In the old Class 5A years, McPherson High generally qualified eight to 10 wrestlers for the state tournament.
There were only eight teams in the regional in those days.
But now that MHS is in Class 4A, it’s much tougher to qualify big numbers. The Bullpups will be among 14 teams in the field Friday and Saturday when Smoky Valley hosts this year’s event, with Friday’s action starting at 2 p.m. and Saturday’s slate beginning at 10 a.m.
Other teams in the field are Abilene, Buhler, Chapman, Clay Center, Colby, Concordia, Goodland, Hays, Nickerson, Rock Creek, Topeka Hayden and Wamego.
The Bullpups, who earned a share of the AVCTL Division III title, are built more for duals than tournaments, so they may not get that many wrestlers through.
“As for how many can we get through, they've all got a shot,” MHS coach Doug Kretzer said. “That's what they've heard all week. I would say between three and seven.”
Kretzer said the seeding meeting is set for tonight, which will give him a better idea of who has a chance to compete next week in Salina. Three virtual locks are Austin Eldredge at 132, Kaleb Jost at 182 and Ty Goss at heavyweight. All have been ranked in the state this year and for Jost and Goss this is their final go-around, while Eldredge is a junior.
Colby is the team to watch as it’s ranked No. 1 in the state. Goodland is No. 6 and Clay Center is No. 8.