After putting the finishing touches on a spectacular wrestling career, Jordan Finnesy was looking for the best way to show his appreciation to the Plainville faithful.
Following his 11-3 major decision win over Doniphan West’s Nathaniel Hawerton in the Class 3-2-1A 182-pound final, Finnesy looked up and blew kisses to the section of Plainville fans.
"I was just kind of thinking about what I could do," Finnesy said. "What better way, at least I thought, to blow kisses to the Plainville crowd and thank them for all they’ve done for me throughout my four years. Just let them know that I’m thankful."
It was the second straight title for Finnesy, who claimed the 170-pound crown last year as a junior. He completed his senior campaign with a 39-2 record.
"It’s really bittersweet to end my wresting career, but I’m glad it ended like this," said Finnesy, a Washburn signee for football. "I’m just really happy right now."
Finnesy was tested in the semifinal, but pulled out an 8-7 decision over Beloit’s Brennan Walker. He said the close match helped sharpen him up for the final.
"At regionals, I had a first-period pin every single time," Finnesy said. "After (the semifinal match) I told my coaches, ‘I think that was honestly what was best for me.’
"I hadn’t been the full six minutes in a couple weeks. I really thought that kind of helped get my feet back under me and really push for the whole six minutes like I had to in that last match."
Finnesy stayed in control throughout the match against Hawerton, who suffered just his second loss on the season.
"I really wanted to pin him, but I think performed well," Finnesy said.
Hoxie gets three individual champs
Like Finnesy, Hoxie’s Dylan Weimer finished his career as a two-time state champion.
Weimer won the 138-pound title with an 8-0 decision over Oakley’s Eric Cain.
"I came out, gave it my all, gave the team everything," Weimer said. "We all knew that we had to fight for one another, and that’s what we all did. We did the best we could here, and I got the job done for the second time."
After missing time early with a hand injury, Weimer finished his season with a 27-2 record.
"Missing those first two tournaments made me mad and kind of threw me off going into the first tournament," Weimer said. "I had to get back in the flow pretty quick."
Weimer was well familiar with Cain, who he estimated he had wrestled 11 or 12 times in his high school career.
"Never lost two him, had a couple close matches," Weimer said. "I was going to take whatever came. If I could get him to his back, I was going to go for the fall, but a major is a major, that’s an extra bonus point."
The final session started with 138-pound final. At that point, Hoxie was chasing Norton for the team title, with Drew Bell and Derek Johnson set to wrestle later on.
"I think it was good for them to see a few matches first, since they didn’t have experience yet," Weimer said.
Bell and Johnson followed suit by winning state championship at 126 pounds and 132 pounds, but Norton clinched the title by seven points.
Bell, a sophomore, earned a 3-1 decision final victory over Phillipsburg’s Jacob Sisson, who was competing in his his third straight final and won a state championship as a sophomore.
Bell wrapped up the season with a 41-2 record.
In the 132-pound final, Johnson knocked off a returning state champion in Silver Lake’s Kai Allen, grinding out a 1-0 decision.
Barrientes wins 285-pound title
Sylvan-Lucas’ Tra Barrientes completed his run to a state championship with an 11-4 decision win over Republic County’s Eyann Zimmerman in the heavyweight final.
Barrientes earned two pins and two decisions on the weekend.
He finished his junior season with an 11-1 record.
Plainville’s Logan Normandin finished third at 113 pounds while Kyle Werner was fifth at 170 pounds.
Ellis’ Konnor Pfeifer placed fifth at 160 pounds. Trego’s Dillon Dunn took third at 220 pounds.