Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
The McPherson High School wrestling team will start its season at El Dorado High School on Thursday evening. Head Coach Doug Kretzer is excited to evaluate an opponent.
“I’m looking forward to wrestling against someone other than ourselves,” Kretzer said. “We need to compete to see where we need to improve.”
Kretzer will keep a close eye on is the 170-pound class, where Jonah Clarke will take Kai Wernli. Both are ranked as top wrestlers in the state. Other matches to watch will be the return of Rhett Edmonson, who was a state champion two seasons ago at 145 and missed the entire 2018 season due to a knee injury.
“Rhett is a tremendous wrestler, and I am very excited about his return to our lineup,” Kretzer said. “I expect him to be in contention for a state title.”
Also in the lineup for McPherson are Landon Frantz, who finished third at 182 in the state tournament. Landon Crews (126) and Mason Thrash, who was placed fourth in state, and Kourtney Craig also will be in the lineup.
On Saturday, the girls’ wrestlers will host an invitational, but this time as an official sport. With the departure of Mya Kretzer, there are plenty of wrestlers who might have big years for McPherson. Haley Schafer is McPherson’s top returning wrestler after she placed second in state last season. Other wrestlers to watch are Holli Giddins and Kayleigh Marbut. Both finished third in their weight class last season.
“I’m excited that now that KSHSAA recognizes girls as their own sport, I anticipate the participation numbers to increase statewide. This means more girls for McPherson to see in competition,” Kretzer said. “We’d like to formally invite all of McPherson to attend our home tournament. Our kids love to wrestle in front of our community. We will be wrestling in the Roundhouse this year, so there will be plenty of seating.”
The McPherson Invitational will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday at McPherson High School.