McPherson High wrestling coach Doug Kretzer believes Thursday’s home opener could produce some fantastic, down-to-the-wire finishes.
The Bullpups host Chapman and Smoky Valley in a triangular, with MHS wrestling the first and third matches against the Irish and Vikings, respectively.
The action gets under way at 5 p.m. in the auxiliary gym.
The Bullpups should see more of a true measuring stick this week. They opened with a rousing road upset of state-ranked Andale last week, but in the Indians’ defense they were open at four weights. In on-mat matches, though, the Bullpups were 11 points better.
Kretzer said both schools, while smaller, have what it takes to make it an emotionally charged and highly competitive night.
“Chapman has some good kids in the heavier weights with the defending state champ at heavyweight (Jason Zook) and the third-place finisher at 195 (Jacob Stoneberger),” he said.
Smoky Valley, one of the top teams in the state last year but hit with some graduation losses including state champion Austin Cook, still has enough though to give the Bullpups all they want.
“Smoky Valley has a really good wrestler at 126 (Austin Lustfield), who will be a tremendous match with (McPherson’s Austin) Eldredge,” Kretzer said. “They've got some other boys who made some noise last year at regionals back again.”
Both matches could come down to the heavyweight match, the last of the night.
“It will be a couple fun duals and we should have a good crowd on hand,” Kretzer said.