During his match Saturday against Garden City’s Benny Hernandez, Northwest senior Joey Gilbertson gained some extra fans.
Campus, sitting just one point ahead of Garden City for second place in the team standings, needed Gilbertson to win the 285-pound match — the last match of the tournament — so Campus could cement its spot.
Thus, Colts fans and Grizzlies fans chanted “Let’s Go, Joey” during the match, which went to an ultimate tiebreaker, which Gilbertson won, 3-2.
With runner-up to 6A champ Manhattan secured, a beaming Campus coach Jim Dryden marveled at the assist from Gilbertson.
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“We’ll take all the help we can get,” he said. “We were rooting for him. The whole Campus crowd was cheering.
“We knew what was at stake in that match, so our guys were pulling for him real hard to pull that one out for us.”
Manhattan was a clear team champion with 170.02 points to Campus’ 148.53. Garden City was next with 147.54. Among area teams, Derby was fifth (130.0), South was eighth (87.5), Northwest tied for ninth (69.0) among those in the top 10.
Dryden was pleased to be state runner-up.
“We were really striving hard to be in the top three this year,” he said. “We thought we had a chance with the group of kids we had. After the regional, where we finished fourth, we knew our backs would be against the wall a little bit, but we came out this weekend and wrestled extremely well.
“I’m proud of the effort we had and finishing second was a great deal.”
Besides the 120-pound title from Boo Dryden, Jim’s nephew, the Colts also added runner-up points Saturday from Brycen Schroeder at 152 and Zach Bowen at 195. Schroeder lost a 2-1 decision to junior Jalin Harper of Manhattan, and Bowen was edged out, 7-6, by Zeke Herrera of Garden City.
Dryden joked that if Campus and Northwest can come together, perhaps the nation can do the same.
“If we can cheer for one of our common opponents, then maybe (the government) can do something with that,” he said.
Birthday title – South junior Kasdon Arehart had the best kind of birthday.
Arehart prevailed on his 17th birthday despite having to stop because he was bleeding three times during the first period and once in the third.
“I was scared I was going to run out of blood time, honestly,” he said.
He captured the 220-pound Class 6A title with an 18-6 victory over Dodge City’s Marcos Fisher despite the blood delays.
“Mindset, going in to score points; I knew no one could beat me on my feet,” Arehart said. “It’s almost like you’re cocky, but you’re just confident before each match.”
South coach Brian Westhoff was proud that Arehart remained focus amid the blood stoppages.
“We scored points there; that was our focus, scoring points,” he said. “(The blood delays were) a little bit of a concern. That was a little scary there.
“I’m proud of him. He’s worked hard this year, and very deserving of this. He was scoring points on single-legs, and it worked out for him.”
Derby’s narrow misses – What began coming in with some promise suffered from some tight losses for Derby, ranked fourth in Class 6A. The Panthers finished fifth in the team standings.
The ill fortune came to an end when sophomore Kobe Grijalva was pinned by Garden City freshman Jacob Holt at 5:36.
Grijalva started strong, taking a 4-1 lead after the first period, but Holt persevered and managed to forge a 5-5 tie before securing the pinfall.
“Those kids have wrestled before earlier in the year at the Kansas City Stampede,” Derby coach Bill Ross said. “The kid worked us over pretty good, then we returned the favor at the regional tournament (in Hutchinson), and it seemed like we pretty much had our way with him, so it was a rematch.
“I thought we wrestled fantastic for about five minutes. We made one mistake, and (Holt) capitalized on that, and that was the end of the match.”
Ross said he was proud of Grijalva.
“Kobe has nothing to hang his head about, he wrestled a great match,” Ross said. “Sometimes, in wrestling, you make a mistake, and your opponent capitalizes on it. That’s what happens, and that’s what happened in that situation.”
Derby lost two heavily favored wrestlers in the semifinals in junior Brandon Becker at 132 and sophomore Cade Lindsey at 138. Both managed to capture third-place matches Saturday.
“You’ve got to win the close matches this time of year,” Ross said. “You lose two or three close matches, and that makes a heck of a difference on the scoreboard.
“We’re going to be a top-five team, but until we start winning the close matches, that’s what it’s going to take to be a No. 1 team.”
Gates completes undefeated season – Hutchinson junior Brian Gates completed a perfect 38-0 season by edging out Olathe North freshman Keegan Slyter 7-6.
Salthawks coach Mike Garcia said it has been a fantastic year for Gates.
“He’s had a great season, he really has,” Garcia said. “He’s been able to stay healthy, he’s had some good competition, and he’s been wrestling well.”
Garcia said that Gates has faced a tough slate of opponents.
“He’s wrestled some good competition this year,” Garcia said. “He’s a tough competitor, and it’s been good for him.
“He’s got tested a few times. He likes to go against that kind of competition.”