Chargers win De Soto regional title

DE SOTO—The Santa Fe Trail Chargers dominated the Class 4A Regional Wrestling Tournament Feb. 19-20 at De Soto. The Chargers took first place with 180.5 team points, qualifying eight wrestlers for the Class 4A State Tournament Friday and Saturday in Salina.

“We did set a school record by putting eight in finals,” said Regan Erickson, coach.

Eight is also the most qualifiers the school has placed since sending nine wrestlers to state in 2003.

“I have never been on that type of a ride,” Erickson said. “Eight for eight in the semi final round. Two big upsets, one upset, and then I knew we had a good chance with the others if things went right.”

The Chargers ended up with three first place and five second-place finishes.

“The finals didn’t come out exactly like we wanted, but overall we wrestled pretty well,” Erickson said. “Two of the losses were in overtime, and one was lost in the last few seconds of the match, so we were very close to 6-2.”

Christian Davis (37-4) led off at 106 pounds, earning two pins and a 17-0 major decision to win his bracket; Ethan Dean (34-5) followed up three pins with an 11-2 major decision to take the title at 195 pounds; and Jake Hastings (35-5) had two pins to reach the championship, where he won on a 3-2 tiebreaker.

Carter Greenfield (20-12) was a runner-up at 120 pounds, earning one pin before falling in the second round of the championship match. Bryce Erickson (40-3) earned a pin and an 11-6 decision before losing his third match of the year in the championship; Derrick Martinek (25-16) earned two wins before falling in the 138-pound championship; Cal Lyle (29-12) earned a pin and a decision en route to an overtime battle at 170 pounds, coming up short in a 8-6 sudden victory; and Gabe Forrestt (20-8) had two pins before losing a 3-1 sudden death match at 220 pounds.

“Another great thing was that every wrestler won at least one match, so all 13 wrestlers contributed to our team score,” Erickson said. “We had enough points on Friday night to win it.”

Jose Paredes (126), Caleb Jeanneret (145), Colin Koger (152), Layne Watkins (160) and Conner Ridgeway (182) also competed for the Chargers.

“The tough part of taking eight means that we didn’t qualify everyone, and had a couple come very close,” Erickson said. “Colin, a senior captain, came extremely close and put up tremendous effort, but it just didn’t happen. We applaud his effort and leadership this season.

“Sophomore Conner Ridgeway also was one match away, so looking forward to his improvement over the off season,” Erickson said. “Sophomore Layne Watkins, and freshmen Jose Paredes and Caleb Jeanneret all scored points, but came up short.”

Santa Fe Trail’s eight qualifiers will each take top two seedings at the Class 4A State Tournament, which begins at 8 a.m. Friday and continues at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.

“State this week is going to be tough, because it’s state,” Erickson said. “We are looking forward to it.”

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