Bob Kuhn Classic: Kinter's upset part of good Day 1 for Phillipsburg
By KLINT SPILLER
Phillipsburg High School senior wrestler Dylan Kinter stumbled a bit as he got off the mat. He raised his hand to his face, visibly dazed as he shook hands with his coaches.
Kinter looked like he lost a brawl, but moments before, it was Kinter who had his arm raised, upsetting Wichita/Kapaun-Mt. Carmel's Tom Hand -- the No. 6-ranked 170-pound wrestler in Class 5A and one of the favorites to place entering the tournament.
"I was a little dazed," Kinter said. "I was just trying to get through the handshakes and get off the mat."
Kinter had locked Hand into a cradle in the second period, and as Hand attempted to kick himself out of Kinter's grasp, Hand's head smashed into Kinter's. Kinter managed to pin him, but he was woozy afterward.
"I was in the finishing half of the move, so I just kind of held on for dear life and kept him balled up," he said.
After the match, Kinter, 18-10, said he was physically "OK," and he admitted he had no idea how good Hand was prior to the match.
Phillipsburg coach Joe Buresh said that might have been a blessing.
"When you have some kids that don't follow it as closely as others, then maybe it is a little bit better not knowing who you are wrestling, so you wrestle more relaxed," Buresh said. "Sometimes, you get a little tight when you find out you have that ranked kid or whatever."
Kinter didn't win his weight class, but is a part of a strong Phillipsburg squad.
The Panthers had eight top-six finishers at the Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic -- the most of any area school.
The Panthers feature four ranked wrestlers in Class 3-2-1A as of Tuesday: senior Kyle Witmer, No. 4 at 106 pounds; junior Riley Juenemann, No. 5 at 120; senior Caleb Studley, No. 3 at 132; and junior Michael Dusin, No. 5 at 138 pounds.
"We are a really tight-knit group of guys," Kinter said. "We are all friends. It definitely makes the sport more fun and a lot easier to endure."