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TMP falls just short of semifinals -10/31/2014, 5:01 PM

Logan, Sharon Springs advance at 1ADII tourney -10/31/2014, 4:12 PM

Tigers travel to face Lopers -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Tiger women's soccer rallies for win at UNK -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Closing stretch will be crowded at the top for Big 12 -10/31/2014, 11:07 AM

Hays High heads for Wamego -10/31/2014, 11:08 AM

Norton runs by TMP, now 9-0 -10/31/2014, 11:09 AM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 30 -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Area high school football scores, Oct. 30 -10/30/2014, 9:26 PM

MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 PM

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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Koehn off to hot start for Tigers

Published on -12/16/2012, 6:37 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

On Dec. 1, Fort Hays State University junior Derek Koehn finished as runner-up at 157 pounds at the Tigers' Bob Smith Open, a meet with more than 300 wrestlers. Koehn's face was bruised and cut in several places, including a long bruise under his right eye. It marked a normal day for Koehn, from Pittsburg and one of FHSU's most experienced wrestlers.

"My high school coach always taught me, your head is your first line of defense, so that's how I have always wrestled. I don't really go a weekend with wrestling without looking like this," Koehn said.

The physical Koehn has consistently improved and has enjoyed a strong start this winter. Last year, he qualified for nationals for the first time, but finished 0-2 and 25-15 for the season. This year, Koehn is already 17-3, leads FHSU in victories and is the reigning MIAA Wrestler of the Week. Fort Hays was competing at the Raven Duals in Atchinson on Saturday.

"He has continued to get better since he has been at Fort Hays State and that doesn't always happen," coach Chas Thompson said.

Koehn grew up with his brother, Tyler, 13 months younger and currently a senior wrestler at NCAA Division I University of Nebraska. Tyler Koehn qualified for the NCAA championships last season.

"We used to battle down in the basement, and we both made each other pretty tough," Derek Koehn said.

This season, three Tigers are ranked nationally -- senior Tanner Kriss is No. 6 at 197 pounds, junior C.J. Napier is No. 7 at 141 pounds and junior Mitchell Means is No. 8 at 149 pounds. Koehn, though, has yet to break into the national rankings for Fort Hays, receiving votes in the national team rankings. Still, Koehn has performed well against top competition.

"Becoming a man and he has gotten a lot better on his feet, and a lot better in every aspect of the game, but on his feet, he has gotten a lot better," Thompson said.

At the Bob Smith, he went 4-1 and lost in the final to Air Force's Josh Kreimier, a NCAA national qualifier who earned Wrestler of the Meet honors.

"Just staying mentally focused and not letting little mistakes get to me down," Koehn said. "Always knowing that I can get in the match and I can get that takedown. Just being mentally confident that I can get that takedown, get that point, get that escape when I need it."

Koehn scored a 12-1 victory against the MIAA University of Central Oklahoma's Hunter Smith en route to the final.

"Placing higher than people who are going to be in my region is a good leg up for when it comes to seeding time at regionals," he said. "Even the finals match, I felt like I did wrestle that kid pretty solidly other than giving up two huge mistakes, I was in there for the most part and I should have capitalized on a couple of opportunities."

During the tournament, several Tiger wrestlers approached Koehn and talked to him about the matches.

"I feel like I do do a good job of being that rock, of being that anchor and someone that the other guys can look up to," he said. "I hope that they look at me and wrestle the way that I do and be like me in some way. Like a lot of them come up to me today and talk to me about my matches and said how physical I am and how I want to wrestle like that and how I want to learn."

Last Sunday, Koehn finished first at Newman Invitational in Wichita with a 3-1 record. After a first round bye, he earned a 7-2 victory and then beat UCO's Cory Dauphin 3-2. Dauphin was ranked seventh nationally. Koehn had lost 2-0 to Dauphin in a 22-12 dual loss on Dec. 7. Then, Koehn beat Ouachita Baptist's Bobby Williams, 2-1, to win the classification. Williams was ranked No. 3 nationally.

"Some guys plateau," Thompson said. "Koehn has continually improved as a wrestler and it's good to see it out there."

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