Coach Pete Logan
The Gardner-Edgerton High School wrestling team knocked off state wrestling power Junction City High School, 45-34, before tying with Sunflower League foe Olathe South, 36-36, Thursday night at a home Senior Night triangular at Gardner-Edgerton High School Gymnasium.
“We wrestled pretty well,” said Tyler Cordts, GEHS head coach, of his team’s opening matchup victory against Junction City. “It was a big duel for us. They were a little bit shorthanded, but our guys came out, we needed a big team victory, and we rallied together and got it. That was one of the biggest wins we’ve had, definitely the biggest win this year.”
The Trailblazers fell behind 12-0 to Junction City after the Blue Jays swept the 106 and 113-pound weights to open the contest. Josh Anddrews then put the Blazers on the board when earned a 3-1 points win against JCHS’s Kayden Blake, making the score 12-3. After a points loss at 126 pounds, Gardner-Edgerton bounced back nicely at 132 when Collin Smith pinned the Blue Jays’ Anthony Petrusky with 12 seconds left to go in the 1st round. The Smith win at 132 cut the Junction City lead to 7 at 16-9. GEHS then pulled to within one point of the visitors when Therron Meade earned a 3rd round pin of Junction City’s Jaime Villanueva at 138 pounds. Meade earned the win despite being behind 2-0 at the end of the first round. With Meade’s triumph, the score was 16-15.
The Trailblazers’ 145-pounder Zaine Mayfield then put the home team up for the 1st time when he pinned the visitor’s Aimin Strickland at 0:47 of the second round. Mayfield’s pin came just six seconds after he earned a two-point reversal and just 28 seconds after he had been taken down by Strickland. The win made the score 21-16, Blazers.
The Blue Jays retook a commanding lead with three straight pins at 152, 160, and 170 pounds that put them up 34-21. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, they left their 182-pound spot open, giving the Blazers a free 6 points and making the score 34-27. Senior Gus Davis then rallied the Blazers when he pinned JCHS’s Isaiah Zinkan with just 8 seconds remaining in the first round and cutting the Blue Jays’ lead to just 1 point, 34-33.
Junction City also had to leave their 220-pound spot open, giving the Blazers the lead for the second time, 39-34. Gardner-Edgerton’s Jay Jensen at 285 pounds then cemented the victory for the home team when he pinned the Blue Jays’ Dkuwasi Oscar just 37 seconds into the 1st round. With Jensen’s triumph, the Trailblazers emerged with a 45-34 victory.
After the Blue Jays defeated Olathe South in the night’s second matchup, the GEHS wrestling program recognized its graduating seniors in a ceremony held in the Trailblazer gym. Davis, who plans to wrestle and study electrical engineering at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, George Barrager, and Jacob Foster were honored from the boys’ squad, while Jaidyn Andrews, who plans to wrestle and major in secondary education at Ottawa University, Lexi Gregg, and Jasmine Walker were honored from the girls’ program.
For the night’s final contest, the Trailblazers faced off against Sunflower League opponent Olathe South. Once again, the Blazers found themselves in a hole after the first two weight divisions, trailing 9-0, and — once again — it was Andrews who put them on the board. The 120-pounder scored a second round pin against Aiden Howat to make the score 9-6. At 126 pounds, Gardner-Edgerton’s Alonzo Borjas rebounded from suffering his first loss of the season earlier in the night against Junction City by pinning South’s Hayden Marmon just 35 seconds into the match. Borjas’ win put the Blazers up 12-9.
Smith then picked up his second win of the night when — after building up a 7-0 lead — pinned the Falcons’ Kaleb Johnson with 34 seconds remaining in the 1st round. It was Smith’s second 1st round pin of the night and put the Trailblazers up 18-9.
GEHS picked up a win at 138 pounds when Olathe South left that weight class open, but the Falcons then ran off five wins in a row to claim a 33-24 lead.
Davis stopped the bleeding when he earned his second first round pin of the night, defeating South’s Ty Knudsen and making the score 33-30, The Falcons had to leave their 220 slot open, giving Gardner-Edgerton a 36-33 lead. Finally, at 285 pounds, Jensen went all three rounds with South’s Robert Shands before the Falcons’ heavyweight claimed a victory on points that left the score knotted at 36-36 when all was said and done.
“Our big guys did pretty well tonight,” Cordts said at the end of the night. “Gus (Davis) was dominant tonight. He pinned a highly-ranked wrestler — Gus is number one in the state so he’s the highest ranked — but he pinned another highly ranked wrestler in the 1st period (against JCHS). That kid ended up getting beat by the Olathe South kid who we worked over pretty quick, so Gus had a dominant, good night.”
Cordts also liked the efforts of one of his lighter weight class wrestlers, Josh Andrews, who went 2-0 on the night.
“He was just aggressive,” stated Cordts of Andrews. “He was real tough on top. He was looking to turn always and get big points, and that’s what we needed.”