Two Dodge City High wrestlers have assured themselves as medalists and chances of being a state champion, while a third Red Demons can move up to third place in his weight division after action Friday night at Hartman Arena.
"It's always good to have some state medalists on the first day, but they have higher goals than just getting sixth place. The same is for the two who are coming from the back side because they can get a medal. We're happy for them, but we know they're not satisfied yet."
The Red Demons talked about doing the most damage with the small number of wrestlers that qualified for this weekend, and things have very well for the squad.
Clay Weil (120) won his first two matches of the day by pin. Weil pinned his first opponent on Friday, getting the shoulders of Matt Penner (Blue Valley West) at 3:54 and then scored another pin at 1:23 over Thomas Burton (Wichita East) in the quarterfinals and scored 11 team points for the Red Demons.
"Clay is wrestling really well and it's impressive to get two pins at the state level," Lueders said. "I know he has his sights set to make it to the state finals."
Weil is now 37-8 on the season and will wrestle Nick Perez (Junction City, 34-5) in this morning's semifinals.
Dane Edwards (138) had a longer time in his division. Edwards opened up his day with a technical fall victory over Seth Ortiz (Shawnee Mission East), then recorded a takedown with eight seconds left in regulation to record a 3-1 victory over Jaquwan Stone (Blue Valley Northwest) to qualify for today's semifinals.
"He's wrestling well and being aggressive and lights out so far," Luedders said. "The kid he wrestled in the quarterfinals was a good quality win."
Edwards (34-3) will battle Dylan Brazell (Wichita Northwest, 35-7) in the semifinals.
The other two wrestlers lost their first round matches and wrestled later Friday night to stay in the meet.
Jaden McRoberts (113, 30-12) is still in the tournament despite losing his first match on Friday by a 4-2 overtime decision to T.J. Burger (Gardner-Edgerton). McRobets won his second match by a 2-0 overtime victory over Jordan Short (Washburn Rural) in the consolation first round. McRoberts faces Stuart Schafer (Olathe North) in the consolation second round and needs to record two wins to qualify for the medal rounds.
Santiago Garcia (152, 16-21) was pinned in both of his matches; in 34 seconds by Jeryl Denton (Junction City) in the first round and by Foster Hartman (Blue Valley) at 3:49 in he consolation first round.
Because of the format due to the winter conditions that hit the state, the first round, championship quarterfinals and consolation first round matches took place Friday night.
The rest of the meet will start up at 9 a.m. with the championship semifinals and consolation cross-bracketing matches. Consolation quarterfinals (10:45 a.m.) and semifinals (12:45 p.m.) will take place before the medal round where the championship, third place and fifth place bouts will be simultaneously conducted.