Nine qualify for state tournament
Marion wrestling team put up a big fight to win its regional tournament Saturday at Douglass.
Apart from top team honors, nine individual wrestlers out of the 12 that attended the meet qualified for the state tournament this weekend in Hays.
Those who qualified were: Jarrett Johnson, 106 lbs., third place; Noah Albin, 113 lbs., fourth place; Bryce Shults, 120 lbs., second place; Ezra Darnall, 126 lbs., third place; Remington Putter, 145 lbs., third place; Luke Steele, 160 lbs., second place; Adam Janzen, 170 lbs., first place; Zac Lewman, 182 lbs., second place; and Kyle Palic, 220 lbs., first place.
“I am very proud of these guys,” coach Chad Adkins said. “They worked very hard all year long and deserve these results.”
These nine make the most Marion wrestlers to ever qualify for state wrestling, Adkins said. Previously the school record was seven qualifiers.
“This is only the second time in the 15 years that I’ve been here that we have been regional champions,” he said.
Adkins also received the coach of the year award from Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association for the second time of his career.
“You can’t win that award without some good kids,” Adkins said. “I had some great kids this season.”
He said they are the key reason to the team’s success this season, and have fought hard to improve every step of the way.
“I haven’t really coached or done anything differently,” he said. “It was the guys mainly focusing on and off the mat where they needed. It’s cool people are recognizing what we’re doing in Marion.”
Adkins would have been proud no matter how many students qualified for state — breaking school records and winning awards were an added bonus.
“They guys worked so hard,” he said. “They really deserved this. We had a good weekend and got better like we should have and wrestled hard.”
Adkins is especially excited about four of the nine qualifiers being freshman, and seven qualifiers eligible to compete next season.
“That and a good potential freshman class and I think we’ll have another great team next season,” he said. “I’m excited.”
The team will leave at noon Thursday for Hays amid fanfare from fellow students and return from state Saturday.