There was a little something missing for Andale’s Anthony Capul last season when he won the Class 4A championship in the 195-pound division.
In the match before, Davon Spexarth, his training partner and best friend, had lost in the final. Not being able to share that championship moment together is what drives Capul and Spexarth entering their senior season, which begins Saturday at the Pratt Invitational.
“Since the end of the state tournament last February, I’ve been wanting to get back ever since,” Spexarth said. “I can’t wait until this season starts because I’m not going to come up short again this year.”
Spexarth finds motivation in his own practice room from Capul and Zach Eck, who won the 132-pound championship last season.
Andale coach Brad Lies says the intensity in the wrestling room is extremely high and the Indians not only have hopes of three individual champions this season, they want to push for a team championship. That seems possible with three title contenders to go along returning experience in Chase Weber, Jaryd Weber, Grayson Clevenger, and Collin Pavlacka.
“It’s a lot of fun right now to just kind of sit back and watch these kids go to work,” Lies said. “Everyone’s goal this year is to win a state title, so we have a lot of guys pushing each other to try to get over the hump.”
Eck, who will wrestle at 138, is motivated by his decision to not continue wrestling in college.
“I think it’s going to make me go all-out every match now,” Eck said. “Because now I know it very well could be the very last match I ever wrestle.”
Capul packs brute strength into his frame and will remain in the 195 division to attempt to defend his title. Having someone like Spexarth to practice against every day will only help him in that quest, he says.
“We are pretty much best friends and we hang out outside the wrestling room all the time,” Capul said. “We’re definitely pushing each other this season and I know he really wants to win it this year and I am going to do everything I can to help him get there.”
This time Spexarth wants to be able to share that moment together.
“We’ve already made up our minds this year,” Spexarth said. “I’m going to get mine and he’s going to get this second. This is going to be our year. We’ve said that since last February. Me, Zach, Anthony all on top of the podium and hopefully get a few more guys on there so we can get that team title.”
OTHER AREA WRESTLERS TO WATCH
Andover: Paul Stuart, sr., 145 (state champion); Jack Maki, sr., 160 (state runner-up); Carter Guyer, sr., 120; Connor Schillings, sr., 195; Preston Drake, so., 126.
Andover Central: Bryant Page, jr., 126; Jake Patch, jr., 106; Gunnar Gentzler, jr., 120; Nicholas Lehman, jr., 195; Dante Rodd, jr., 132; Griffin Baker, jr., 113.
Arkansas City: Marcus Robinson, jr., 126 (state champion); Tyler Shannon, sr., (state champion); Jake Beeson, jr., 138 (state runner-up); Gabe Buckee, so., 106; Montez Robinson, so., 132; Colton Watters, sr., 152; Corbin Hockenbury, sr., 145; Dalton Collins, jr., 195.
Augusta: John George, jr., 132; Cole Edwards, sr., 220; Avin George, jr., 138; Briggs Erwin, so., 106.
Bluestem: Coy Moran, jr., 170; Hazen Benton, so., 120.
Buhler: Justin Hershberger, sr., 138; Clayton Peterson, sr., 170; Tyler Whitson, jr., 145; Adam Whitson, so., 113; Tyler Dowell, jr., 182.
Campus: Boo Dryden, sr., 120 (state champion); Matt Kimber, sr., 220 (state runner-up); Zach Bowen, sr., 195; Easton Schroeder, sr., 145; Luke Bowen, so., 138; Brayden Black, sr., 152; Kai Rhea, jr.; Abel Duran, sr.; Brycen Schroeder, so.
Chaparral: Jacob Jenkins, sr., 182; Estin Overton, sr., 160; Adrian Gerber, jr., 195; Tanner Asper, so., 126; Jaden Eslinger, so., 285; Isaac Helms, so., 220; Haldo Escobar, jr.
Circle: Chris Clark, jr., 145; Hagen Henderson, jr., 220; Justin Schrader, jr.; Luke Borg-Keplar, sr.
Clearwater: Darryl Rylant, so., 113 (state champion); Jake Thomas, sr., 138; Hunter Reddick, so., 120.
