Dayton Porsch has never had the luxury of catching his opponents off guard, but that’s the way the Hoxie star prefers it.
Porsch is accustomed to being the guy everyone is looking to upset, something the three-time state champion has embraced.
“I love having the target,” Porsch said. “Everyone wants to get me and that’s just what makes it fun.”
Porsch will be aiming for his fourth state title this weekend in the Class 3-2-1A state tournament at Gross Memorial Coliseum. His previous championships came at 120, 132 and 145 pounds and he’s the top-ranked 160-pounder this year.
The Northern Iowa signee said he’s constantly reminded about his pursuit of the four-peat.
“It’s kind of hard to forget about it because everyone’s always talking about it. It’s in the back of my head there somewhere,” Porsch said.
Not that it fazes him.
“I don’t really feel the pressure,” Porsch said. “I just go out to wrestle. If I wrestle like I can, it’s there.”
Everything Porsch has done this season suggests he’s up to the task of capturing his fourth straight championship. He enters the state tournament with a 37-1 mark, the only blemish coming to Goddard’s Trevor Dopps in sudden victory at the Garden City Invitational late last month.
At the regional at WaKeeney-Trego, Porsch pinned all his opponents in the first round.
“It’s kind of been on track how it should be,” Porsch said of his season.
Porsch has a rich family history on the mat. His brother, Tristan, was a two-time state champion for Hoxie and his father, Mike, is the longtime coach of the Indians.
He’s 141-2 in his high school career but still looks for areas to improve.
“It’s just improving in every little spot I can,” Porsch said. “Crisping up my shots, work on my bottom work and clean up some stuff on top. Other than that, just keeping everything solid.”
Porsh’ is followed by Southeast Saline’s Rudy Rodriguez in the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association 3-2-1A 160-pound rankings. Cimarron’s Tate Seabolt, Oberlin’s Gavon Uehlin and Norton’s Brandon Vacura round out the top five.
Porsch said he remains focused on improving his game and doesn’t pay much attention to others in his weight class.
“I’ll be completely honest, unless someone shows me something I don’t pay attention to anything,” Porsch said. “I don’t have Twitter or Facebook or any of that stuff to look at. I just kind of live in my own corner of the state.”
Three other regional champs for Hoxie will join Porsch in Hays — freshman Drew Ball (32-5) at 120 pounds, junior Dylan Weimer (32-6) at 132 and sophomore Aidan Baalman (32-10) at 145.