Photos courtesy of PhotoExpectations.com

Pete Logan
The Gardner-Edgerton High School boys’ wrestling team turned in a dominant performance on their Senior Night, overwhelming visiting Spring Hill High School 61-14 at GEHS Gymnasium.
The Trailblazer wrestlers accumulated a whopping 8 pins and lost only 3 matches on the night, on the way to their decisive victory.
After the competition, GEHS head coach Tyler Cordts spoke about his team’s performance.
“This was a great night,” said Cordts following the team win. “We were a little worried because we had not competed since December 18th. We got hit hard with Covid. Had some cancellations. We were a little nervous about having some rust, but the team came out and this was a duel they really wanted as a group. They’re real familiar with the Spring Hill boys, and they’re all friends. They were ready for this duel. Our seniors really looked good tonight. All of our seniors came away with a win, which is something special to do on Senior Night.”
Before the boys had their Senior Night, the Gardner-Edgerton High School girls’ wrestling team took on the Broncos in 10 matches, eventually falling to the visitors 36-30. After GEHS left an open spot at 101 pounds, and Spring Hill did the same at 109, the two teams were tied at 6-6. Spring Hill’s 101-pounder, Averi Cochran, faced off against Gardner’s 109-pounder, junior Kaira Mannio, in an exhibition match that ended with Mannio pinning Cochran for the win. When scored matches resumed, Trailblazer senior 115-pounder Lilly Kepler picked up a 1st-round pin victory over the Broncos’ Chloe Maisch to put the Blazers up 12-6. GEHS extended the lead to 18-6 when Gardner-Edgerton 120-pounder Michaela Konzem also picked up a 1st-round pin win over SHHS’s Kaylynn Ottenschnieder. Gracie Oppeau at 126 pounds and Allie Stinemetz at 132 picked up pins for the visitors to tie the score at 18-18, before Trailblazer junior 138-pounder Shelby Davis pinned the Broncos’ Taisha Charles in the 1st round to put the Blazers up 24-18. Spring Hill 143-pounder Campbell Mermis then scored a 1st round pin to even the score at 30-30. However, GEHS junior 155-pounder Dakota Konzem scored a hard-earned victory over SHHS’s Kayleigh Guthrie with a 2nd round pin that gave the Blazers a 30-24 lead. Stil, the visitors scored the final two wins of the night, with the Broncos’ 191-pounder Lexi Suter and heavyweight Feeback earning pins and a 36-30 Spring Hill victory.
When the boys’ slate of matches started, Gardner-Edgerton immediately began with a 6-0 lead, as SHHS had to leave their 106-pound slot open. The varsity matches started in earnest with the Trailblazers’ 113-pounder Kasen Smith scoring a 12-4 win over the Broncos’ James Sheldon. Smith’s victory put the Blazers up 10-0. Gardner-Edgerton soon went up 16-0, as GEHS’s 120-pounder Kaden Smith pinned Spring Hill’s Ethan Terblanche just 29 seconds into the 1st round. SHHS earned their first points of the matchup when their 126-pounder Ryan Pahl scored a 16-6 victory to make the team score 16-4. However, another quick GEHS pin followed at 132 pounds, as the Trailblazers’ senior Collin Smith pinned the Broncos’ Derric Hillman 35 seconds into the 1st round, giving the Blazers a 22-4 advantage. The pin totals kept coming for GEHS at 138 pounds as junior Alonzo Borjas pinned Spring Hill’s Avery Bartek in the 2nd round, moving the score to 28-4. Gardner-Edgerton junior 145-pounder extended the pin streak to 3 in a row when he built up a 13-0 lead before he notched a 3rd-round pin against the Broncos’ Nicholas Carr.
At 152 pounds, Spring Hill’s Miles Bell earned the Broncos’ only pin win of the night when he scored a pin against GEHS junior Broque Moore with 35 seconds remaining in the 1st round. At 160 pounds, Gardner-Edgerton senior Keeghan Troutman battled with SHHS’s Noah Anderson before securing a 5-1 victory after 3 rounds and giving the home side a 37-10 lead. Gardner-Edgerton 170-pounder Ty Hammers earned the Trailblazers their 5th pin of the night when he put the Broncos’ Landon McVay’s shoulders to the floor with 1:12 remaining in the 1st round and gave the Blazers a 43-10 edge. GEHS senior 182-pounder Will Shuler kept the pin points coming for the home side as he pinned Spring Hill’s Beau Gardner with just 1 second remaining in the 1st round. SHHS responded with a win of their own when 195-pounder Draven Pipkin scored a 10-2 win at 195 pounds, making the score 49-14. However, the Trailblazers ended the night with pins in their last 2 matches. First, Blazer junior 220-pounder Chris Lewis pinned the Broncos’ Gage Wingerter with 24 seconds remaining in the 1st round to make the score 55-14. Then, GEHS senior heavyweight “Big” Jay Jensen finished off the night by putting the visitors’ Mason Willis’s shoulders to the floor 26 seconds into the 1st round, to make the final score 61-14 Blazers.
After the victory, Cordts spoke effusively about his seniors.
“This is a great group,” Cordts said. “This is the first group that I’ve ever been able to – and Collin Smith’s the main one – coach for six years. I had him in junior high, so I was able to coach him in two years of junior high and then four years of high school. He’s really been one of the cornerstones of the program. These seniors, they’re just great kids. They love wrestling. They’ve all grown. None of them were superstars out of the gate; they just worked hard, loved wrestling, and did their thing.”