3-2-1A Regional Wrestling Tournaments are this weekend for area teams. Action begins at 2:00 on Friday afternoon with the 1st round and will go through Championship Quarterfinals, Consolation 1st Round and Championship Semifinals on Friday. Saturday’s Consolation Cross-Bracketing will begin at 10:00 a.m. and roll all through the day to the Championship Finals in the evening.
Our KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 area teams will be competing at two different Regionals this season. Competitors from Beloit, Rock Hills, Osborne and Lincoln will be at the Southeast of Saline Regional in rural Gypsum, while Smith Center will compete at the Trego Regional in WaKeeney.
At SE of Saline, there are 25 teams competing. One of those teams is ranked in the Top 10 of the latest KWCA rankings, as Hoisington is currently #2 in 3-2-1A. Individually, there are 10 wrestlers ranked in the Top 6 of their respective weight classes in the tournament.
The Beloit Trojans are led by their 113 lb competitor, Junior Blayne Harris. Harris is currently ranked #2 in the state in 3-2-1A and enters the Regional with a 28-2 record. He has qualified for State in each of his first two seasons and will look to get back this season. At 120 lbs, Junior Caden Emmot is also a two-time State qualifier and has a 20-11 record this season. Others to watch for Beloit include Junior Blaine Burks at 170 lbs, as he is 18-11 on the season, and Freshman Creighton Johnson at 14-9 at 220 lbs. Beloit head coach Andy Niemczyk offered his thoughts on the Regional tournament this weekend and isn’t counting anybody on his team out.
Niemczyk will also be coaching Sophomore Zane Colson of Rock Hills. Colson is 30-6 this season at 145 lbs, and is looking to qualify for State for the second straight season.
The Osborne Bulldogs have had a solid regular season and send four of their six wrestlers into Regionals with winning records. At 145 lbs, Junior Spencer Heise is 30-6 and looking to qualify for State for the third straight year. Last year, Heise finished 5th in the State at 138. At 170, Junior Byron Roenne is 22-7. Junior Roxton Brown, who qualified for State last season at 195, is wrestling at 182 lbs this year and has a 25-4 record. Also, Senior Derek Naegele is 20-2 for the Bulldogs this season at 195 and is looking to make it back to State this season. He qualified at 170 as a Sophomore, but sat out his Junior year with an injury. Osborne coach Nate Brown is excited about his team’s prospects this weekend.
For Lincoln, they have two wrestlers entering with winning records. Sophomore Sam Huehl is 13-8 at 106 lbs and is looking to qualify for State for the 2nd straight season. Also, Freshman Chantz Vath has had a great season at 120, going 21-3 so far this season. Leopards head coach John Gardner knows that the competition will be tough this weekend.
Again, Smith Center will be competing at the Trego 3-2-1A Regional in WaKeeney on Friday and Saturday. The Trego tournament appears to be the toughest this season, as 4 of the 25 teams are ranked in the KWCA Top 10. Norton is #1, Smith Center is #4, Hoxie checks in at #5 and Oakley is at #9 in the team rankings. Individually, 34 wrestlers are ranked in the top 6 of their respective classes by the coaches. Five of those 34 are from Smith Center. At 138, Senior David Hileman is ranked #1 in the state, and has placed at State each of his first three seasons, including winning the 126 lb State title as a Sophomore. At 145, Junior Colton Hutchinson is 32-5 and #4 in the state and hopes to make State for the 3rd straight season. Senior Chase Ryan is 28-7 this season at 170 and ranked #6. Senior Kaden Meitler has come on of late, checking in at #4 in the rankings and is 29-5. He is also looking for a 3rd straight trip to State. Finally, at 220 lbs, Junior Dalton Kuhn, the 3-2-1A State Runner-up last season enters as the #3 ranked wrestler and has a record of 26-7 this season. Smith Center head coach Brock Hutchinson knows the competition will be tough for his team this weekend.
KD Country 94 Sports will have coverage of the Regional Wrestling Tournaments this weekend. On Friday, we will update results during our basketball broadcasts, and on Saturday, we have updates each half hour beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the conclusion of the Championship Finals.