Bob Kuhn Classic: Oakley's Rains making presence felt
By KLINT SPILLER
Oakley High School wrestler Macoy Rains said he thinks he has surprised some people.
The 113-pound freshman burst onto the prep wrestling scene this season and has made quite a name for himself, going 27-7 so far and knocking off a number of ranked wrestlers along the way.
"I am just trying to get it done with what I got," Rains said.
At the Bob Kuhn Prairie Senior Classic on Friday and Saturday at the HHS gym, Rains competed at 120 pounds instead of 113 after missing a couple practices earlier in the week due to illness, but it didn't stop him from toppling a ranked wrestler.
Rains upset Phillipsburg junior Riley Juenemann, ranked No. 5 at 120 pounds, with a late reversal to win 5-4 in the quarterfinals.
"I thought I did pretty good," Rains said. "I just got a little tired near the end. I have to work on that."
Rains lost 10-6 in the semifinals to St. Thomas Aquinas junior Jake Elbrader, ranked No. 3 in Class 5A, but it still was an impressive start.
"He wrestled better today than he has been the last couple of weeks," said Oakley head coach Dylan Campbell. "... Matches like that are the type of matches that we need to put together."
Rains has done well against ranked wrestlers outside of his weight class and his classification, defeating Juenemann at 120 pounds and twice toppling Goodland sophomore Aaron Avelar, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, but he's struggled with some of the top wrestlers in his weight class in his own classification -- 3-2-1A.
He has fallen to Atwood-Rawlins County senior John Solko, No. 4 at 113 pounds in Class 3-2-1A; Norton junior Ethan Ross, No. 5 at 113 in 3-2-1A; and Oberlin-Decatur Community's Troy Juenemann, unranked in 3-2-1A but the champion of the Oberlin Invitational.
However, Campbell said many of his losses easily could have gone the other way.
"He's right up there with the top guys in the state for sure," Campbell said.
Campbell said Rains has improved throughout the season. He said the key has been to correct some of Rains' bad habits he developed in middle school.
"He always has been a lot stronger than everyone," Campbell said. "... He is kind of used to doing a lot of throws and stuff that might work when the other people are weaker than you in middle school.
"But when you come to high school, people are developed, and it's a different level," Campbell added. "We've had to refine the technique and get away from the throws so much and be a more technical wrestler instead of like a brawler."
If he keeps improving, Campbell said Rains could challenge for a state placing and, possibly, a state title.
"He has a good shot at making it," Campbell said. "If he makes it, he should place. And on the right day and if we get enough done between now and then, he might have a shot to contend for it. He's got a ways to go before that."
Rains eventually finished fourth in Saturday's finals.
Hays High School's usual suspects made it to the finals Friday.
Senior Kyler Meyers, ranked No. 4 at 170 pounds in Class 5A, got a pin and a pair of decisions -- one 6-3 against Buhler sophomore Logan Lindbloom and one 3-2 against Spring Hill junior Blake Hampton.
Junior Preston Weigel, the top-ranked 5A wrestler at 195 pounds, wasn't challenged en route to the title match, pinning his two opponents in the first period, and junior 285-pounder Vincent Scott collected pins in all three of his matches.
Hays High 182-pound sophomore Ethan Deterding narrowly missed the finals, losing 6-2 to Ulysses senior Armando Sandoval, ranked No. 4 in 4A, in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, it wasn't a good first day for Thomas More Prep-Marian.
Only TMP 170-pound junior Justin Raynesford and 285-pound junior Mason Lagree registered victories on the winner's side of the bracket. Raynesford defeated Riley County freshman Taylor Wilson by a 7-5 decision before getting pinned by Meyers in the next round, and Lagree pinned Oakley freshman Leo Jirak before getting pinned by Spring Hill senior Austin Pittman.