The Pratt High School wrestling squad finished the season with a bang, placing 7th as a team in the State Tournament held at the Salina Bicentennial Center over the weekend. Four out of five individual qualifiers came home with medals—including one individual champion.
Cesar Regalado, junior, won the state wrestling championship at #113. His path to the title included an opening round 8-2 decision over Stewart (Ft. Scott); a 7-1 decision over Miller (Concordia) and a 3-0 decision over Ornelas (Chanute) in the semi-finals. Regalado was awarded the championship when Hughey (El Dorado) received a disqualification during the title match.
Regalado had defeated Hughey twice previously this season. The pair had a close match going in the state finals when Hughey was DQ’d for continually pulling on Regalado’s headgear. Warned for pulling on Regalado’s headgear earlier in the match, the referee disqualified Reno after a third time.
"He had his third technical because he kept pulling on my headgear," Regalado said. "He (the referee) just said it was over because that was the last one."
This was not Regalado’s first trip to the rodeo. He qualified for state as a freshman and placed 3rd his sophomore year. The state title this year fulfilled a mission for Regalado. "It was my goal this year to get a state championship," Regaldo said. "I worked hard for it." Regalado finished the season with a 31-3 record.
The next highest placer for the Greenbacks was senior Austin Gates, who placed 4th at #220. Gates pinned Dean (Topeka Highland Park) in round 1. He then beat Miller (Tonganoxie) 7-0. Gates was sent to the backside of the bracket by McDonald of Iola, via the pin. He bested Orosco (Ulysses) 1-0 to advance to the 3rd place match, where he was pinned by Avalos (Pittsburg) to take 4th. Gates was 31-10 on the year.
Trae Forman, junior at #106, picked up a 5th place medal. He pinned Dennihan (Coffeyville) in the opening round, but then was dropped to the backside of the bracket by Seaton (Bonner Springs), losing 5-3. Trae stayed alive, beating Gordon (KC Piper) 7-2, but then lost to Pemberton (LaCygne) 9-2, placing him in the 5th place match. He bested Kester (Pittsburg) 4-3 to take 5th. Forman sported a 32-6 record this season.
Senior Mitchell Baird captured 6th at #152. Losing to Peden (Goodland) 6-4 in the opening round set up a long road back for Baird. He pinned Home (Baldwin) and Huseman (Tonganoxie) and topped Baum (Holton) 12-3 to get back into the medal rounds. A 6-2 defeat by Watkins (Columbus) put Baird in the 5th place match, where he fell 16-1 TF to Fiss of Hugoton, resulting in 6th place. 29-13 on the season for Baird.
Page 2 of 2 - The only Frog grappler not to place at state was senior Weston Riner at #170, who fell just one match short of placing. Riner started out with a 10-4 win over Hampton (Spring Hill). He was then pinned by Ogden (Royal Valley.) He advanced by beating Bonsal (Goodland) 7-3, but was then eliminated from the medal round, losing 6-3 to Mulvane’s Fennewald. Riner went 22-15 on the year.
Pratt took 7th as a team with 62 points, which was one slot better than they were being ranked at the end of the season. The team title was won by Holton with 104.5; runner-up was Colby 96; 3rd went to Andale 90.5.
PHS head coach Tate Thompson said in summary, “The Greenback wrestlers were trained for a successful State Tournament run, and once again peaked at the right time while wrestling with fierce focus. Our combined record over the two-day tournament, 16-9, is a tribute to all of the hard work these young men endured.”