piper jumped up six slots. Holton ranked fifth again. The back half had Scott City, Pratt, Frontenac, Winfield and Rose Hill.
The only top ranking that changed occurred at 182. On Nov. 18, Frontenac junior Dylan Ensch was first, followed by Concordia junior Hunter Schroeder, Smoky Valley senior Dax Hopp, and K.C. junior Branden Martin at fourth.
In the Dec. 10 rankings, Martin stands first, followed by Ensch, Schroeder and Happ. Additionally, sophomore Anthony Ferguson moved from second at 170 to second at 160. Additionally, senior LaJames White was unranked on Nov. 18 and is ranked third at 170 in the latest rankings.
In the Nov. 18 rankings, Smith Center, Hoxie, Norton, Hoisington and Colby were ranked in the top-5. Rossville, Beloit, Eureka, WaKeeney-Trego and Riverside rounded out the back five.
In the Dec. 10 poll, Norton, Colby, Hoxie, Beloit and Phillipsburg is the first five. Defending champion Eureka is sixth. Hoisington, Rossville, Oberlin and Goodland are in spots seven through ten. Smith Center has fallen out of the rankings. Senior Jaden Atwood was ranked first at 138 in the preseason, though suffered an injury in football. Atwood has fallen out of the rankings.
Additionally, SC senior Brell Spiess was first at 182 on Nov. 18, and is sixth in the latest ranking.
Pedigo switches classes
Hoisington’s Pedigo, a two-time state wrestling champion, started at 195 in a standout weight class that featured Colby junior Hagan Booi, and Norton senior Judson Wiltfong. Pedigo beat Booi for the state championship last winter. In football, Pedigo is the 2A two-time Sports in Kansas Offensive Player of the Year, and Wiltfong was the co-Defensive Player of the Year this fall.
Pedigo and Wiltfong have bumped to 220 and rank 1-5, respectively. Booi is first at 195.
Changes at 160, 170, 182
Another big change occurred at 160, 170, and 182. On Nov. 18, Cimarron junior Tate Seabolt and Eureka junior Brent Escareno were both runner-ups last winter. They were 1-2 at 160 on Nov. 18. As well, Plainville senior Jordan Finnesy and Norton senior Cole Amlong was 1-2 at 170. Finnesy beat Amlong for the state championship.
On Dec. 10, Escareno is first at 160. Seabolt and Amlong are 1-2 at 170. Sophomore Brennan Walker is first at 182, and Finnesy is second at 182.
Fredonia’s Matt Weilert ranked first at 145 in November, and is second at 152. Eureka junior Brennan Lowe, a defending state champion, stands first again at 152.
In the lower weights, Phillipsburg senior Aaron Lenker was fourth at 120 and is up to first at 132. Colby sophomore Tyler Voss moved from first at 106 to third at 120. Hoxie’s Dylan Weimer is up to first at 138 in Atwood’s place.
Philbern won’t wrestle
Additionally, Hoisington’s Riley Philbern was ranked fourth at 285 in the preseason, but suffered a knee injury in football. He has elected to not wrestle this year. Philbern is an all-state lineman and has multiple offers, including Kansas Wesleyan, Baker, Ottawa and Dodge City.
McPherson was the state girls’ wrestling power in the last three years of the unofficial state girls’ tournaments. On Nov. 18, Fort Scott, McPherson, Labette County, Caney Valley and Great Bend opened as the top-five. The second five was Paola, Osawatomie, Nickerson, Rose Hill and Onaga.
On Dec. 10, McPherson is first and Great Bend second. GB delivered an impressive first tournament. Nickerson, Douglass and Labette County are in the top-five. Caney Valley, Fort Scott, Paola, Osawatomie and Junction City are sixth through tenth, respectively.
The Nov. 18 girls rankings couldn’t fill out a top-six at 143 or 235. After the first official sanctioned results, all 11 weight classes have the normal six ranked wrestlers. On Nov. 18, Caney Valley senior Grace Pinkerton and Fort Scott junior Laurin Thompson were ranked first and second at 235.
On Dec. 10, Pinkerton remains first, followed by Atchison County’s Drucilla Longbrake, Nickerson’s Destiny O’Neal, McPherson junior Madison Skytte, Garden City’s Camilia Estevez and Washburn Rural junior Dajia Anderson.
At 143, the Nov. 18 rankings were Labette County senior Abbie Jones, Andover Central junior Jacquelyn Tschohl, Stafford junior Madison McKloskey, Fort Scott senior Hannah Vann, and Basehor-Linwood sophomore Cadence Christensen.
Jones remained first Dec. 10. Then, WaKeeney-Trego junior Sydney Boyle, McPherson senior Hayley Schafer, Vann, Christensen, and Humboldt senior Cheyenne Harris are ranked 1-6 at 143.
Nickerson senior Nichole Moore, ranked nationally, was No. 1 at 109. She moved to first at 116. Rose Hill senior Anayka Besco dropped from first to second at 116. At 109, Lakin sophomore Isabelle Ortiz was second to Moore, and moved to first once Moore switched weights.
The rest of the No. 1-ranked wrestlers remained the same: Osawatomie senior Amanda Newcomb (106), Paola junior Jordyn Knecht (123), Great Bend sophomore Bre Ridgeway (130), K.C. Piper junior Sara Lake (136), Onaga senior Morgan Mayginnes (155), Douglass sophomore Jewella Cokeley (170), and Junction City senior Elisa Robinson (182).
At the McPherson season-opening girls’ tournament, GB’s Ridgeway had a dominant performance with a 50 second pin against McPherson’s Kaleigh Marbut, followed by falls in 37 seconds and 1:24. Marbut is a strong wrestler and ranked fourth at 123.