Throughout the season, Colby has established itself as one of the favorites for a Class 3-2-1A wrestling team title, and last weekend’s performance in the regional tournament at WaKeeney only bolstered the Eagles’ chances.
Colby will have eight wrestlers — more than any 3-2-1A team — competing in the tournament this weekend at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
“Eight’s a good number,” Colby coach Matt Sims said. “What makes the regional tournament nerve-wracking is you can’t win a state tournament that week but sure can you lose it.”
Colby dominated the regional with 168 points, far ahead of second-place Plainville with 122. Three Eagles took regional championships — freshman Tyler Voss (106), senior Kurt Schroeder (138) and sophomore Hagan Booi (195).
The Eagles have five represented in the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association rankings, led by Voss, who is top-ranked at 106 with a 36-7 record.
Booi (36-6) is ranked No. 2 at 195, while Schroeder (31-7) is fourth at 138, senior Kory Finley (35-11) is third at 182 and senior Tucker Branum (21-4) is fourth at 220.
Other state qualifiers for Colby are freshman Aiden Cook (28-14) at 120, junior Cade Lanning (21-18) at 152 and sophomore Declan Ryan (30-13) at 285.
“We rely heavily on the three seniors and their experience but we also have 12 freshmen out this year,” Sims said. “They’re a real good group. Great camaraderie and just a lot of fun to coach.”
Colby is ranked No. 1 in 3-2-1A, followed by Eureka, Riley County, Hoxie and Minneapolis.
“I think there’s a chance (to take the team title),” Sims said. “But you can’t sleep on anybody. I think it’s kind of wide open. I don’t think you can rule anybody out.”
Sims said the Eagles won’t deviate from the approach they’ve used all season long.
“We try to make it routine as possible,” Sims said. “We try to not to worry about what everyone else is doing. You can’t play defense at state so you’re just trying to stick to your own team.”