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Eight Local Grapplers Punch Ticket To State, Holton Claims 4A Regional Runner-Up
By Jake W Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports
02/22/2020

Louisburg, KS

4A Regional Wrestling wrapped up on Saturday in Louisburg where local grapplers would either see their season come to an end, or extend to the state tournament next week in Salina.

Holton – The Wildcats came into the regional tournament ranked #8 in 4A and looked to bring home more hardware to place next to their recent Big 7 League championship, and they did just that. Holton finished the tournament as Regional Runner-Up to Regional Champion Paola, while pushing five on to state next week. The matcats already knew after Friday's action that four would place and head to state with Junior Jake Barnes (113lb), Senior Kolby Roush (138lb), Freshman Jayden Fletcher (152lb) and Junior Konnor Tannahill (195lb) all going 3-0 on Friday to place themselves in championship bouts. Eight other wrestlers would vy for state tournament appearances but only one would punch his ticket on Saturday in Senior Taygen Fletcher (145lb). Taygen Fletcher needed to win just once match to ensure his ticket to state and he did that in the consolation semi-finals by way of pin.

In the Championship and Consolation Finals round the 'Cats would go 4-1 with Barnes (INJ Default), Roush (17-5 decision) and Tannahill (Fall 3:29) all becoming regional champions with Tannahill's victory sealing the runner up finish for the 'Cats. Jayden Fletcher would lose his championship bout by a 6-0 decision to finish runner up while his big brother Taygen had one of the best matches of the day finishing third. Tied 1-1 with just ten seconds left in the match Fletcher's opponent Noah Bowden of Paola took his shot and missed, Taygen's response would prove to be crucial. Following the miss by Bowden, Fletcher took advantage of his off balance opponent and quickly threw him to the mat for a two-point taken down with just six seconds remaining and hold on for the victory.

Atchison - The Redmen were guaranteed one wrestler at the state tournament after Friday with Senior Nick Funk (285lb) going 3-0, but looked to get more through the backside of the bracket on Saturday. Atchison would see one more grappler punch his ticket to state with Senior Jayden Watkins (132lb) coming through the backside to place fourth on Saturday. Funk would have to wait the entire day before his match which was the final match of the tournament and a tough one matching up against undefeated Senior Evan Dean from Santa Fe Trail. Funk would suffer only his second loss of the season getting pinned by Dean, which isn't something unheard of as Dean is now just one pin away from breaking the state record for pins in one season.

Jeff West – The Tigers were guaranteed one wrestler at state after Friday and would not get any more through the backside on Saturday. Senior Joel Scott (170lb) went 3-0 on Friday and was in the championship bout where he fell by a 7-3 decision to finish as Regional Runner-Up

Royal Valley – The panthers failed to qualify anyone for the State Tournament this season, with the best chance of pushing someone through on the consolation side in Freshman Quinton Nelson (106) who was defeated in the consolation semi-finals by a 7-0 decision by Tonganoxie's Grant Kelly.

Bottom of the hour updates from Salina next Friday and Saturday on 103.9FM KNZA


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