106 Pounds: Ian DeMoss - Maize South, Jr.
After a shaky start to his junior season, DeMoss put the pieces together in the state tournament after a fifth-place finish at Maize South’s regional tournament.
He lost his season-opening bout to Arkansas City’s Jevon Foust but turned around months later to beat him 4-2 in sudden victory to reach the state semifinals.
DeMoss lost in the 106-pound championship bout to Blue Valley Southwest freshman Hayden Mills by a 3-1 decision to cap a 37-13 season.
“I was kind of slept on to start the year, and it was kind of looking bad for me,” he said. “I was moving on through the year, taking a lot of losses surprisingly. I decided to kick it on at state, and all my matches went the way I wanted them to.”
113 Pounds: Kale McCracken - Campus, Sr.
McCracken never got over the hump in his Campus career, but his accomplishments are undeniable.
After sitting out his first two years because of not weighing enough, he went to the state championship bout each of his final two seasons. McCracken finished his season season 46-2 with his second loss coming to Garden City junior Silas Pineda in the 113-pound final.
McCracken was one of a handful Colts to reach a championship bout and has started to receive Division I looks as a lengthy low-weight.
“It was a pretty good career,” he said. “I hit a big growth spurt going into junior year, and that kind of kept my career going because I’ve been wrestling since I was 6 years old. I’ve always had the mentality to wrestle.”
120 Pounds: Grant Treaster - Newton, Jr.
Treaster is one of four back-to-back champions on The Eagle’s All-Metro team.
After winning at 113 pounds last season, Treaster jumped a class and won again after an at-times rocky regular season against Kansas’ bests. In the 2019 championship bout at 120 pounds, Treaster beat Goddard senior Lucas Glover by a 6-3 decision.
Treaster capped a 33-4 season with a state title and runner-up finish at the Railers’ Class 5A regional tournament.
126 Pounds: Jerrdon Fisher - Goddard, Fr.
Carrying on the Fisher and Goddard tradition, Jerrdon jumped onto the Kansas high school wrestling scene in 2019.
Earning a third-place finish at 126 pounds in his first state tournament, Fisher beat KC Schlagle junior Jonah Andrews by an 8-5 decision in the consolation championship after falling to Great Bend junior Carsyn Schooler 5-2 in the semifinal round.
Fisher went 46-8 as a freshman and will be one of the headliners for the five-time defending state champion Goddard Lions next season.
“It seemed like it was going to be pretty tough at the beginning because I’m only a freshman,” he said. “But I just worked hard and practice, and it turned out the way I wanted it to most of the season.”
132 Pounds: Aidan Campbell - Maize, Sr.
Campbell, signed to wrestle at Division I Arkansas-Little Rock, was one of Kansas’ most dominant athletes this winter.
After reaching the state championship bout for the second straight year, Campbell fell to Arkansas City senior Gabe Buckbee by a 6-5 ultimate tiebreaker decision in one of the best bouts of the Class 6A/5A tournaments.
Campbell finished his senior season with a 46-4 record and helped Maize to its second straight AVCTL I title — just the second in school history.
“I’m looking forward to getting better competition, harder matches and getting to a whole new level,” Campbell said. “I’m excited for the toughness of that and the challenge.”
138 Pounds: Nathan Bowen - Campus, So.
Bowen became one of the surprises of the state tournaments.
After a couple of comeback wins on the front side of the Class 6A, 138-pound bracket, Bowen crept into the championship bout against Dodge City junior Garrett Edwards before losing on a 5-3 tiebreaker decision.
Bowen will enter the 2020 season as one of the most promising wrestlers in the Wichita area after capping a 41-7 sophomore record.
“It came down to a lot of hard work in the wrestling room,” he said. “My coaches believed in me. A lot of people believed in me, so I had to get it done.”
145 Pounds: Devin Gomez - Maize, Jr.
He was one of the only undefeated wrestlers in Kansas. Gomez’s state championship was undisputed.
The first-year transfer from Valley Center capped a 50-0 season with a casual 7-3 decision over St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Jared Simma in the title bout. After improving his state placement each of his first two years, 2019 marked his first championship.
There was a lot of pushback because of Gomez’s transfer from a team that finished runner-up in Class 5A last year, but Gomez said it was one of the best decisions he has ever made.
“It was just fun, and I think that was the biggest difference,” he said. “Wrestling became a lot more enjoyable. I fell in love with the sport more.”
