Boys wrestling beats JC 44-28; girls lose

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

The Varsity boys wrestling team kept the Junction City dual trophy for the second year running on Wednesday night, winning a contentious dual 44-28 away at JC High School after going down at the start while the girl’s six-match competition ended with two wins and four losses for Manhattan.

“I definitely took this personally, bringing back a trophy like that. That’s real personal,” senior #220 Talique Houston said. “[It’s a] big rivalry.. since middle school they’ve been a rival, since little league they’ve been a rival. And so this is really big.”

As in the past, it was a tight dual. MHS boys won nine out of their 14 matches, but only got three pins, with sophomore ​​#160 Dakotah Monreal, Houston and senior #285 David Sosanya each earning six points. The team had two technical falls from senior Blaisen Bammes and junior Jaxon Vikander as well as major decision wins from sophomore #126 Jameal Agnew, #138 senior Easton Taylor and senior #152 Tucker Brunner.

“In the last two years it was a one-point dual,” head coach Shawn Bammes said. “Two years ago they beat us by one point, last year we beat them by one point so it’s a good win. It’s great to see the amount of [MHS] students that came over here as well.”

The core group of seniors who usually earn Manhattan’s pins in the mid-weights – Taylor, Brunner and Bammes – each fought their way through major decisions and technical falls, keeping MHS’s lead narrow. Houston turned the tides with his pin against Judah Peterson in the penultimate match, raising the score from to 38-28 and securing the win.

“It felt really good,” Houston said. “I’ve been wanting to wrestle him all season, so to get to wrestle him here, it felt really good… to show that he can’t beat me.”

The girls team is still short due to illness and injury and Junction City’s girls program is similarly small to Manhattan’s, meaning they could only wrestle six matches.

“We did well attacking, and getting back into the match,” freshman Alexis Haeusler. “We were hoping to have a few more girls.” 

The boys team is now ranked third in Kansas 6A, after starting the season unranked. 

“We keep working our way up,” Bammes said. “The goal at the beginning of the year, everybody’s goal, was to win it. We still got some time to go prove that and we’re going to get that done.”

Both boys and girls teams compete again at home for their senior night dual against Marysville next Thursday before heading into League, Regionals and State in February.