September 24, 2022

4-peat so sweet: GCHS wrestling state champs again (Audio)


Wichita, KS (westernakansasnews.com)-Garden City Coach Carlos Prieto insisted his team could do it, despite advancing only two wrestlers into the finals. 

“We have to do this on the back end,” he said following Friday’s action. “I have supreme confidence in these guys. Championships are won on the back side, and that’s what we have to do.”

On Saturday at Hartman arena, Garden City became the first 6A program to win four consecutive state titles since Rocky Welton’s Buffaloes did it from 1989-1993. 

That’s not the only history that was made. 

Senior Michael Prieto became just the 33rd wrestler in Kansas High School history to capture a fourth consecutive individual title-enacting some revenge by beating rival Tyler Garcia from Dodge City in the 138-pound finals. 

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Prieto said after the match. “I can tell you this: Tyler will be back; it was a great match.

Prieto finished off another incredible season at 31-3 (161-10 during his four-year career); a year that was cut short early on because of an ACL injury he sustained over the summer time. The senior wiped out Olathe Northwest’s Brad Schmidt, Manhattan’s Jalin Harper-ranked third in the state and No. 4 Tanner Smith from derby before taking down the top-seeded Garcia in the championship round, the same kid that beat him in the Regional finals in Dodge the week before. 

“To come back from all the things I went through during the offseason is incredible,” Prieto said. “I even banged up my foot right before the state tournament. But I pulled through. I worked hard.”

Prieto’s run to glory was punctuated with one of the best matches of the entire tournament.

Up 1-0 in the third period, Garcia had ahold of Prieto’s injured leg. Eventually the four-time champ ended up on his back, but no points were awarded and time expired.

Then the embrace.

Prieto jumped into his father’s arms, the same man who’s guided the Buffaloes to their first four-peat in 23 years; the same man that spent his summers driving the younger Prieto around the country to different wrestling camps and tournaments. For a second in time, both got a chance to sit back and recollect on what they both just accomplished.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” (Carlos) Prieto said. “He’s (Michael Prieto) a four-time champ. All the hard work paid off. And a 1-0 win is a win. I would have loved it to be a 15-0 decision, but he won it. I’m so proud of him.”

As for the rest of them, the weekend wasn’t as dominant as their 2013 run to the gold, but the Buffaloes still found a way to surge past runner-up Manhattan with six wrestlers winning their consolation semifinal matches. In all, Prieto had nine of his 10 qualifiers place. The only one who didn’t was Curtis Near who was beat out by Shawnee Mission East’s Michael Aldridch in the fifth-place match at 145 pounds.  

The Buffaloes produced two individual champions: Prieto at 138 and top-ranked Jesse Nunez, who beat No. 2 David Kelly from Wichita West in overtime in the 170-pound finals. The junior’s victory capped off an amazing run to the title where he beat Topeka Washburn Rural’s Preston Williams, Luke Middleton from Olathe Northwest and fifth-ranked Brady Sloan from Blue Valley before downing the second-ranked Kelly, whom he beat last week at regionals.

 

Audio

Alec Castillo-152 3rd place

 

Michael Prieto-1st place 138

 

Jesse Nunez-1st place 170

 

Aaron Lozano-3rd place 285

 

Dodge City’s Devon Plaza-1st place 126

 

Results

1. Garden City-168.5

2. Manhattan-141

3. Olathe North 129.5

4. Derby 91

5. Dodge City 85

Garden City

6A – 120 – Kaj Perez (39-13) placed 3rd and scored 14.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Kaj Perez (Garden City) 39-13 won by decision over Clayton Wilson (Manhattan) 28-15 (Dec 4-0)
    Quarterfinal – Kaj Perez (Garden City) 39-13 won by decision over De`Khyale McFarland (Olathe-East) 25-5 (Dec 6-4)
    Semifinal – Cade Lindsey (Derby) 33-10 won by decision over Kaj Perez (Garden City) 39-13 (Dec 4-2)
    Cons. Semi – Kaj Perez (Garden City) 39-13 won by decision over Riley Alderman (Olathe-North) 41-12 (Dec 5-2)
    3rd Place Match – Kaj Perez (Garden City) 39-13 won by decision over De`Khyale McFarland (Olathe-East) 25-5 (Dec 6-2)

