There are too few superlatives to describe this year’s El Dorado Wildcat Wrestling team. From dynamic to dominant, the El Dorado grapplers have but one last contest to showcase what has truly been a historical season.
El Dorado, only a week removed from their first ever AVCTL championship, followed with the school’s first ever Regional championship placing second to none this weekend in Augusta.
"It's been absolutely a joy," coach Wes Reynolds said. "I can't express how much I love these kids. They're the hardest working group of kids...I love these kids. It's awesome."
For all their hard work this season and their performance at Regionals, nine Wildcats earned a berth at the state tournament. Any way you slice it, that's a big number.
"We have some that made it that we weren't sure they would, and we had some that didn't make it that we were thinking they should have had a spot in there," Reynolds said.
At 106 lbs. Jake Leckliter took fourth place for the Wildcats falling in a tight 3-2 decision to Bryce Ledford of Winfield gaining state qualification.
In his first regional, freshman Reno Hughey claimed a second place finish falling to Cesar Regalado in a 13-5 decision in the 113 lbs. class and claiming a state berth for the Wildcats.
At 120 lbs. junior Daniel Thomas took third place for the Wildcats defeating Mason Schweitzer of Hesston in a 12-5 decsion for El Dorado.
The #2 ranked senior Bryce Morgan moved to 37-1 this season winning the Regional championship at 126 lbs. for El Dorado, defeating Kyle Miller of Buhler in a 3-1 decision.
The #4 ranked senior Kyle Macy claimed a second place finish at 132 lbs. for the Wildcats falling only to Jake Wilson of Rose Hill in a 4-2 decision.
At 138 lbs. senior Cole Reinhardt took fourth place for El Dorado falling to JoAngel Cortez of Ulysses in a 6-1 decision.
The #1 ranked Austin Hughey took the regional crown at 145 lbs. for El Dorado defeating Patrick Weaver of Hugoton in a 4-0 decision.
At 152 lbs. Gage Armstrong fell in the consolatiion semifinal to Colton Clayborn of Augusta by decision 4-3.
At 160 lbs. senior Caleb Wallsmith fell in the consolation semifinal to Scott Whitson of Buhler by major decision 16-6.
Senior Kyle Call fell in the consolation round 3 to Ridge Walker of Circle by decision 6-4 in 170 lbs.
At 195 lbs. Manny Martinez fell in the consolation semifinal to Taylon Lamkin of Wellington by pin.
At 220 lbs. the #6 ranked senior Marcus Walker took 4th place falling to Jon Yates of Buhler by pin in the 3rd place match.
Page 2 of 2 - In the 285 lbs. division sophomore Jacobb Burnett earned a third place victory defeating Steven Degollado of Ulysses in a 9-0 decision for El Dorado.
Some of the Wildcats, like Kyle Macy and Austin Hughey, came close last year to a state title for El Dorado. Now they have put themselves in the position to make a state title run.
"They got so much heart. I think that's what's going to carry us through," Reynolds said. "That's what we've been doing all year. They've had some tough losses. We learn from our losses, learn from our wins, and hopefully we can put it together and win some of those matches that we keep losing."
The Wildcats have gone 15-1 in duals this season, winning invitationals at Eureka, Clearwater, El Dorado and Chase County.
They were crowned AVCTL champions and now Regional champions. Now only one title remains for El Dorado and the quest for state begins Friday at Salina.
Team Scores 1. El Dorado 174.0 2. Augusta 157.5 3. Andale 132.5 4. Ulysses 127.0 5. Mulvane 118.0 6. Buhler 116.0 7. Pratt 105.5 8. Hugoton 70.5 9. Winfield 66.5 10. Rose Hill 41.0 11. Wellington 38.0 12. Clearwater 30.5 13. Circle 24.0 14. Hesston 20.0 15. Nickerson 0.0