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3-2-1A preview: Ochs has high expectations for himself, Hoxie

By KLINT SPILLER
kspiller@dailynews.net

Hoxie High School senior wrestler Calvin Ochs has high expectations.

At the start of the season, Ochs didn’t just set a goal to win the state championship. He wanted to win every match he wrestled by bonus points.

“Coming into the season, I knew I would be definitely at the top of my weight,” he said.
Ochs, ranked No. 1 at 160 pounds, didn’t achieve the second goal, but he has come close. He is 39-0, and he said he only has two wins via decision.

Those two wins stick out in his memory, too.

Immediately recalling the results of those matches when asked, Ochs said he won 5-3 against Scott City junior Warren Kropp, ranked No. 3, and 9-2 against Beloit junior Bowe Behymer, ranked No. 4.

Ochs described himself as “really aggressive.”

“Just about any position, I look to score,” he said.

And just because he’s at state, Ochs said he has no plans of lowering his goals. He wants to get bonus points in all of his matches there as well.

After all, Ochs said his team needs him to do that.

Hoxie was ranked No. 4 in the Feb. 19 KWCA poll, but while Hoxie qualified five wrestlers, other teams have sent more, such as
Norton with nine, Hoisington with seven, Oberlin with seven and Plainville with six.

“As a team, we are wanting to get first,” Ochs said. “We have five qualifiers and four of them are definitely up for the first-place
runnings. Our fifth qualifier is up for being able to place. If we are able to achieve all of them goals, we will definitely be up at the top.”

Ochs could have rematches with the two wrestlers he recorded decisions against, but it would be late in the tournament. If Ochs,
Behymer and Kropp won out, Ochs would face Behymer in the semifinals and Kropp in the finals.

However, Hoxie head coach Mike Porsch said they aren’t concerned about individual matchups.

“You just take one match at a time,” Porsch said. “You can’t be the state champ until you beat the next guy on the bracket.”
Hoxie has a rich tradition in wrestling, and Ochs is a part of it.

The Indians have 10 team state championships in the school’s history and many two-time state champions, some three-time state champions and a four-time state champion.

Ochs is 134-18 in his career, and he never has finished his career outside of the state championship match.

He was a two-time state runner-up as a freshman at 112 pounds and sophomore at 125 pounds, and he won state last season at 138 pounds.

“He’s always been at the top,” Porsch said.

Porsch said he doesn’t know if Ochs realizes he is standing among some of Hoxie’s greats, but he does know the tradition is important to the Indian wrestlers.

However, with all five of Hoxie’s qualifiers seniors and shrinking enrollment, it could get difficult in the coming years to keep up with some of the larger schools.

“As far as wanting to keep that strong tradition alive, it’s a little harder now,” Porsch said. “Our numbers are short, and it’s going to be short for a few years as far as total student population.”

Hoxie’s other qualifiers are 138-pounder Weston Bainter (20-16), No. 4-ranked 182-pounder Steven Yergey-Dible (33-6), No. 2-ranked 195-pounder Brandon Salmans (31-3) and No. 5-ranked 220-pounder Kane Washington (20-2).

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Porsch said. “Well, I could. I would have liked to take everybody on the team.”