Four of the nine Iola High wrestlers know what to expect. They had their first tastes of Kansas Class 4A Regional wrestling last year.
In its first full varsity season of competition, Iola goes into the 2010 Class 4A regional this weekend with three wrestlers earning top six seeds in their respective weight divisions. There are 15 schools in the regional tournament hosted by Chanute High School.
Wrestling in the regional begins at 2 p.m. Friday at the CHS gym. Saturday’s session begins at 11 a.m. and the championship finals are slated to begin around 6:30 p.m.
The top four wrestlers in each weight division advance to the 2010 Kansas Class 4A State Wrestling Tournament, Feb. 26-27, at Salina’s Bicentennial Center.
“There are a lot of good guys at the heavier weights,” said Ron Schomaker, Iola High head coach, following Wednesday’s seeding meeting.
Iola junior Marcus Sullivan earned the No. 4 seed in the 160-pound division. Sullivan posted a 29-5 record during the regular season.
Earning sixth seeds were freshman Stephen McDonald at 189 and junior Chris Lynn at 285. McDonald had a 21-17 regular-season record while Lynn went 21-9.
“In these three brackets, you’ve got two or three guys that really stand out then about four more below them that are pretty even,” Schomaker said.
“It’s all going to come down to how we wrestle. If we wrestle loose then we’ll be fine.”
Schomaker said he expects his wrestlers to be aggressive on the mat but to just relax and wrestle. The regional is a double-elimination event.
Admission to the tournament on Friday is $3 for students (K-12) and $4 for adults. On Saturday admission is $5 for students and $7 for adults, which is for the entire day.
For Saturday’s finals session only, admission is $3 for students and $4 for adults.
Sullivan, Brent Clark, Lee Berg and Devin Culler all competed in regional action a year ago. Clark is a sophomore wrestling at 130 for the Mustangs and had a 7-25 mark. Berg is a junior 135-pounder at 8-20 and Culler is a sophomore at 152 with a 13-17 record.
Iola freshman Zeph Larney (9-12) will wrestle at 125 pounds. Freshman Joe Myrick (17-16) is at 140 and junior Drew Shepherd (12-16) is at 171.
Other schools competing in the regional are Chanute, Labette County, Coffeyville, Columbus, Fort Scott, Independence and Parsons, all out of the Southeast Kansas League, plus Augusta, El Dorado, Anderson County, Prairie View, Mulvane, Rose Hill and Circle.
Pairings won’t be set until Friday afternoon following a coaches meeting.
There are 19 ranked wrestlers among those expected to compete in the 14 different weight classes.
At 160, John Hambleton of Labette County is ranked second and El Dorado’s Lucas Cortez is ranked third. At 189, Dylan Walker of El Dorado and Dylan Hageman of Mulvane are third and sixth, respectively.
In the 285-pound division, Tank Burns of Columbus is ranked second followed by Luke Henning of Augusta in third and Damone Hatch of Independence in fourth. Chanute’s Troy Clark is fifth at 125 and Sam Son is second at 152.
Columbus’s Kyle Johnson is second at 130 and B.T. O’Hara is third at 140. Colton Kral of Prairie View is sixth at 140.
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