152 Pounds: Crew Squires - Derby, Sr.
One of two Derby Panthers to earn a pair of state championships in 2019, Squires took home the team title and 152-pound championship.
Squires beat Campus senior Luke Bowen by a 5-2 decision in the title bout to finish his Derby career with a 25-2 senior record.
Squires has now earned three state championships as a senior after helping the Panthers’ football team to the Class 6A title in the fall.
“I don’t remember much of (the championship match),” Squires said. “It was all a giant blur. Everyone was running around, jumping up and down. I just kind of sat back and watched it all. It was really cool to see the town that has supported wrestling so much finally get what they wanted.”
160 Pounds: Malachi Karibo - Wichita South, Jr.
Karibo was arguably the best wrestler out of the City League in 2019.
After earning another GWAL title and a regional runner-up finish, Karibo reached the Class 6A, 160-pound championship bout before losing to Washburn Rural senior Bubba Wilson by a 7-4 decision.
Karibo finished his junior season with a 45-6 record and will return to South as one of the favorites in the state to capture a state championship.
“You’ve just got to look past everything that happened in the past and look forward to the future,” Karibo said. “And know good things will come.”
170 Pounds: Troy Fisher - Goddard, Sr.
Undefeated against Kansas talent, Fisher proved his Division I commitment in 2019.
Earning a second straight state championship, Fisher beat Blue Valley Southwest junior Seth Nitzel with the lone technical fall of the Class 6A/5A title bouts at 20-5 to complete a 33-3 record.
Fisher is committed to wrestle at Northwestern upon his graduation. He finished his career with four team titles to go along with his pair of individual championships.
“(I’m excited for) the challenge (of Division I wrestling),” Fisher said. “It’s a completely different level, and I know that. I haven’t been exposed to it much yet, but I can’t wait to be exposed to really great talent and see how I match up against them.”
182 Pounds: Triston Wills - Derby, Sr.
One year made quite the difference for Wills last year and did again this season.
After a stunning upset to earn his first state title last year, Wills entered 2019 as a favorite to repeat and defended it with a 9-3 decision over Washburn Rural junior Gavin Carter. He was the last Derby wrestler on the mat this season.
Wills’ title helped cap Derby’s first team title since 1986. An Oklahoma State pledge, Wills said those are the bouts he lives for.
“I had a good summer, and I knew I just had to do my part to help get the team title,” he said. “I just wrestled my best and had fun doing it.”
195 Pounds: Brady Bockover - Bishop Carroll, Sr.
Bockover was on a freight train to a championship bout before suffering a rib injury in the state semifinals.
After leading undefeated and eventual champion Cameron Bates, a senior from KC Turner, Bockover was forced to forfeit and finish his senior season with a 38-8 record, fifth-place finish at state and regional runner-up finish.
Bockover is signed to play baseball at Washburn and will serve as Bishop Carroll’s ace this spring after an All-Metro selection last season.
“It was a little rocky at the beginning from freshman to sophomore year,” Bockover said. “It started picking up junior and senior year. It was hard work, all the camps that I went to over the summer helped me a lot for my senior year.”
220 Pounds: Wyatt Hendrickson - Newton, Sr.
The guy many in Kansas considered the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the state capped his Newton career in the best way.
Meeting St. James Academy junior Cade Lautt in the championship bout, it was supposed to be one of the best finals in Kansas. It wasn’t: Hendrickson won his second straight state title with a pin in 1:28.
Hendrickson finished 2019 with a 41-0 record and is committed to wrestle at the Air Force Academy upon his graduation.
285 Pounds: Marcus Hicks - Wichita Northwest, Sr.
Hicks finally captured his first state championship.
After years of knocking on the doorstep in football, wrestling and track, Hicks beat Valley Center junior Tony Caldwell by a 3-1 sudden-victory decision in the Class 5A, 285-pound title bout.
An Oklahoma football pledge, Hicks said knowing he was finally a state champion was an amazing feeling he hopes to bring with him to Norman.
“I wasn’t originally going to wrestle,” he said. “I almost didn’t, but just getting that state championship my last year wrestling meant a lot.”
Bill Ross - Derby, All-Metro Coach of the Year
Bill Ross is a state champion — finally.
When he captured Derby’s first state wrestling title since 1986 and the Panthers’ first with Ross at the helm, the Derby community rose to its feet.
Ross helped produce a pair of individual state champions and All-Metro selections. The team title came down to the final bout of the state tournaments as Mill Valley’s Ethan Kremer beat Manhattan’s Christian Schlepp to preserve the Panthers’ lead.