McKinney pins his way to Bonner title

While Mother Nature got the best of almost every high school sporting event the the area last week, she couldn’t stop the Paola High School Wrestlers, as they braved the snow packed streets and frigid temperatures to compete in the Dick Burns Mat Classic at Bonner Springs High School on Saturday, January 9, 2010.

The Panthers found themselves in the midst of some tough competition from big name programs and larger schools from the Kansas City area and beyond, including East High School from Bellevue, Nebraska, which made the long trip worthwhile, finishing second to Gardner in the team standings with 144 points. The Trailblazers from Gardner-Edgerton took the team championship with 152 points, Aquinas took third with 141 points, the host team, Bonner Springs, came in fourth with 116 points and Bishop Miege rounded out the top five in a tie with Fort Scott with 95 points. Paola finished in tenth place overall with 65 points.

WLH0085 It was not a total wash for the Panthers, as they were able to place one wrestler in the finals, and three more in the consolation finals, on the way to an individual championship and three, fourth place finished on the day.

Dylan McKinney,’s Paola High School Wrestler of the Month for December, backed up his strong pre-holiday performance with a dominating three fall championship at 135 pounds. McKinney opened the tournament with a bye, but made quick work of his second round opponent, pinning Derek Pike of Basehor Linwood at the 2:45 mark in the first period. McKinney followed that up with a pin of Austin Keehn of Gardner at the 1:42 mark in the first period in the championship semi-final round, and then took the 135 pound championship with a pin of Tommy Keearns of St. Thomas Aquinas at the 1:22 mark in the first period.

The Panthers took wrestlers to the consolation finals in opposite ends of the spectrum in the tournament, as they saw Brian Ebeling at 103 pounds, Spencer Trumbly at 215 pounds and Cale Karrigan at Heavyweight all advance to the third place match, and even though each finished fourth, Hermreck was pleased with their efforts.

The three wrestlers that placed fourth, are a testament to our hard work paying off,” Hermreck said. “We are making progress and every single person on the team is improving day by day.”

Ebeling got the Panthers off on the right foot in the tournament, by advancing to the consolation final in the 103 pound class. He opened the day with a bye, and then dropped his second round match to Tyler Sharp of Fort Scott on a 9-0 decision. After another bye, Ebeling pinned Spencer Redmondy of Bishop Miege and defeated A.J. Thrower of Bellevue on a 9-7 decision before falling to Sharp in a re-match of the earlier bout by an 11-0 major decision.

“Bryan Ebeling is a great story, this young man wants to win everything right now and he understands the process takes a lot of time and training; he is itching to be great at what he does,” Hermreck said. “His work ethic right now is the most consistent in the room, he’s striving for greatness and is currently on the right track.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Trumbly and Karrigan are turning into a formidable duo at the top end of the weight classes.

At 215 pounds, Trumbly opened with bye and then pinned Jesse Gardenhire of Topeka Highland Park at the 1:36 mark in the opening period. A semi-final loss to Eric Mason of Aquinas on a fall at the 2:34 mark in the opening period dropped Trumbly into the consolation bracket, where he pinned Zach Roberts of Basehor with 44 seconds left in the opening period, before being pinned by Boomer Mays of Eudora in the second period.

At heavyweight, Karringan also opened with a bye and then advance to the semi-finals with a 6-2 decision over Dylan Litherland of Eudora. Ryan Kincaid of Miege dropped Karringan to the consolation bracket on a pin with 37 seconds remaining in the first period. Karringan advanced to the consolation final on a default by Justin Walberg of Aquinas, before dropping a tough 3-2 decision to Drew Bryant of Fort Scott in the third place match.

“Trumbly and Karrigan are two wrestlers that we are expecting this kind of outcome, every single week, both have the ability to perform very well at each tournament we compete in,” Hermreck said. “They have to believe that they can compete with the best wrestlers in the state, once they figure that out, their wrestling is going to greatly improve. They both have the ability to be very good.”

The going was a little tougher for the rest of the Panther squad, as they are still growing as a team, and learning from their mistakes.

“We have to understand that each time we step on the mat, it is a combat,” Hermreck said. “Right now we are spending too much time thinking and not reacting.  We can go through practice after practice of doing the proper techniques that are going to make them successful, but they need to understand that there is an answer for every single movement that each of them perform.”

At 112 pounds, James Young opened with a bye and then was pinned by Spencer Hunt of Bellevue. Young picked up a default win over Corey Butner of Bonner Springs before dropping out of the competition on a pin by Austin Haugh of Olathe Northwest.

Josh Wade, wrestling at 119 pounds was pinned in his opening match by Preston Farris of Basehor and, after a second round bye, lost to Jay Blanco of Olathe Northwest.

At 125 pounds, Taylor Harris opened by being pinned by Justin Nawrocki of Bellevue and after a bye, dropped out of the competition on a pin by Cody Pollock of Highland Park.

Parker Boyer, wrestling at 140 pounds opened with a bye and then was pinned by Arron Puckett of Bonner Springs and Trenton Ray of Olathe Northwest to drop from the tournament.

At 145 pounds, Kurt Weaver opened with a bye, and then lost to Dylan Flowers of Highland Park on a 13-8 decision. In the second round, Weaver had a bye before being pinned by Darren Nabus of Eudora to drop from the competition.

Eric Timpe opened the tournament with a pin of Dallas Keller of Basehor, before dropping to the consolation bracket by being pinned by Jake Walker of Aquinas. Timpe opened his consolation bracket bouts with a bye, but left the competition on a pin by Tyler Crowe of Eudora.

At 160 pounds, Rich Ryckert lost his opening match to Tyler Pannell of Bellevue on a pin, and after a second round bye dropped from the tournament on a pin by Jared Clements of Bonner Springs.

Brad Hall, wrestling at 171 pounds, opened with a bye and then dropped to the consolation bracket on a pin by Jarron Ogles of Highland Park. Hall had a bye to open consolation bracket bouts, but dropped from the tournament on a 3-0 decision to Gabe Cleveland of Eudora.

At 189 pounds, Keegan Sutti was pinned by Mark Baumgartner of Miege after an opening round bye and then dropped from the competition on a pin by Arshia Seyedi following a consolation round bye.

“As a team we need to also be a lot tougher.  We are allowing our opponents to place us in vulnerable positions, this can't be done,” Hermreck said. “We have to wrestle our match and control our positions and not be controlled by our opponents.”

The Panthers will get all the wrestling they can handle this week, as they prepare for what Hermreck calls “the toughest week of our schedule so far.” First, the Panthers will host Emporia and DeSoto in a double dual in the PHS Gym Thursday night, January 14, 2010 and will then turn around and wrestle in the very tough Basehor-Linwood invitational on Friday and Saturday, January 15 and 16, 2010.

“We have the chance to go head to head with some of the best competition in the state, in all classifications,” Hermreck said. “We have to stay positive and treat this as a great opportunity to compete against these programs.  We are always looking for ways to improve and this week is a great opportunity to see what we can do against the best.  We are looking forward to it.”