Back On Top: Edmonson Hopes To Become State Champion Again After Missing Last Season

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Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.

It has been almost two years since Rhett Edmonson was a state champion for the McPherson High School wrestling team. After what has felt like an eternity, Edmonson hopes to return to the big stage in his final year with the Bullpups after sitting out last season.

Edmonson is one of McPherson’s wrestling technicians. He considers himself a strong, workout warrior in the weight room. A triathlete with high confidence in his abilities, wrestling is his top sport ahead of soccer and tennis. However, his wrestling career took a minor set back in his junior year. While the Bullpups were preparing for their match, Edmonson heard a pop in his knee after a sparring section with his teammate. It was a scary moment considering the high expectations he set for himself.

Rhett Edmonson takes down his opponent during his dual match. [Jeff Wilson]

“I was wrestling in practice and someone was on my leg, and I went to defend it,” Edmonson said. “My knee took a total 180 (degrees) so it was out in front of me when it should’ve been behind me.”

At first, he thought it wasn’t serious because he wrestled the next day. Edmonson’s left knee popped again during the match. This time to the point that he had to get it checked out. He had surgery in late December of 2018.

Being as energetic as he is, it was uncomfortable being so inactive. He took matters into his own hands. When Edmonson won his first state title, he weighed in at 125 pounds. He now weighs 145 pounds.

“It was rough. I was in bed for a long, long time,” Edmonson said. “I’ve just been cooped up in my room. That’s when I got some dumbbells and just sit in my bed and do some arm exercises. That’s how I got my energy up. Not being able to do much. Other than that, I couldn’t put too much weight on it. I was expected to bump it up but I didn’t really want to stay low because there’s no point in staying. I might as well get muscular and make my body best as possible.”

During his rehab, Edmonson worked on leg exercises and extension on his injured knee. He also worked on squats and lunges to gain mobility to prepare for his senior year. It took him nine months to be healed to play a full season for the boys soccer team. It was shaky at first as he felt a little a pop every now and then, but it didn’t bother him as much.

“It took a couple of rough falls,” Edmonson said. “It took it passed the point and it would pop, but my leg became more flexible and me getting used to that pain in my knee.”

 

The Bullpups are 11-1 on the season, while Edmonson is 14-2 in all of his matches, ranking him in the top five in his weight class in the Class 5A standings. Despite the two losses, Edmonson has never been pinned and is determined that none of his opponents take him down easily.

“I don’t want to have someone take me down, get a reversal or escape,” Edmonson said. “I want to forcefully let them go so they know I can do whatever I want with them.”

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