PARK CITY — Wichita Souths Kalin Collins is eager to reach the final match at 160 pounds in the Class 6A wrestling tournament for one main reason to improve on last years season.
Collins finished sixth at state last season, but after defeating Blue Valley Southwests AJ Totta 3-2 on Friday night, he advanced to the semifinals, already an improvement from sixth place.
Thats always what it is, you want to do better than what you have before, so Im really trying to push myself to be the best I can be, Collins said. I want to win it all. Im going to do anything I can.
Collins started the tournament Friday by pinning his first opponent in 30 seconds.
Right after the whistle he goes after people. Hes very aggressive, he goes after them at the very start. Thats something that wasnt so much at the beginning of the season, but its developed, South coach Brian Westhoff said. Hes one of those kids who has a lot of potential, he could go on and do very well.
Collins quick pin didnt make him too confident, however. He finished his quarterfinal match by holding on to prevent an escape, to allow Totta to tie the match in the final seconds.
(Totta) was really good at defending my shot, which mainly stopped me from scoring, Collins said. I usually depend on my shot, so Ill have to figure out a way to get around it.
Im satisfied with a one-point win in any match, so lets keep this going, Westhoff added.
Collins started the season wrestling at 170 pounds, where he lost two matches, but hes undefeated since he moved down to 160. But Collins will have to defeat Manhattans Austin Chauncey in the semifinal round Saturday in order to reach the afternoons championship match.
Youve got to keep thinking each guy is better than the last, Collins said. Im going to have to make sure my shots are good, dont slack off, keep my stamina up, keep outworking and do the best that I can.
Proving his place Derbys Jose Santillon started his wrestling career four years ago when starting high school. Since then, hes been telling coach Bill Ross hes going to place at state, whether Ross believed him or not.
Freshman year, I didnt know what I was doing. In practice, Coach would call the drills and I wouldnt know what was going on, I would just look around and do what everyone else is doing, Santillon said. Thats why when I told him I was going to place, he just sat there and looked at me and shook his head.
Santillon looked up at the wall in Derbys wrestling room with the names of each state placer, inspired to become one of the names on that wall. Santillon fell one match short of placing at state last year, but after defeating Blue Valley Wests Alex Craven 3-2 in the quarterfinals Friday, Santillons name will hang on that wall.
Santillon will face Shawnee Mission Northwests Laphonso McKinnis in the 170-pound semifinal round.
Lindlars move to 120 Northwest senior Michael Lindlar was the state champion at 113 pounds last year, and hes wrestled at 113 this season. So it was surprising that Lindlar is wrestling at 120 in the state tournament.
But it is not a problem. Lindlar advanced to the semifinals after defeating Heights Armond McCray 5-3.
The majority of it is that Joey Alberts, our original 120-pounder was kind of 50-50 on state, Lindlar said. (The coaches) thought if they moved him up then hed have a better chance. They asked me if I wanted to move up and I said yes.
The transition hasnt been much different for Lindlar.
It hasnt proven to be difficult yet, but theyre a little heavier, so thats the issue, Lindlar said. Im just wrestling the same.
Maize freshmen pull through Maize qualified three wrestlers for the 6A tournament, including two freshmen. But freshman status doesnt put the two at much disadvantage, which was proven as both advanced through the quarterfinal rounds.
Landon Wood at 106 and Brett Moon at 126 will both compete in the semifinal rounds Saturday.
Those kids have been wrestling their whole lives, so theyve been to big tournaments before, Maize coach Mike Schauer said. Brett Moons last match was against a senior, hes a little bit wiser, a little bit older, maybe a little stronger. It does make a difference.
Schauer said that the pressure of a state tournament doesnt bother these young wrestlers. Wood will face Garden Citys Michael Prieto, while Moon faces Shawnee Mission Easts Grant Hollingsworth.