6A – 138 – Michael Prieto (31-3) placed 1st and scored 25.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Michael Prieto (Garden City) 31-3 won by fall over Brad Schmidt (Olathe-Northwest) 25-15 (Fall 3:19)
    Quarterfinal – Michael Prieto (Garden City) 31-3 won by decision over Jalin Harper (Manhattan) 41-5 (Dec 4-2)
    Semifinal – Michael Prieto (Garden City) 31-3 won by major decision over Tanner Smith (Derby) 22-17 (MD 9-1)
    1st Place Match – Michael Prieto (Garden City) 31-3 won by decision over Tylor Garcia (Dodge City) 35-8 (Dec 1-0)

6A – 145 – Curtis Near (15-6) placed 6th and scored 9.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 won in sudden victory – 1 over Javier Contreras (KC-Wyandotte) 29-5 (SV-1 9-7)
    Quarterfinal – Mason Wallace (Manhattan) 41-3 won by tech fall over Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 (TF-1.5 6:00 (15-0))
    Cons. Round 2 – Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 won by fall over Esai Gallegos (Topeka) 25-16 (Fall 2:49)
    Cons. Round 3 – Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 won by decision over Crew Squires (Derby) 26-19 (Dec 5-2)
    Cons. Semi – Howard Johnson (Dodge City) 34-13 won by decision over Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 (Dec 7-0)
    5th Place Match – Michael Aldrich (SM-East) 34-14 won by fall over Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 (Fall 1:43)

6A – 152 – Alec Castillo (43-10) placed 3rd and scored 15.50 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Alec Castillo (Garden City) 43-10 won by tech fall over Ja`Relle Dye (Lawrence) 3-3 (TF-1.5 1:56 (16-1))
    Quarterfinal – Alec Castillo (Garden City) 43-10 won in sudden victory – 1 over Zephry Killham (Manhattan) 34-10 (SV-1 4-2)
    Semifinal – Tanner Madl (OP-Blue Valley) 38-2 won by decision over Alec Castillo (Garden City) 43-10 (Dec 4-0)
    Cons. Semi – Alec Castillo (Garden City) 43-10 won by decision over Anthony Macaluso (Olathe-Northwest) 43-8 (Dec 3-0)
    3rd Place Match – Alec Castillo (Garden City) 43-10 won by decision over Zephry Killham (Manhattan) 34-10 (Dec 6-2)

6A – 160 – Quinton LaPointe (13-7) placed 4th and scored 18.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Quinton LaPointe (Garden City) 13-7 won by fall over Drake Yost (SM-East) 28-18 (Fall 1:38)
    Quarterfinal – Aryus Jones (Junction City) 18-0 won by major decision over Quinton LaPointe (Garden City) 13-7 (MD 9-1)
    Cons. Round 2 – Quinton LaPointe (Garden City) 13-7 won by fall over Chance Henderson (Manhattan) 7-5 (Fall 1:38)
    Cons. Round 3 – Quinton LaPointe (Garden City) 13-7 won by fall over Tucker Wilson (Lawrence) 32-9 (Fall 2:34)
    Cons. Semi – Quinton LaPointe (Garden City) 13-7 won by decision over Garret Tierney (OP-Blue Valley Northwest) 40-7 (Dec 3-1)
    3rd Place Match – Nick Jouret (Olathe-South) 43-5 won by decision over Quinton LaPointe (Garden City) 13-7 (Dec 8-5)

6A – 170 – Jesse Nunez (45-5) placed 1st and scored 25.50 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Jesse Nunez (Garden City) 45-5 won by tech fall over Preston Williams (Topeka Washburn Rural) 10-6 (TF-1.5 4:44 (17-1))
    Quarterfinal – Jesse Nunez (Garden City) 45-5 won by fall over Luke Middleton (Olathe-Northwest) 29-18 (Fall 4:23)
    Semifinal – Jesse Nunez (Garden City) 45-5 won by decision over Brady Sloan (OP-Blue Valley) 25-12 (Dec 8-3)
    1st Place Match – Jesse Nunez (Garden City) 45-5 won in sudden victory – 1 over David Kelly (Wichita West) 25-5 (SV-1 3-1)

