Seven Blue Comets advance to State
There’ve been a lot of firsts for the Chanute High School wrestling program in the last two years. And the program just added another first this past weekend by winning the KSHSAA 4A Sub-State No. 2 Championship Saturday at Chanute High School — a modified qualifying series to limit the length of State because of COVID-19. The 2020 Class 4A champions won with 154.5 points out of 23 teams. Tonganoxie, the No. 3 team in 4A, placed second with 141 points.
Seven wrestlers did well enough to advance to State — Kolton Misener, Trent Clements, Trey Dillow, Colton Seely, Ty Leedy, Brayden Dillow and Nathan Cunningham will all be going to the big dance this Saturday in Salina.
CHS head coach Andy Albright was happy with his team winning its first-ever Sub-State championship at CHS and reflected on just how good the team has been over the last two years.
“We can’t complain. We left some really good guys (who) aren’t going to go to Salina,” Albright said. “This is the State team. The State series with Sub-State, and the State tournament, so (it’s) a good experience. We won the tournament with some real tough wrestling today — some of the toughest wrestling we’ve seen all year. I didn’t know how we would do if we were battle-tested or not. I was really pleased with the overall effort. I was really pleased with some kids that showed some grit after being disappointed and coming back and getting some pins when it was just really tough to do. It felt like they kind of failed, but they didn’t fail at all.”
Each and every wrestler went into his matches with confidence and toughed it out until the end.
Junior Dylan DeMeritt (106) went 3-2 in the tourney, ending his season with an 18-14 record on the year. In the fifth-place match, DeMeritt won a 3-2 decision over Meriden-Jefferson’s Theron Meyer. DeMeritt had control of Meyer’s back for most of the match, staving off a single-leg takedown for the decision.
Junior Kolton Misener (113), the No. 1 wrestler in his class, went 4-0, protecting his undefeated season at 31-0. Misener bested Tonganoxie’s Braeden Moore with a 3-0 decision. Specifically from the bottom position, Misener easily escaped utilizing his quickness. He went on to counter attack by using a leg-shot. This match had a lot of tie-ups, but Misener kept going for the single-leg takedown and outwrestled Moore.
Senior State champion Clements (120) went 3-0, staying undefeated at 31-0 for the year. Clements pinned Holton’s Jake Barnes at 3:57 in the first-place match. The No. 1 wrestler in his class used a single-leg takedown early on and later used a headlock, squeezing Barnes despite a bridge attempt. But Clements just had too much technical savvy on top.
Sophomore Trey Dillow (126), the No. 5 wrestler, posted a 2-1 record (26-4 overall) after falling in a 13-1 major decision to Tonganoxie. Three times in this match, Dillow tapped out with a bloody nose.
Junior Kedric Emling (132) culminated Sub-State at 3-2, ending his campaign with a 26-8 record.
Senior Seely (138) had a 3-1 day and exited with a 23-7 record. Seely won by forfeit over Fort Scott’s Jet Holder in the third-place match.
“I think my offense has improved a lot since last year. It still needs work for sure (and) I’m definitely excited going into next week — overall I think it was a very good day,” he said.
Sophomore Leedy (145) had a 2-1 day, adding to a 25-5 season. Leedy fell short to Frontenac’s Dawson Lapping, to whom he lost at Regionals last week. Leedy in the top position allowed Lapping to escape, although both wrestlers seemed to have the same quickness.
“I was just persistent,” Leedy said. “I just didn’t let anybody get in my head. I just kept going.”
Junior Ty Galemore (160) went 0-2 in Sub-State, ending his year with a 15-16 record.
Senior State champion Brayden Dillow (182) wrestled his way to a 3-0 day, and 27-4 overall. Dillow won a 4-3 decision over Coffeyville’s Ethan Camp in the first-place match.
Dillow early on tried a single-leg takedown, but Camp countered. Later in the match, Dillow reversed to Camp’s back for two points. As time ticked on, Camp escaped from the bottom position. Near the end Dillow was able to gain control and score some points. There wasn’t a lot of level changing, but Dillow brought Camp down for a close win.
“I wasn’t looking ahead to my matches. Last year, it was really hard focusing on what I’m going to do next week, or the week after, and realizing there is upsets all the time in the postseason,” Dillow said. “So I think just focusing on one match and staying calm about it, and mentally preparing for it.”
Sophomore Bryan Jackett (195) had a 1-3 record on the day and a 12-16 campaign.
Junior Tuker Davis (220), at No. 6, had a 2-2 day after pinning Iola’s Danny Boeken at 3:57 in the fifth-place match. Davis escaped from the top level and went on to take him down using a headlock. In another sequence, Davis took Boeken down with an arm bar. Davis sits at 24-6.
Junior heavyweight Cunningham (285) solidified a Sub-State record of 3-1, and 16-9 on the year. He won a 1-0 decision over Holton’s Dustin Chermock. Cunningham was able to control Chermock’s back, trying to hook his leg. In the end, Cunningham’s heavy hips were too much for Chermock.
Albright said he had mixed feelings about how Sub-State turned out.
“As a coach, these boys mean a lot to me and our coaching staff, and so what happens is, it breaks our heart when they don’t reach their goals,” he said. “Leaving some of our family back home next week hurts. It’s just tough to swallow. It’s bittersweet. I’m happy for the kids that advanced on and sad for the kid that did not. It’s just tough to swallow.”
Boys State wrestling takes place this weekend at Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina.