Greenback wrestlers primed and ready for postseason

Kahrie Stegman
Devon Weber gets a take down against Dylan Sheler from Campus during the finals at the  Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic on Saturday in Hays. Weber won the match 5-3 for the championship.

The Pratt Greenback boys wrestling team participated in a tough tournament in Hays on Friday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 25.

“The Greenback wrestlers, primed and ready for their only two-day simulation before regionals and state, took care of business at the Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic in Hays with 6 placers, big wins, a champion and a 5th place team finish out of more than 25 teams,” said head coach Tate Thompson.

Placers for the day were Devon Weber 1st, Koda Dipman 3rd, Hunter Huber 4th, Kaiser Pelland 5th, Hogan Thompson 5th, and Iziah Cook 5th.

Junior Devon Weber, 113 lb. won his matches on the first day, and defeated the #4 state-ranked wrestler in 6A from Haysville Campus on Saturday.

“Devon won the match 5-3, in a match that he totally dominated, although the score doesn’t show it,” Thompson said.

Weber has only lost one match all season, leaving his record at 27-1.

“Devon looked good for the tournament and has his eye on next week and some more big match-ups to prep him for the postseason,” Thompson said.

Sophomore Koda Dipman finished the tournament with 3rd place.

“Other than a few positional adjustments needed on day one, Koda was excellent over the two days with a record of 4-1 for the tournament, 26-3 on the year,” Thompson said.

Senior Hunter Huber had a great weekend, placing 4th in the 195 lb. division. His record for the season is 24-7.

Thompson knew the wrestlers would struggle at this tournament, but he took them there on purpose.

“We had a ton of tough match-ups, which, I want it to be clear that is why we come to these kinds of tournaments. We are about preparing for state,” Thompson said. “Going places where our wrestlers don’t struggle, won’t get us ready for the postseason.”

“I feel all in all that tournament went good and it’s a great tournament to get the state like feel and prepare us for in the state tournament,” said senior Hunter Huber.

Coach Thompson sees each loss as a building block for how to improve.

“Each match we lose lets us know what we need to improve upon, and some of the matches we win do the same thing.”

Thompson’s goal will be to strengthen the team’s mental game.

“In the next several weeks, we will have to work on confidence, strategy and body language in order to enter the postseason with the correct mindset,” Thompson said. “The last step is in the hands of our team leaders and their peers. It will take all of us to bring out the best in one another.”

Huber not only shares the team’s goals, but he also has goals for himself.

“I would like to improve the way that I can control the whole match and make sure that I’m the most physical one on that mat at that time,” Huber said. “My goal for this season is to be a state placer but I would say my main goal is to know that once I wrestle my last match I know that I gave it my all and I did the best I could. I’ll let the rest of the pieces put themselves into place.”

As a senior, Huber hopes he has left his legacy.

“As a senior I just hope that when I leave people look back at me as someone who was a hard worker, great leader, amazing teammate and someone they could count on. It’s not about the wins and losses, it’s about making memories and living life. Work hard, play hard and the results will come.”

The Greenbacks go to Andover this Saturday for their final tournament before the big three competitions: CKL, Regionals and State.

“It will be interesting to see how far we will go,” Thompson said.