Derby: Cade Lindsey, so., 138 (state champion); Nate Fowler, sr., 285; Brandon Becker, jr., 132; Crew Squires, so., 152; Triston Wills, so., 126; Cooper Ross, so., 106; Kobe Grijalva, so., 113.
Douglass: Ashten Dodson, jr., 106 (state runner-up); Seth Fouts, sr., 195.
Eisenhower: Seth Doud, so., 113; Victor Aguilera, sr.; Kaden Hall-Winton, sr.
El Dorado: Cameron Hunt, jr., 220 (state runner-up); Dacota Motter, sr., 160; Payton Saowski, jr., 120 (state runner-up); Braden Morgan, so., 182.
Garden Plain: Mercedes Gassman, jr., 120; Marty Landwehr, sr., 182.
Goddard: Will Spexarth, sr., 126 (state champion); Kameron Frame, sr., 152 (state champion); Kendall Frame, sr., 160 (state champion); Cale Davidson, sr., 195 (state champion); Troy Fisher, so., 170 (state runner-up); Garrett Lange, jr., 145 (state runner-up); Logan Pirl, jr., 120; Lane Glover, sr., 132; Austin Andres, jr., 182; Dayton Driskill, sr., 220; Elijah Holliman, sr., 285; Cayden Atkins, so., 138; Jason Henschel, fr., 106.
Halstead: Tony Morris, sr., 170; Cayden Brandt, so.; Ryan Stepanek, sr.
Hesston: Jake Wingfield, sr., 195; David Merchant, sr., 152; Zach Anderson, sr., 170; Zack Ledford, sr., 220; Matt Whitsitt, jr., 145.
Hoisington: Christopher Ball, jr., 152 (state champion); Jonathan Ball, sr., 145; Landen Urban, sr., 285; Tanner Cassity, jr., 132; Sean Urban, jr., 182; Justin Bradley, sr., 220.
Hutchinson: Brian Gates, jr., 106 (state runner-up); Dylan Chesterman, sr., 195; Dylan Jensen, jr., 220; Riley Smith, so., 170; Tyreese Moore, jr., 126; Lance Page, jr., 132.
Independent: Dylan Vance, sr., 126.
Maize: Aidan Campbell, so., 126; Zac Grantham, sr., 132; Caleb Wunsch, jr., 195; Jose Ledesma, so., 120.
Maize South: Jayson West, sr., 113; Dawson Kuhn, sr., 170; Sam Kissane, sr., 160; Ryan Bertha, sr., 138.
Marion: Bryce Shults, sr., 138; Tyler Palic, jr., 195.
McPherson: Austin Eldredge, sr., 132; Brynton Crews, jr., 126; Dylan Baldwin, sr., 195; Luke Thompson, jr., 160; Ben Hopkins, so., 126; EJ Kretzer, so., 106; Luke Thompson, jr., 160.
Mulvane: Anthony Scantlin, sr., 152 (state champion); Dylan Jorns, sr., 285; Bryce Parker, sr., 160; Jeff Houser, sr., 145; Layne Becker, sr., 220; Uriah Pollard, sr., 120.
Newton: Logan Treaster, sr., 120 (state runner-up); Brody Roberson, sr., 132.
Nickerson: Jayden Raigoza, sr.; Derek Boeken, sr.; Dylan Stewart, so.; Chandler Eaton, so.; Jarron Kaufman, fr.; Nichole Moore, fr.
Pratt: Dylan Pelland, sr., 120 (state champion); Logan Baird, sr., 170; Brayan Balderrama, sr., 126; Nick Lucas, sr., 152; Justin Lamatsch, jr.; Kadence Riner, so.
Remington: Caleb Farmer, so., 113; Teyton Sanders, so.; Javier Martinez, so.; Wyatt Ger
Rose Hill: Chase Thrush, jr.; Grant Scheer, so.; Kyle Sackett, so.; David Leck, fr.
