Wrestling wins Maize quad

Kris Long, Sports Editor

Manhattan High Varsity wrestling took home their first quad win on Saturday against Maize, beating Wichita South, Maize and Garden City over the weeked.

“We did [well],” assistant coach Shawn Bammes said. “The guys keep improving, We lost a couple matches [against Garden City] that I thought we could win… but they’ve  bought into the situation we’re having with wrestling this year and they’re picking each other up and giving it what they got when they step on the mat.”

Though still down a #106, the team has been able to fill in some of the empty weights they were missing during the early season with newer wrestlers. Freshmen #132 Landon Brunner and #195 Clayton Frehn, both irregular starters, got matches as well as juniors #220 T.J. Tiede and #182 Ben DeJesus. Tiede, Frehn and DeJesus all went undefeated. 

“Several of them picked up three wins over the weekend,” Bammes said. “They’re new to the lineup but not new to the sport. Some of them that are a little younger, they’re new to the high school scene, but they’ve done the kids club stuff for several years. So they’re not unfamiliar with the sport by no means just maybe a little different competition level.”

MHS won against Wichita South 78-6, Garden City — who they lost to earlier in the season — 46-25 and Maize South 61-9. They had nine wrestlers go undefeated: Junior #113 Jantzen Borge, freshman #120 Jameal Agnew, junior #132 Easton Taylor, junior #138 Tucker Brunner, sophomore #170 Jaxson Vikander and #285 senior Damian Ilalio, as well as Tiede, Frehn and DeJesus. 

“Damien had a good match with the Garden City heavyweight, it was a close match the first and it was a close match again this time,” Bammes said. “Jameal and Janzten are looking good, We have several guys that are making strides and heading in the right direction for our postseason which is coming up here in February.”

COVID-19 continues to impact the team’s schedule. They didn’t go to the dual they were supposed to attend this Wednesday at Lawrence due to restrictions including wearing masks while wrestling, and they will face a two week period without competition after this Friday. 

“We have to find a way to get creative and keep, keep them light hearted and keep them working hard, staying focused on what our goal is,” Bammes said. 

The team will participate in a quad at Rock Creek tomorrow and later in the week compete against rivals Junction City during a home duel on their senior night before entering the postseason. The team has high hopes for state with multiple returning state placers and qualifiers.

“Some of those are returning state places and you’re counting on those guys to do their thing,” Bammes said. “Some of the younger, more inexperienced guys, any extra step they can get just the bonus for them so you’re leaning on your experienced guys to lead the way.”