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Tickets Punched: Colby tops field at WaKeeney regional

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The Eagles showed why they are the top-ranked team in 3-2-1A winning the regional championship by more than 40 points

  • Hoxie's Dayton Porsch continued his stellar high school wrestling career with a regional championship in WaKeeney. (Photo by Everett Royer)
    Hoxie's Dayton Porsch continued his stellar high school wrestling career with a regional championship in WaKeeney. (Photo by Everett Royer)

Colby wrestling took seventh in 3-2-1A last season with 58.5 points. The Eagles had just one returning state placer available for regionals this year. Senior 182-pounder Kory Finley took fourth at 170 last winter. 

Rathe Aschenbrenner was third at 106 in ’17-18 and was ranked third at 113 most of the 2018-19 season but has been unable to compete since the Garden City Rocky Welton tournament in late January.

However, Colby has received significant improvement from several returning state qualifiers, including Hagan Booi, Tucker Branum and Kurt Schroeder and added talented freshman Tyler Voss and Aiden Cook. As well, the Eagles had breakout years from junior Cade Lanning and sophomore Declan Ryan.

Colby’s depth has helped the Eagles remain No. 1 in Class 3-2-1A the majority of the winter. At the 3-2-1A WaKeeney-Trego regional, the Eagles earned the title with 168 points, well ahead of runner-up Plainville (122). Norton was third at 121.5, Hoxie fourth at 112 and Oberlin fifth with 93. 

All five teams are ranked in the top-10 in 3-2-1A, which takes place next weekend at Fort Hays State University’s Gross Memorial Coliseum. Colby will be the prohibitive favorite to win its first state title in school history at 3-2-1A. The Eagles have captured three 4A titles in recent history in ’01, ’09 and ’16. 

Hoxie’s Dayton Porsch, ranked first at 160, is a three-time defending state champion and Northern Iowa signing. He earned Regional Wrestler accolades, and Plainville coach Ryan Becker was Regional Coach.

At 106, Colby freshman Tyler Voss, the only Eagle ranked No. 1 in a classification, moved to 36-7 and defeated Oberlin’s Reece Grafel. Goodland’s D.J. Knox beat Norton’s Darius Schields for third/fourth. This was one of the stronger weight classes at any regional with all four ranked in the top-six.

Class 113 was one of the more open weights after Aschenbrenner’s absence. Plainville freshman Jesse Mackey (17-14) has continued a big turnaround. He was fifth at Mid-Continent League junior high last winter and is now a regional titlist. Mackey is ranked sixth. He defeated Oberlin’s Breckin Sauvage in the finals. 

Ellis sophomore Sam Pyle made a return trip to state and pinned Goodland’s Brody Kaup for third place. Pyle was seeded eighth and took third. His plus-five seed-place difference was the second-biggest in the field.

At 120, Hoxie freshman Drew Bell (32-5) was the first of four Indian champions. Three of the four 120-pound qualifiers were freshmen. St. Francis sophomore Garin Cooper took second. For third place, Colby’s Aiden Cook defeated Hill City’s Aidan Hockman.

Class 126 has been a topsy-turvy class throughout the year and again had another slight upset. Hill City senior Alec Segarra (33-4) ranked second, pinned top-ranked Oberlin senior Drew Juenemann (26-9) in 3:20. As well, Norton junior Camdyn Unterseher, who has been No. 1 earlier this season, took third with a 4-3 decision against Cimarron’s Adam McPhail.

At 132, Hoxie junior Dylan Weimer (32-6) defeated St. Francis senior Tiernan Poling (33-5) by a 3-0 decision. Weimer was the lone ranked wrestler in the field and was seeded sixth. Oakley sophomore Eric Cain (25-13) beat Quinter senior Eli Reling (10-4) for third place. Reling was a rare Quinter state qualifier. He co-ops with nearby WaKeeney.

At 138, Colby’s Kurt Schroeder, wrestling with a broken hand, returned to the mat for the first time since the Garden City tournament in late January. He improved to 31-7 with a 6-0 decision against Atwood’s Kendrick Woody. Oakley junior Aidan Stephenson was third, and Hill City senior Bryce Ashbaugh took fourth. Schroeder is ranked fourth, Stephenson sixth.

Class 145 had the biggest upsets of any weight. For the championship, Hoxie sophomore Aidan Baalman beat Plainville senior Brandon Rohr, 11-8, in the title. Baalman, a returning state qualifier last year, was unranked. Rohr was fifth in the rankings last week but moved to second this week. Ellis freshman Mason Gottschalk pinned Norton senior Dylan Goss for third fourth. However, Goss (15-18) was the tournament’s biggest surprise. He was seeded 12th and his plus-eight seed/place difference was by far the biggest in the field.

At 152, Ellis sophomore Konnor Pfeifer (33-6) had been ranked most of the year but was not ranked entering the tournament. He was seeded third but took first with a 3-2 finals victory against Wichita County’s Jesse Gardner (26-2). Gardner is ranked fifth in the class. 

As well, Colby junior Cade Lanning (21-18) pulled an upset when he defeated Plainville freshman Ben Hansen for third/fourth, 6-4. Hansen is ranked sixth in the class.

At 160, Hoxie’s Dayton Porsch rolled again with a fall by 1:43 against Cimarron sophomore Tate Seabolt. Porsch is 37-1, and Seabolt stands at 30-3. For third, Oberlin sophomore Gavon Uehlin defeated Norton junior Brandon Vacura, 7-5. In the rankings, Porsch is first, Seabolt fifth, and Vacura sixth.

Class 170 was also stacked and finished with Plainville’s Jordan Finnesy winning, 11-7, against Oakley senior Morgan Rains. Finnesy is 34-2, Rains stands at 29-5. For third, Norton’s Cole Amlong beat Hill City’s Jayce Hamel, 8-6. All four wrestlers are ranked, Finnesy the highest at second.

Class 182 featured Holcomb’s Tanner Johnson, Colby’s Kory Finley, and Cimarron’s Dylan Newton, ranked two through fourth, respectively, in 3-2-1A. Johnson (27-1) defeated Newton (28-2) by fall in 4:18. Finley defeated St. Francis’ Shadyron Blanka by fall for third.

At 195, Colby’s Hagan Booi defeated Plainville’s Ryan Junkermeier, 5-4, in one of the best finals matches. Booi (36-6) is ranked second, and Junkermeier (27-6) is ranked third. Norton junior Judson Wiltfong beat Goodland’s Dawson Holub for third/fourth.

At 220, Norton’s Hayden Wiltfong (28-2) again rolled through the bracket. Long known for his pins, Wiltfong won by fall in 1:24 against Colby’s Tucker Branum (21-4) in the championship. Wiltfong is second, and Branum is fourth in the rankings. Oberlin senior Reegon Witt took third over WaKeeney-Trego junior Dillon Dunn. Witt is ranked third, and Dunn, unranked currently, was ranked earlier this year.

At 285, Lakin’s Hadley Panzer (35-0) continued on a collision course for a possible rematch with Sabetha’s Elliott Strahm at state. Strahm defeated Panzer in sudden victory in the state semifinals last season and won the title. Panzer hasn’t lost since. Strahm has been ranked No. 1, Panzer second. 

Panzer won by fall in 3:10 against WaKeeney’s Parker Opat in the championship. For third/fourth, Colby sophomore Declan Ryan pinned Wichita County’s Jesse Hermosillo, his second win by fall against Hermosillo in the tournament.

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