4A State Wrestling begins Friday in Salina

By Steve Sell
February 25, 2016

McPherson High is hoping the “Fab Five” can deliver big points this weekend in the Class 4A State Wrestling Tournament at the Salina Bicentennial Center.

Austin Eldredge at 132 and Kaleb Jost at 182 carry the banner of regional champions into state as they roared through their brackets at last weekend’s regional at Lindsborg.

Ty Goss, at 285, was third, while Cole Kretzer at 120 and Brynton Crews at 126 were fourth.

“Austin, Kaleb and Ty, it was business as usual,”  MHS coach Doug Kretzer said. “Cole, with a nice run though his bracket, beat a couple good kids to earn the trip. Brynton stepped up last week (in practice) to win the wrestle-off and then puts himself in the state tourney. He's hungry and I'm proud of him.”

Here’s a look at the road for the Bullpup five:

• Eldredge — At 26-6, Eldredge should have no problem in the first round against Christian North (20-17) of Spring Hill. Wrestlers to watch in this division are Corbin Nirschl of Basehor-Linwood (35-2), Case Pembeton (40-3) of Prairie View and Bryce Erickson (40-3) of Santa Fe Trail. 

• Jost — The 32-11 Jost is matched against Justin Lamatsch (21-12) of Pratt. This class is littered with wrestlers with at least 30 wins, 10 of the 16 in fact. Curtis Rylant of Clearwater (34-1) may be the man to beat.

• Goss — Goss is 38-7 this season and goes up against 35-7 Sam Christy of Spring Hill in the first round. Fortunately, he’s in the opposite bracket of defending state champion Jason Zook of Chapman (36-1), who is the prohibitive favorite to take the class. He defeated Goss earlier this season.

• Kretzer — The 24-15 Kretzer has a tough first-rounder as he goes up against Brayan Balderrama (33-7) of Pratt in the first round. Tate Withington (35-0) of Goodland is the man to beat.

• Crews — Crews’ 14-12 record earned him a first-round bout with Emmanuel Browne (37-2) of Kansas City Sumner, who has the best record in the class.

Smoky Valley has four wrestlers competing, including Austin Lustfield at 126, Austin Golden at 145, Beck Elliott at 170 and Allan Wampler at 182. Lustfield is probably the Vikings’ best bet at a spot in the Final Four as he’s 31-3.