Pratt High wrestling placed 3rd out of 14 teams at their home Invitational on Saturday.

The Pratt Wrestling team went into Saturday’s home tournament with the goal of trying to equal or best last year’s runner-up finish. The goal was in place up until the last round as Pratt had the team lead before finals.

With two finalists, there were just not enough points to hold off the #2 in 3A, Scott City and Augusta who has a solid core group of seniors and a couple of really good lightweights. The Greenbacks were able to hold off the #3 in 3A, Hoisington in a good showing.

The important thing for the Greenbacks is that our wrestlers with experience in this tournament did very well. We had a couple who were mere points away from the finals, which is a hump the Greenbacks will get over by Christmas break.

All in all, a good first showing and a little earlier than expected, but there is a ton of work to do to meet our expectations for the season as a team.

Freshmen Devon Weber(106) and Kaiser Pelland(113) felt out the high school ranks and we saw some positives as both wrestlers have to figure out how to deal with bigger opponents. Both wrestlers look to tweak their strategies in match management and the success will come as the season progresses. These two will not be held down for long.

Dylan Cox, returning sophomore starter at 120 pounds, had a solid day going 3-1 to secure a 3rd place finish for the Greenbacks. Dylan did some good things and he has a few techniques to shore up, but this is a good tournament start for him. Dylan is 3-2 on the year, 3rd place.

Camdon Nickelson, another returning sophomore starter at 126 lbs., went 2-2 on the day for 4th place medal. What a difference a year of experience makes as Camdon is doing some good things and looking more confident every match. 4th place

Cody James, jr., 138 lb. wrestler wrestled well on the day, getting two pins and seven team points for the Greenbacks! Cody has the right mindset and will improve each week.

Bryce Winsor, fr., 145 lb. wrestler, coming off a huge pin in the Dodge City dual, had a rough day, but every second of mat time on varsity is helping his immediate and long term future. We are pleased with his progress and pleased that he is coachable and we look for him to improve week by week.

Kadence Riner, jr. 152 lb. wrestler had a solid day, starting with a fall and a technical fall over VanDegrift of Scott City and Terrazas of Ulysses before meeting up with defending 3A State Champion, Christopher Ball of Hoisington. Kadence wrestled a good match, losing 4-0 for a solid start to the season and a 2nd place finish. Kadence is 3-1 on the year, 2nd place.

Jadon Koehler, jr. 160 lb. wrestler had a good day that did not earn him a placing, but he was inches away from a finals match, losing 2-0 and then in the consolation semifinals, he was hit with two locked hands penalties and just ran out of time trying to make that up against a solid Joshua Ball of Hoisington. Jadon is a different wrestler this year and the success will come. We just have to manage the matches differently and make a few adjustments. He is disappointed with today’s results, but we, as coaches are not disappointed because we can see how his present effort will translate into his near future successes.

Caden Blankenship, jr., 170 lb. wrestler started his high school tournament debut with an 11 second fall over Hamill of Chaparral! He followed that up with a solid performance in an overtime loss, 4-2 to the #5 ranked 3A wrestler, Sean Urban of Hoisington. Caden came back strong, winning the next two bouts by fall over Heinrichs of Ulyssses and Fallier of Wichita Northwest. In his consolation semifinal Caden loss to Nickerson’s State qualifier by a fall. Caden was 3-2 on the day, earning 10 team points with his slew of falls and he will only get better each week.

Justin Lamatsch, 182 lb. sr. started his day off with a pin over Kaden Jaquez of Ulysses, creating a semifinal against Hosington’s #2 ranked Wyatt Pedigo with Justin faring well in a 6-3 loss. Justin was not happy with his loss and he followed that up with two falls over Robinson of Wichita Northwest and Pytel of Augusta to end his day 3-1, 3rd place, scoring 18 team points. Justin wanted to be in the finals in his last home tournament, but he will see other successes as the season progresses as Justin is the hardest working kid in the room and he has been for all four of his years with Pratt High School. Justin is 4-1 on the year, 3rd place.

Hunter Huber, 195 lb. so., began the day with a fall over Payne of Augusta, followed up with a nail bitingly close loss to the eventual champion, Bautista of Liberal, 3-2. Hunter had another close consolation semifinal, winning in overtime, 2-1 over Alex Corpus of Ulysses before receiving a default win over Sherwood of Scott City who had reached his 5 match limit for the day. Hunter is managing matches well this year, moving very well and showing his quickness as he looks like a veteran out on the mat now, earning 14 team points. Hunter is 4-1 on the year, 3rd place.

Sevren Hance, 220 lb. jr., started his tournament off with a fall over Mendoza of Ulysses. He followed that up with a 3-2 decision over Flax of Goddard-Eisenhower. In the semifinal, Sevren lost by fall to Gerber of Chaparral, the #3 ranked 3A wrestler. Sevren came right back with a fall over Tolefree of Wichita Northwest and a repeat victory in the consolation finals, 8-4 over Flax of Eisenhower. Sevren has grown leaps and bounds since last year and his results have shown his progress. Sevren earned 16 team points on the day, he is 4-2 on the season, 3rd place.

Raiden Kohman, 285 lb. jr., began his day with a fall over Garcia of Buhler. In his second match, Kohman battled with the #2 in 5A, Trejo of Liberal, and he ended the match with a 2nd period fall to make his way to the finals for the second year in-a-row. Raiden matched up with the very athletic Division I football prospect who has been seriously looked at by Notre Dame, Marcus Hicks, jr., of Wichita Northwest. Raiden wrestled him tough, but Hicks is 6’6” and just a big, tough kid. There were opportunities in the match, but Raiden was unable to capitalize, trying until the final whistle to secure a takedown, giving up two additional points to make the score seem more separated than it was, going from 5-2 to 7-2 on the last shot to try and win the match. Raiden had a good day and looks forward to proving what he can do next week.

With four 3rd place finishers, one 4th and two runners-up, and a third place team finish, the boys have nothing to hang their heads about. The Greenbacks were just short of the pin lead on the day as a team, with 16 falls and one tech fall to push toward the goal of gaining maximum bonus points.

The kids understand this team mindset and they push to win with the best result they can get; they do not just settle with squeaking by if they are capable of widening the gap. Results from this team are ahead of pace for our goal to stay in the top 10 of all of 4A this year and remain a perennial contender.

The Greenbacks will see their final home action of the year in a dual with Wellington on Thursday night starting at 5pm. Come out and support your hometown kids! Go Greenbacks!

Team Scores (14 schools) 1. Scott City 151.5 2. Augusta 147.0 3. Pratt High 137.5 4. Hoisington 115.0 5. Goddard Ike 109.0