3-2-1A preview -- Plainville's Wiesner the favorite at 170
By NICK McQUEEN
From Day 1 of the 2013-14 season, Plainville senior Dylan Wiesner has maintained the No. 1 ranking at 170 pounds in Class 3-2-1A.
That number didn't mean a great deal to Wiesner, but did mean he was going to get everyone's best shot.
The same will hold true for last year's runner-up at 162 pounds. He enters the field this weekend with the No. 1 ranking and best overall record at 170.
"Pretty excited. It's hard to explain," Wiesner said of the potential of his first state championship in his third try. "I have a lot of unfinished business to take care of."
Last season, Wiesner came on strong late, produced an upset at the regional, and earned the tourney's No. 2 seed. He wrestled all the way to the title match where he lost to Hoxie standout and unbeaten Calvin Ochs, a two-time state champ.
This time around, though, Wiesner holds that top spot. It's made him better all season.
"You can tell it every week," he said. "Everyone is out for you. You always get everybody's best, and that's what makes you better."
Wiesner, one of three Plainville qualifiers, is 33-2 after his dominant performance at the Trego regional last week in WaKeeney. He pinned his way to the title match, then won by technical fall against fellow MCL member Cole Renner, from Norton.
"Dylan has really got everything under control," said Cardinal coach Corey Dobson, who had one of his smallest teams this season with only nine wrestlers. "The two losses hurt us a little bit mentally. The goal was to be undefeated state champion.
"I had a little heart-to-heart with him, and got him back on track," Dobson added. "He's never batted an eye at competition or worked less. It's probably driven him a little harder."
Wiesner suffered his first loss when he wrestled up to 182 pounds against Hays High School's Class 5A state qualifier Ethan Deterding. His other loss came in Salina against Class 4A state qualifier Caleb Parenti, of Ottawa.
A confident Wiesner just shook off the setbacks.
"I really don't believe either of those guys are better than me," he said.
Wiesner is joined by seniors Trevor Desaire (152 pounds), and Adam Gehring (138).
"Feel real good about those three -- three seniors, three team leaders all year long," Dobson said. "We're sitting pretty good in the bracket. I think all thre of them can do pretty well."
Desaire, who finished sixth as a junior at 145 pounds, arguably has the toughest first-round match in the tournament. By virtue of his fourth-place finish at last week's regional, he will face top-ranked Rossville senior Tagen Lambotte in the first round. Lambotte (37-1) is going after his fourth 3-2-1A title.
"It's definitely a tough draw, but it hasn't really affected us, and I don't think it's going to affect us," Dobson said.
Wiesner's thought is you have to carry the same mentality whether the favorite, or going in as an underdog.
"You can't go in wrestling a three-time state champ and not be a little intimidated, but the nerves and all that stuff is just another reason to go out there and give it everything you've got," Wiesner sid.