Smoky Valley: Austin Lustfield, sr., 138; Beck Elliot, sr., 182; Austin Golden, sr., 160; Allan Wampler, sr., 195; Noah Lackey, sr., 145; Nick Karber, sr., 152.
Trinity: Sam Schroeder, sr., 220.
Valley Center: Sam Weldon, sr., 195, Don Boone, sr., 152; Chase Holle, sr., 220; Tyler Boone, jr., 160; Peyton Stoffel, jr., 170; Devon Gomez, fr., 126; Carter Nold, jr., 113; Mike Turkali, jr., 120.
Wellington: Aaron Schoemann, jr., 195; Ian Groom, jr., 220.
Winfield: Rocky Landwehr, sr., 182; Ali Viravong, sr., 220.
AREA WRESTLING SCHEDULE
1, Dodge City at Maize, Hutchinson at Newton, Andover Central at Augusta, Salina Central at Derby, Maize South at Ark City, El Dorado at Buhler, Rose Hill at McPherson. 3, Campus Invitational, Valley Center Invitational, Arkansas City Invitational, Pratt Invitational. 8, McPherson, Chapman at Smoky Valley, Rose Hill at Mulvane, Winfield at Augusta, Goddard at Maize South, Hutchinson at Campus, Eisenhower at Valley Center, Maize at Salina South, Newton at Salina Central, Ark City at Andover. 9-10, Colby Invitational, Deer Creek (Okla.) Invitational, Eduroa Invitational, Enid (Okla.) Invitational. 10, Hesston Invitational, Wellington Invitational, Douglass Invitational, Clay Center Invitational, Eudora Invitational, SM Northwest Invitational. 15, Augusta, Circle, Wellington at Rose Hill, Derby at Hutchinson, Andover Central at Andover, Salina South at Newton, Campus at Maize, Valley Center at Maize South, Buhler at McPherson, El Dorado at Winfield, Cheney, Remington at Halstead. 16-17, Platte County (Mo.) Invitational. 17, Carroll Invitational, Emporia Invitational, Ellsworth Invitational, Ottawa Invitational, Abilene Invitational.
5, Chaparral, Cheney, Garden Plain at Eisenhower, McPherson at Circle, Rose Hill at Winfield, Ark City at Derby, Campus at Salina Central, Valley Center at Andover Central, Mulvane at El Dorado. 6-7, Derby Invitational. 7, Maize Invitational, Salina South Invitational, Burlington Invitational, North Invitational, Augusta Invitational. 12, Andale, Mulvane, Wellington at Clearwater, Andover Central at Goddard, Ark City at Eisenhower, Salina South at Campus, Maize South at Andover, Buhler at Augusta, El Dorado at McPherson, Circle at Winfield. 13-14, Newton Invitational. 14, Clearwater Invitational. 19, Andale, Augusta at Rose Hill, Maize at Hutchinson, Andover at Goddard, Eisenhower at Andover Central, Campus at Salina Central, Valley Center at Ark City, Newton at Derby, Mulvane at Wellington. 20-21, Hays Invitational, BV Northwest Invitational. 21, Emporia Invitational, Holton Invitational, Eureka Invitational. 24, Mulvane at Chaparral. 26, Hutchinson at Salina South, Eisenhower at Maize South, Salina Central at Maize, Winfield at Buhler, McPherson at Augusta, Campus at Derby. 27-28, Garden City Invitational, Hoisington Invitational, Garden Plain Invitational. 28, Chanute Invitational, Andover Invitational, Junction City Invitational, Baldwin Invitational, SM North Invitational.
2, Andover Central at Ark City, Clearwater, Buhler at Andale, Goddard at Valley Center, Andover at Eisenhower, Newton at Campus, Salina South at Salina Central, Derby at Maize. 3-4, Rose Hill Invitational. 4, Goddard Invitational, Silver Lake Invitational, Circle Invitational. 9, Ark City at Goddard, Salina Central at Hutchinson, Maize South at Andover Central, Derby at Salina South, Maize at Newton, Andover at Valley Center, Circle at Buhler, Winfield at McPherson, Rose Hill at Clearwater.