This will be Doug Kretzer’s ninth year as Head Coach of McPherson High. Both the girls and boys teams have a number of returning seniors. Seniors Landon Frantz (182), Mason Thrash (195), and Landon Crews (126) all went far in last year’s state tournament, placing 3rd, 4th, and 6th respectively. Rhett Edmondson (138), also a senior, was injured last year and did not participate in regionals, however, he was the 2018 state champion in his weight class. Jonah Clark (170) and Kourtney Craig (220) did not place last year at state but had very productive seasons. Thrash, a standout football player, has bumped up to the 220 weight class and is ranked 3rd in the Class 5A KWCA poll. Crews has moved up as well, to 138, and he is ranked 4th in the same poll. Clark stayed put at 170 and is ranked 3rd, while Frantz is ranked 4th. Edmondson, fresh off a great soccer season, has moved up to 145 and is ranked 4th in the division. The team as a whole has been ranked 7th in Class 5A by the KWCA. The Boys team had a 12-2 record at Duals, finished 10th in regionals, and 8th in state competition last year.
The Girls Wrestling team (entering the first season in Kansas history where Girls wrestling is a KSHSAA sanctioned sport, largely due to the efforts of Mya and Doug Kretzer. Mya, unfortunately, graduated last spring and thus won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of her labor) also returns five seniors. Seniors Kaleigh Marbut (123) and Haley Schafer (136) are ranked 4th and 3rd respectively in the Class 5A KWCA poll. Juniors Riley Baker (101) and Madison Skytte (191) are ranked 5th and 6th and the last Bullpup ranked in the poll is sophomore Holli Giddings (155) who is ranked 3rd. The team is ranked 2nd in Class 5A.
Earlier this week I sent Coach Kretzer a couple of questions to gauge his expectations for this season, my questions and his responses follow:
QW: Outlook for the season? Teams you know will be competitive, individuals that will be contenders?
DK: We will have a very talented and experienced group of wrestlers. I expect us to be very competitive in our league matches, regular-season tournaments, and post-season events. This should be a very good year for both McPherson’s Boys and Girls wrestling teams.
QW: What are your keys to fielding a successful team this season? What will be vital in engendering a winning team, and winning individual performances?
DK: We need to stay healthy and hungry all year. We have some tough kids that we need to get separated by weight.
QW: Standout players on the team? Who do you look to for leadership out of your group?
DK: We have a huge group of seniors…this is their team and we will go where they take us.
QW: What wrestlers are you expecting growth from this season?
DK: Here is a list of kids who are under the radar, but poised to step up and have a great season. Girls: Aubree Martens, Cat Palacios. Boys: Ryder Peterson, Jonah Scott, Collin Pearson, Lorenzo Cruzen.
QW: What has been your favorite experience in coaching?
DK: My favorite part about coaching is that wrestling was a critical factor in my personal human development during my high school years. I love to give back and help kids grow from this great sport like I did. I use the sport as a vehicle to assist these kids in overcoming the challenges of life as an adult through the sport of wrestling.