It was one of those nights where 500 fans were there, but 5,000 will someday swear they were.
In one of the great finishes to a McPherson High wrestling dual ever, heavyweight Alex Grennan recorded a pin in the last match of the night here Thursday to give the Bullpups a come-from-behind 35-32 win over arch-rival Buhler as the MHS fans blew the roof off the Auxiliary Gym when the official hit the mat to signify the fall.
For Grennan, it was just business as usual. Last week in Lindsborg he also came up with a pin in the final match to give the Bullpups a one-point victory over Smoky Valley. Dating back to last year, he saved the Bullpups in a couple of matches at 220 to keep them in it, then Ty Goss sealed the deal at heavyweight.
McPherson coach Doug Kretzer has an exciting dual team. The Bullpups are now 9-2 as they have front-loaded their schedule with one-on-one matches. They wrap up the December schedule Saturday when they go to the Abilene Invitational, provided the weather holds out.
Kretzer is doing a great job with this MHS team. His enthusiasm is infectious and the result is he has more wrestlers out than any time in his tenure. And it’s a young team as there are only two varsity wrestlers who are seniors and there is a wealth of freshmen.
The matches Thursday were outstanding. Mya Kretzer once again proved she can hold her own with the males as she won a narrow 5-3 decision. Seth Morgan was tremendously aggressive in his match for a 13-3 victory.
Austin Eldredge is one of the top 138-pounders in the state. He’s undefeated so far and it will be interesting to see how he does at Abilene as MHS hasn’t wrestled in a big, open tournament yet. He toyed with his Buhler opponent as he would score a takedown, then let him up, and take him down again before deciding to finish things with a pin.
Bailey Yarborough’s match at 182 was fascinating. He was so amped up that he nearly got himself pinned early, but all that did was fire him up. He was on a mission to get a pin and he did. Perhaps more than any other Bullpup, Yarborough has made tremendous improvement.
The Bullpups received a boost at 195 when Kourtney Craig moved up from the JV to win a 13-3 decision. Kretzer has maintained all year his team has quality depth unlike any other year. And Craig was wrestling up by quite a bit as he’s listed as a 170-pounder. That was MHS’ win to keep it alive, then Grennan delivered the kill shot.
Even in some of the matches MHS lost, they were close. Scott Radke at 145 had a tremendous match and it appeared he had pulled out a win in the last second, but the official said what would have been his deciding move was late. Luke Thompson at 170 also lost a close match in the final seconds despite wrestling well.
Kretzer has this team motivated to do well and everybody he sends out gives max effort. This could end up being an exciting year for Bullpup wrestling.