Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner-Edgerton High School wrestling team celebrated Senior Night Feb. 1 with a dominating 50-21 win over Santa Fe Trail, with five Blazer wrestlers winning with pins.
The Senior Night was made extra special by the fact that it was the final home meet for three of the seniors who are ranked in the top 10 in the state in their respective weight classes. Conner Greig (ranked 3rd in the state at 152 pounds), Jensen McDermott (ranked 6th at 160 lbs), and Jackson Flowers (ranked 1st at 220) all said goodbye to the GEHS mat with pin victories.
“This is a wonderful group of seniors,” said Tyler Cordt, head coach, immediately after the meet. “Our big three guys — Jackson, Jensen, and Conner — they’re just tremendous. Not only are they leaders in the room, they’re leaders on the mat. They’re some of the best kids in the state. They’re just great kids to have around. They’ll truly be missed.”
Through the first three matches of Thursday night’s meet, the Blazers clung to a 9-6 lead. Then, Gardner-Edgerton’s Luke Huffman earned a win at 126 pounds, which began a run of six consecutive Trail Blazer victories, including the next five by pins. After Greig and McDermott earned pins in their respective divisions (Greig in the 1st round and McDermott in the 2nd), GEHS was up 41-6. The lead was 44-15 going into Flowers’ match at 220. Flowers then pinned the Chargers’ Dalton Childers in the first minute, and the Blazers hit their pre-match goal of 50 points.
After the meet, Cordt lauded his team’s performance.
“We were really, really aggressive tonight,” Cordt said. “We won a lot of 50/50 situations in spots where we could have gone to their back or they could have gone to our back. We won those. We put them on their back. We didn’t let them off. It was good aggressive wrestling. It’s what we wanted to see all year.”
Upon completing his final night of wrestling inside the friendly confines of Trail Blazer Gymnasium, Flowers reflected on his 4-year career as a GEHS wrestler and some of his senior teammates.
“I’m going to miss it because I’m going off to play football (at the University of Central Missouri),” said Flowers, “but I’ve had a good time wrestling. Jensen’s been my best friend all through wrestling. He’s shown me a lot of stuff. He pretty much got me really into it. Conner’s just a freak of nature. He’s one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen.”
The Trail Blazers will head into the Sunflower League meet this weekend, with Regionals and State on the successive weekends. Cordt likes where his team is going into the post-season.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” stated Cordt. “We’ve wrestled two nights in a row and won two nights in a row. We’re looking good.”