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Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

Jordy Nelson sets early tone for Packers' offense -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kentucky blasts KU -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Defense leads Wildcat women -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

K-State looks to run stronger -11/19/2014, 10:13 AM

No. 11 Wichita State rolls over Memphis -11/18/2014, 8:05 PM

Inman named MIAA Wrestlers of the Week -11/18/2014, 2:23 PM

Williams, Jordan among first-team all-MIAA selections for FHSU -11/18/2014, 11:16 AM

Bell, Steelers rally past Titans -11/18/2014, 10:11 AM

NFL suspends Peterson without pay -11/18/2014, 10:11 AM

'Cats knock off UMKC at Bramlage -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Calipari will simplify offense -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High football earns WAC honors -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Wichita State defense works at protecting the basket -11/17/2014, 2:36 PM

K.C., Wichita to host NCAA's in future -11/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Harvick wins Chase -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

FHSU women fall just short of rally -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Charles beats Seahawks' 'Beast' at own game -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Rams shock Manning, Broncos -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's elusiveness, style earns Chiefs' respect -11/17/2014, 10:12 AM

It's basketball time in South Dakota for WSU -11/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Phillipsburg reaches new heights in win -11/16/2014, 5:24 AM

Ell-Saline eliminates La Crosse -11/16/2014, 5:24 AM

Tiger volleyball drops season finale -11/16/2014, 7:05 PM

Tiger men suffer two losses to open season on road -11/16/2014, 7:05 PM

Tigers nab seventh win -11/15/2014, 9:41 PM

Friday's prep football scores -11/14/2014, 9:36 PM

Knights headed to state -11/14/2014, 5:20 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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Work ethic paying off early for Ellis' Hensley

Published on -1/26/2014, 8:42 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Ellis High School wrestling coach Casey Dinkel asks his squad to come in before school several times a week to run. Dinkel doesn't make it mandatory. Most Railroaders don't start on the extra work until later in their careers. Freshman Dalton Hensley began this winter.

"That's pretty impressive, because most kids wait until they get older and feel more confident, I guess," Dinkel said. "He started Day 1."

Hensley is the younger brother and only sibling of Bailey Hensley, a standout three-sport athlete and leader for Ellis.

Bailey Hensley likely is going to start for the Barton Community College softball team as a freshman this spring. Dalton Hensley's strong work ethic and perpetually positive demeanor helped him start for the Railer football team this fall.

"I don't know why there is any reason to be unhappy," Hensley said. "You are out there wrestling and having fun. It's better than sitting at home playing video games."

After a strong wrestling career in the junior ranks, Hensley has risen to No. 5 at 120 pounds in the Class 3-2-1A state rankings.

"It started a long time before me," Dinkel said of Hensley's personality. "His family, that brings a big deal into it. It's contagious. The other kids are really changing their attitudes as well, I think. It's great."

On Friday, Hensley earned a trip to Saturday night's finals at the prestigious 25-team Bob Kuhn Senior Prairie Classic at Hays High School.

Hensley, who finished first, first, first, second and second in his first five tournaments, was to face top-seeded Parker Howell of Kapaun-Mt. Carmel.

After a first-round bye, Hensley defeated Thomas More Prep-Marian sophomore Ricky Hockett by fall in 2:30.

Then, he trailed Haysville-Campus senior Mason McCracken 4-1 before he won by fall at the 4:43 mark. Hensley delivered a move called a "dresser dump" that he learned at a camp at a few years ago.

"He just continues to go, and even if he is down, I don't have doubt that he can still finish the match," Dinkel said. "That's what he did."

Hensley gives plenty of credit to his teammates and support staff. Asked what reaching the finals as a freshman meant to him, Hensley didn't talk about himself.

Instead, he brought up senior 152-pounder Landon Younger, the lone Railer left in the semifinals who competed shortly after Hensley. Younger, who went second, second, second, first and first in his first five competitions, eventually lost by fall.

"I just hope that Landon Younger can get in the finals, too," Hensley said. "That would be cool. Have two Ellis kids in the finals, that would be pretty sweet."

Former Railer state wrestling champion Riley Hunsicker and Ellis assistant football coach Jake Dreiling helped impress upon Hensley the need for extra work. Hensley and parents Kent and Shelly live out by Cedar Bluff State Park, so he normally wakes up at 5:30 a.m. His mother, a teacher, drives him to school. Normally, Hensley lifts and runs sprints or stairs for 45 minutes.

Sometimes, Hensley has some teammates or basketball players with him. Hensley said he started a couple weeks before wrestling began and comes at least three mornings a week, sometimes four or five. After practice, Hensley will ask for help for coaches -- and even assist others.

"We have a good community at Ellis," Hensley said. "Not very many bad people in Ellis, so there is nothing to be ashamed of to be from Ellis. Because we have got such a good staff at our high school, and our parents, they are really involved. Our grandparents, they are really involved, too. My sister, she was good."

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