Trojan grapplers fall short at state
Ah, the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling tournament the last weekend of February at Fort Hays State.
The one where every Marion County high school wrestler not named Kyle Palic has ended up a casualty, never finishing higher than second.
Marion’s 2015 champion Palic remained the county’s lone gold medalist after Friday and Saturday’s tournament at Grosse Memorial Coliseum.
Hillsboro’s quintet of Anthony Fickes, Aaron Hein, Sutton Redger, David Schafer, and Lane Rogers, were out of contention by noon Saturday.
For the underclass trio of Fickes, Hein, and Redger, there’ll be another day, but Saturday marked the end for Schafer and Rogers.
The state’s top team, the Hoxie Indians, continued the tournament’s dominance by the north half of the state, steamrolling their way to another title behind six state champions.
Hillsboro finished 32nd out of 61 teams with 151/2 points.
Redger was Hillsboro’s only victor on Friday. Schafer and Rogers each went 2-2, falling in consolation quarterfinals, while Redger and Fickes each went 1-2. Hein gained experience for his sophomore year, despite an 0-2 finish.
Redger dropped his quarterfinals match to Atchison County’s eventual fifth-place winner, Bricen Lee, by a 6-1 decision. His tournament was wrapped up on a crushing 5-4 decision to Minneapolis’ Augustus Johns — the sixth-place finisher.
“We are certainly going to miss David and Lane’s leadership,” Trojan coach Scott O’Hare said. “They both have incredible work ethics, positive attitudes, and have been awesome role models for our young team.
“However, it’s exciting to look ahead to next season with the number of wrestlers we will have returning, including three state qualifiers, along with a few experienced incoming freshmen. We are also hoping to have a few more girls joining our program.”
Marion qualifier fails to attend
For reasons not disclosed, Marion qualifier Colby Lollar was unable to attend the tournament this past weekend.
“I think our season went as well as expected,” coach Tyler McMichael said. “We had a really young team that faced some adversity and handled it fairly well.”
Only two seniors were on the team this year, but they will be missed for their leadership and experience.
“I hope that we get all of our underclassmen back next season and that they are ready to get back on the mats and compete once again.
“We should be getting a couple of freshmen coming up from our middle school next year that have some experience in wrestling.”