A.J. Rodriguez celebrated with the Gardner Edgerton fans after his 43rd win and earning his spot in the state finals. Rodriguez battled bravely through a tough semifinal match. His right eye was nearly swollen shut, his left eye cut and in need of stitches, and his lip bloodied: the kid and his teammates are absolute warriors, according to Tyler Cordts, coach. Submitted photo
Coach Tyler Cordts
The Blazers Boys and Girls teams competed at the state tournament Feb. 27-28.
Dakota Konzem,freshman, competed in the first ever girl’s state tournament and battled tough but fell short of her goal.
“We are excited to see what she will do with three more years,” said Coach Tyler Cordts.
The boys competed in Wichita and had a tremendous whole team effort, finishing ninth overall as a team.
The tournament had many highlights.
Josh Andrews and Noah Short battled extremely tough and fell in the final round before placing, going 2-2 on the weekend. It’s called the heartbreak round for a reason, Cordts said.
Alonzo Borjas placed sixth place at #126, becoming the second freshmen ever in Gardner Edgerton High School history to place at the state tournament.
Gus Davis placed fifth at #195 in arguably the deepest weight in the tournament.
AJ Rodriguez #160 finished as state runner-up losing in the sudden death fourth overtime. “It was one of the greatest matches I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” Cordts said.
In the semifinals on Feb. 27 night Rodriguez won his 43rd match of the season, matching Dustin Williams and TJ Stokes for the most wins in a season in GEHS history.
“To put this in perspective of how far AJ has come in four years and the work he put in – AJ won only six matches as a freshman. From six to a record setting 43 is incredible,” Cordts said.
“I am so very proud of the entire team and the job they did this season,” Cordts continued. “It was without a doubt the most enjoyable season I have had in 11 years of coaching, thanks to the incredible young men and women on the team.”