6A – 182 – Antonio Perez (29-22) place is unknown and scored 7.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Antonio Perez (Garden City) 29-22 won by fall over Chris Morris (OP-Blue Valley West) 23-26 (Fall 1:05)
    Quarterfinal – Jamie Larson (SM-West) 32-16 won by major decision over Antonio Perez (Garden City) 29-22 (MD 12-4)
    Cons. Round 2 – Antonio Perez (Garden City) 29-22 won by injury default over Cole Trent (Dodge City) 17-13 (Inj. 0:50)
    Cons. Round 3 – Zach Bowen (Haysville Campus) 38-8 won by decision over Antonio Perez (Garden City) 29-22 (Dec 6-3)

6A – 195 – Zeke Herrera (32-11) placed 3rd and scored 21.50 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Zeke Herrera (Garden City) 32-11 won by fall over Justin Sikes (Gardner-Edgerton) 19-18 (Fall 4:17)
    Quarterfinal – Zeke Herrera (Garden City) 32-11 won by tech fall over Gus Unruh (Wichita Southeast) 23-14 (TF-1.5 5:19 (23-8))
    Semifinal – Jose Montoya (SM-West) 34-1 won by decision over Zeke Herrera (Garden City) 32-11 (Dec 4-2)
    Cons. Semi – Zeke Herrera (Garden City) 32-11 won by fall over Chase Hartquist (Olathe-Northwest) 34-10 (Fall 3:28)
    3rd Place Match – Zeke Herrera (Garden City) 32-11 won by fall over Tyrekus Birch (Wichita South) 35-12 (Fall 1:33)

6A – 220 – Benny Hernandez (38-16) placed 3rd and scored 16.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Benny Hernandez (Garden City) 38-16 won by fall over Jemarry Walker (Wichita Southeast) 22-21 (Fall 3:08)
    Quarterfinal – Benny Hernandez (Garden City) 38-16 won by decision over Brandon Huntley (Olathe-North) 25-15 (Dec 5-2)
    Semifinal – Blake Johnson (OP-Blue Valley Northwest) 36-3 won by decision over Benny Hernandez (Garden City) 38-16 (Dec 7-4)
    Cons. Semi – Benny Hernandez (Garden City) 38-16 won in sudden victory – 1 over Andrew Sprague (Gardner-Edgerton) 32-11 (SV-1 5-3)
    3rd Place Match – Benny Hernandez (Garden City) 38-16 won by decision over Brandon Huntley (Olathe-North) 25-15 (Dec 10-4)

6A – 285 – Aaron Lozano (41-14) placed 3rd and scored 17.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Aaron Lozano (Garden City) 41-14 won by fall over Edrick Rouse (Gardner-Edgerton) 18-15 (Fall 1:43)
    Quarterfinal – Aaron Lozano (Garden City) 41-14 won by decision over Nick Carson (SM-North) 37-8 (Dec 4-3)
    Semifinal – Eldon Picou (Manhattan) 37-4 won by decision over Aaron Lozano (Garden City) 41-14 (Dec 3-0)
    Cons. Semi – Aaron Lozano (Garden City) 41-14 won by major decision over Michael Mattox (Topeka Washburn Rural) 23-14 (MD 15-4)
    3rd Place Match – Aaron Lozano (Garden City) 41-14 won by decision over Nick Carson (SM-North) 37-8 (Dec 4-2)

 

Dodge City

6A – 106 – Joel Ostrom (35-12) placed 6th and scored 9.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Joel Ostrom (Dodge City) 35-12 won by fall over Aj Merrell (Olathe-North) 16-21 (Fall 0:59)
    Quarterfinal – Joel Ostrom (Dodge City) 35-12 won by decision over Justin Amaro (Wichita East) 30-11 (Dec 6-0)
    Semifinal – Jace Koelzer (Olathe-South) 42-2 won by major decision over Joel Ostrom (Dodge City) 35-12 (MD 8-0)
    Cons. Semi – Jerad Habben (SM-Northwest) 40-7 won by decision over Joel Ostrom (Dodge City) 35-12 (Dec 5-4)
    5th Place Match – Justin Amaro (Wichita East) 30-11 won by decision over Joel Ostrom (Dodge City) 35-12 (Dec 5-2)

