Five others compete at tournament
It wasn’t the finish he wanted, but a great one nonetheless.
Hillsboro High School senior Nicholas Mueller ended his brilliant wrestling career Saturday at Hays with a fifth-place finish in the 130-pound class at the 3-2-1A state wrestling meet.
Mueller won his first two matches before losing to Marion’s Cody Wildin in the semifinals.
A loss dropped him into the fifth-place match where he defeated Central Burden’s Tyler McMichael.
“Nicholas has had such a successful career in wrestling, from kids club all the way through high school,” said HHS head coach Scott O’Hare. “Although I know he fell short of his ultimate goal, this still is something that can never be taken away from him.”
In addition to a medal, Mueller (37-5) set school records this season in career victories and pins.
His 135 victories shattered James Bina’s previous record of 117, and his 72 passes Ronnie Davis’ record of 65.
“The records he has broken at HHS will most likely fall, but the state medal will be his forever,” O’Hare said. “Nicholas has certainly put in the time and effort and has paid the price for this.”
The Trojans sent five other wrestlers to the meet, but they had just two victories combined.
Tyler Jones (152) and John Hein (189) each went 1-2 on the day.
Hein was forced to forfeit his final match because of an injury. A cut on his nose would not stop bleeding during the five-minutes allowed for “blood time.”
O’Hare was disappointed for the senior who finished 36-5.
“This is the first time in 15 years of coaching wrestling I have ever had a wrestler lose because of it,” he said. “After the season John had, this was a very disappointing and frustrating way to have his season and career end.”
Jones’ victory gave him 34 for the season against 11 losses.
Robby McClelland (119), Matthew Yoder (135), and Aaron Bina (140) each lost their first two matches.
McClelland finished 28-13, Yoder 24-13, and Jones 34-11.
“Other than Nicholas earning his medal, it was a rather disappointing weekend,” O’Hare said. “I am not disappointed in the kids’ efforts or their performances, just in the outcome.
“I really felt going into the tournament that we had a few more guys capable of winning state medals.”
Despite not getting any additional medals, O’Hare enjoyed coaching the team that went 12-2 in duals during the season.
“It really was an exciting and enjoyable season. The boys worked hard and competed hard,” he said. “This team has nothing to be ashamed of and hopefully they will come back next year hungry to reach their goals.”