The Chanute Blue Comets placed first in the 4A Regional meet last Friday at Burlington High School and qualified 12 wrestlers to move on to Sub-State.
Sub-State will take place today beginning at noon at CHS, which will be the Blue Comets’ first chance at defending their 2019 4A State title. CHS head coach Andy Albright said his wrestlers would have been in the big dance in 2020 if it had been a normal year.
“We took 12 kids to Regionals after Districts. We brought all 12 to Sub-State. In a normal year, not a COVID year, that would be 12 State qualifiers,” Albright said.
Taking 12 wrestlers to Sub-State also would have tied Chanute’s school record of wrestlers advancing to State. But with the pandemic, Albright said he is grateful to even have the opportunity to wrestle.
Although his wrestlers did well at Regionals, Albright assessed his wrestlers ahead of Sub-State.
Junior Dylan DeMeritt (106) won a 5-0 decision over Labette County’s Jasper Allison in the third-place match of Regionals, improving to 15-12 on the year. Albright said earlier in the season that DeMeritt was nervous, but as the season went on, he came out of his shell and was more relaxed, which resulted in a Sub-State appearance.
Junior Kolton Misener (113), the No. 1 wrestler in his class, came up victorious in a 7-0 decision over Paola in the first-place match, remaining undefeated at 27-0. Utilizing his God-given wrestling talent, Misener has been training with senior State champion Trent Clements since his Kansas USA Wrestling days, and that has helped sharpen his talents.
Clements (120) in Regionals pinned Independence’s Kohen Wright at 4:56, placing first and continuing his unblemished streak with a record of 28-0. Clements, the No. 1 wrestler in his class, has been taking one wrestling match at a time, focusing on what he does best. The training with Misener and other wrestlers has also pushed Clements.
“I think we’re going to wrestle tough. I think we prepared all season,” Clements said regarding Sub-State. “I’m confident in our coaches and I’m confident in our guys to stay focused for the next few weeks and finish the season strong.”
Sophomore Trey Dillow (126), No. 5, won in a 3-0 decision over Independence at Regionals, placing first and improving his record to 24-3.
Junior Kedric Emling (132) pinned Frontenac’s Peyton Wilderman at 4:41 in the third-place match, moving to a record of 23-6 on the year. Emling has been staying within himself, executing his fundamentals.
Senior Colton Seely (138) won by fall in 26 seconds against Frontenac’s Bennie Adarr, placing third and bettering his record to 20-6. Seely was resilient, countering out of headlocks.
Sophomore Ty Leedy (145) fell short to Frontenac’s Dawson Lapping in a 3-1 sudden victory in the first-place Regional match, but the No. 3 wrestler still placed second and finished with a record of 23-4. When Leedy is on his game, he is tough to beat. Albright said when he puts his attacks together in Sub-State, he anticipates another successful run for Leedy.
Junior Ty Galemore (160) fell short to Paola in the third-place match, etching a fourth-place finish and exiting with a 15-14 record. Reaching his potential in an unorthodox style, Albright said he is excited for Galemore to wrestle in this weekend’s Sub-State.
Senior State champion Brayden Dillow (182) forfeited the first-place match to Frontenac’s Dylan Ensch, finishing second and advancing to Sub-State with a 24-4 record. Sitting out a few matches throughout the year due to nagging injuries hasn’t stopped Dillow from trusting the process. When he has competed, he looked like the Dillow of old, dominating matches with his brute force and top-heavy and lower-base strength. Albright anticipates Dillow competing in all of his matches this weekend.
Sophomore Bryan Jackett (195) lost to Coffeyville’s Matt Redden in the first-place match, claiming second place and ending Regionals with an 11-13 record. Jackett has used these first two years at CHS to really learn the sport of wrestling. Fans can never count Jackett out of a match even after a slow first period.
Senior Tuker Davis (220), the No. 6 wrestler, won a 9-7 sudden victory over Iola in the first-place match, increasing his record to 22-4. Not a stranger to early success on the State level like many of his Chanute brothers, Davis needs to relax, and go out and wrestle the way he is capable of, Albright said.
Junior heavyweight Nathan Cunningham (285) pinned Burlington’s Sam Griffin at 3:43 in the third-place match, for a record of 13-8 for the year. Last year, Cunningham wasn’t able to advance to State because he broke his ankle. But this year as of right now, he is healthy and good to go.
“I think we’re healthy right now. We’re finally getting healthy and getting everybody back, and we’re ready to go,” Albright said. “This is basically State, and we’re hosting it at Chanute, so it should be exciting.”