Area Wrestlers Set For 3-2-1A State Tournament

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17 area wrestlers will be competing in the 3-2-1A State Tournament this weekend at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays.  The tournament begins on Friday with the 1st Round at 10:00.  The Championship Quarterfinals begin at 2, followed by the Consolation 1st Round at 4:00 with the Championship Semifinals immediately following.  On Saturday, action begins at 9:00 with Consolation Cross-Bracketing, followed by the Consolation Quarterfinals at 10:45, Consolation Semifinals at 12:15, Fifth Place matches beginning at 2:00 p.m. and the Consolation Finals at 3:00.  40 minutes after the 3rd Place matches will be the Parade of Champions followed by the Championship Finals, which will all be wrestled on one mat.

As far as the area is concerned, Smith Center qualified seven for State, while Beloit has five, Osborne and Lincoln each have two and Rock Hills will take one wrestler to the tournament.

The Beloit Trojans, who took home a 2nd place Regional finish, are led by Junior Blayne Harris who is 30-2 on the season and won the 113 lb. Southeast of Saline Regional title this past weekend.  At 120 lbs, Junior Caden Emmot made State and is 22-12 on the season after finishing 2nd last weekend.  Junior Blaine Burks finished 3rd at Regionals and enters State with a record of 21-12.  At 126 lbs, Senior Diego Dominguez took 4th at Regionals and is 18-13 on the season, and Junior Chance Sweat also took 4th at 152 lbs and enters State at 11-10.  Beloit head coach Andy Niemczyk feels that his group could have some success this weekend.

The sixth wrestler that Niemczyk is referring to is Sophomore Zane Colson.  Colson wrestles with Beloit in a cooperative during the regular season, but in the postseason, he represents his own high school, which is Rock Hills.  Colson is 32-7 going into State after finishing 2nd at last week’s Regional at 145.

Representing the Osborne Bulldogs at State this year will be Junior Spencer Heise at 145 lbs, as he finished 3rd at the Southeast of Saline Regional last weekend.  Heise enters State with a 33-7 record.  Senior Derek Naegele, who is 24-3 at 195 lbs, also finished 3rd at Regionals and will wrestle at State.  Osborne Coach Nate Brown on his philosophy at State this weekend.

For the Lincoln Leopards, Freshman Chantz Vath won a Regional Championship last weekend at SE of Saline and is 24-3 going into State.   Sam Huehl, who is a Sophomore, finished 3rd at Regionals at 106 and will take the mat at State.  Lincoln Coach John Gardner on the message he gives to his kids going into State.

Again, the Smith Center Redmen qualified the most for State from our area, as they finished 2nd at last weekend’s Trego Regional.  Four wrestlers finished 2nd at Regionals.  At 138 lbs, Senior David Hileman is 22-2 and will wrestle for his 2nd career State Championship, as he won the 126 lb. title in 2015.  Junior Colton Hutchinson is 35-6 on the season heading into State.  Senior Kaden Meitler also finished 2nd at Regionals and is 31-5 going into State at 182 lbs.  At 220 lbs, Junior Dalton Kuhn, who finished 2nd at Regionals and was a State Runner-up last season, heads back to State at 29-7 this year.  At 285, Avery Hawkins, a Junior, enters State at 26-13.  Senior Chase Ryan took home 3rd Place at Regionals last weekend in WaKeeney and enters State at 31-8, while Freshman Colton Shoemaker is 8-7 after finishing 4th at Regionals last week.  Smith Center coach Brock Hutchinson offered his thoughts on State this weekend.

KD Country 94 Sports will have updates from 3-2-1A State Wrestling beginning at 10:00 on Friday morning and go throughout the day, with results finishing during our high school basketball broadcast.  Coverage picks back up at 9:00 on Saturday morning on KD Country 94 and with reports every half hour until the conclusion of the tournament.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.