6A – 126 – Devon Plaza (33-3) placed 1st and scored 23.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Devon Plaza (Dodge City) 33-3 won by decision over Taylor Jokerst (Olathe-Northwest) 30-12 (Dec 5-3)
    Quarterfinal – Devon Plaza (Dodge City) 33-3 won by major decision over Isaiah Jacobs (Lawrence-Free State) 35-6 (MD 16-6)
    Semifinal – Devon Plaza (Dodge City) 33-3 won by decision over Brandon Becker (Derby) 32-16 (Dec 3-0)
    1st Place Match – Devon Plaza (Dodge City) 33-3 won by decision over Tyler Flood (Olathe-North) 25-4 (Dec 7-2)

6A – 132 – Clay Weil (22-9) placed 4th and scored 14.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Clay Weil (Dodge City) 22-9 won by fall over Keaton Bowers (OP-Blue Valley North) 23-20 (Fall 1:35)
    Quarterfinal – Clay Weil (Dodge City) 22-9 won by decision over Sam Elliott (OP-Blue Valley Northwest) 44-4 (Dec 3-2)
    Semifinal – Tate Steele (Lawrence-Free State) 40-2 won by fall over Clay Weil (Dodge City) 22-9 (Fall 0:20)
    Cons. Semi – Clay Weil (Dodge City) 22-9 won by decision over Kavian Kalantari (Olathe-Northwest) 39-13 (Dec 6-2)
    3rd Place Match – Sam Elliott (OP-Blue Valley Northwest) 44-4 won by decision over Clay Weil (Dodge City) 22-9 (Dec 3-2)

6A – 138 – Tylor Garcia (35-8) placed 2nd and scored 24.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Tylor Garcia (Dodge City) 35-8 won by fall over Sia Marrie (Olathe-North) 15-18 (Fall 0:41)
    Quarterfinal – Tylor Garcia (Dodge City) 35-8 won by fall over Sid Miller (Lawrence-Free State) 28-17 (Fall 1:02)
    Semifinal – Tylor Garcia (Dodge City) 35-8 won by fall over Luke Bowen (Haysville Campus) 30-12 (Fall 1:38)
    1st Place Match – Michael Prieto (Garden City) 31-3 won by decision over Tylor Garcia (Dodge City) 35-8 (Dec 1-0)

6A – 145 – Howard Johnson (34-13) placed 4th and scored 14.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Howard Johnson (Dodge City) 34-13 won by decision over Trevor Rine (SM-Northwest) 24-16 (Dec 5-2)
    Quarterfinal – Howard Johnson (Dodge City) 34-13 won by fall over John Clark (Junction City) 19-12 (Fall 3:31)
    Semifinal – Garrhett Hurst (OP-Blue Valley) 35-9 won by decision over Howard Johnson (Dodge City) 34-13 (Dec 6-4)
    Cons. Semi – Howard Johnson (Dodge City) 34-13 won by decision over Curtis Near (Garden City) 15-6 (Dec 7-0)
    3rd Place Match – Terrell Garraway (Olathe-North) 43-9 won by fall over Howard Johnson (Dodge City) 34-13 (Fall 2:24)

6A – 182 – Cole Trent (17-13) place is unknown and scored 2.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 – Dustin Carstens (Gardner-Edgerton) 29-8 won by major decision over Cole Trent (Dodge City) 17-13 (MD 17-8)
    Cons. Round 1 – Cole Trent (Dodge City) 17-13 won by major decision over Carlos Martinez (Manhattan) 17-14 (MD 8-0)
    Cons. Round 2 – Antonio Perez (Garden City) 29-22 won by injury default over Cole Trent (Dodge City) 17-13 (Inj. 0:50)