The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Case in point: Plainville’s Noah Hansen and Jordan Finnesy are heading back to Gross Memorial Coliseum this weekend for the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling championships.
After an offseason saw a change in the head coaching position of the program to longtime assistant Ryan Becker, the Cardinals’ duo seemingly didn’t miss a beat. They are joined this year by junior Ryan Junkermeier, who makes his first trip to the finale.
The group heads to state this weekend with the goal of getting to the medal rounds after a somewhat disappointing showing where Hansen and Finnesy went 1-2 a season ago.
“Just one match at a time. Same thing every year,” Becker said. “If you start looking ahead. …
“We’re just trying to take it one match at a time and realistically one period at a time.”
That mentality has helped Finnesy put together a 34-2 record in his sophomore campaign.
Finnesy didn’t get his second loss until last week’s regional final in Goodland when he fell to Scott City’s Jarrett Jurgens, a fourth-place finisher a year ago in Class 4A.
“He’s kind of stepped up and been more of a leader,” Becker said of Finnesy, who also was the Cardinals’ starting quarterback last fall and the Cardinals’ biggest weapon on offense. “I think a lot of that has to come from football. When you can kind of get a little more confidence, your ability comes out a lot more.”
Hansen has the same type of attitude in his final year. He sat out the first semester after having surgery to repair a break in his hand suffered during the football season. Upon his return, though, Hansen posted a 21-3 mark heading to his final state tourney.
“He has come on pretty strong,” Becker said of the senior.
Hansen’s losses all have come to ranked wrestlers at 170, including a loss to third-ranked Sean Urban of Hoisington and fifth-ranked Kory Finley of Colby.
“Just have to keep trying to win every battle,” Becker said. “Anything can happen.”