Jurgens' title leads Beavers to 4th
By KLINT SPILLER
Special to The Telegram
HAYS — For whatever reason, the state seems to underestimate Scott City sophomore James Jurgens.
Jurgens came into the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling tournament at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, ranked No. 4 in Class 3-2-1A, despite sporting a 26-5 record and finishing second the previous year.
Two technical falls, a pin and an 8-4 decision later, Jurgens left Hays as the 2013 state champion.
However, Jurgens didn't just win. He dominated. He didn't even seem challenged until the finals, and even then, the match never appeared in doubt.
"A lot of kids were ranked higher than me," Jurgens said. "I knew I could do it, but I didn't think it would be as easy as it was. I guess I just picked it up at state."
Jurgens spearheaded Scott City's strong finish at the state tournament.
The Beavers took fourth at state with a score of 68 points. It wasn't as good as the previous year's state title, but this year's squad only featured four qualifiers. All four placed in the top five.
"That's pretty good for four people," said Scott City senior Alex Kough, who took third at 126 pounds.
Jurgens was the only Beaver to make the finals, and he did it in impressive fashion. He beat his first-round opponent by 16-0 technical fall, and then he demolished Silver Lake sophomore Haegan Schaefer, who was ranked No. 2 heading into the tournament, by a 15-0 technical fall.
Jurgens then pinned Norton junior Branson Addington, who was ranked No. 5, in the semifinals before cruising to an 8-4 decision against Atchinson County Community sophomore Logan Bowen, who was ranked No. 1.
Scott City head coach Jon Lippelmann said the state underestimates Jurgens.
"Every year he starts out on the top of the ranking boards because of what he does here, and then they forget about him," Lippelmann said.
Kough (30-5) took third at 126 pounds, defeating Smith Center junior Clint Rogers by a 10-1 major decision.
Kough came close to reaching the finals, but he lost in the semifinals earlier in the day to Hoisington junior Brandon Ball (43-0), the eventual state champion, by a 2-0 decision. It was the closest anyone came to defeating Ball at state.
"Everyone says that's probably the state finals match," Kough said. "It ended up being on the wrong side, but it happens."
Junior Warren Kropp (33-7) finished fifth at 160 pounds. He won the fifth-place match by a 4-3 decision against Fredonia senior Braden Sherman (36-11).
Kropp's two losses were to the same person: Atchison senior Taylor Schuetz (33-9). Kropp lost 5-3 to Schuetz in the first round and 3-1 to him in the consolation semifinals.
Senior Michael McEachern took fourth at 285 pounds. He also lost his first-round match and had to battle his way through the backside. He won four straight matches before falling to Onaga senior Mychal Kolterman (38-6) by a 3-2 decision.
"I am pretty happy with them," Lippelmann said. "It was a messed up weekend. We had snow. We didn't know when to come. We came early. We sat in hotels for two extra days.
"We shake them out and try to make it as normal as possible," Lippelmann added, "but they are just seasoned young kids, seasoned old kids and do what you ask of them."
Leoti-Wichita County freshman Dylon Niswonger (28-11) started his career off strong with a sixth-place finish at 106 pounds. He lost in the first round and had to win four straight to reach the fifth-place match.
Cimarron senior Aidan Shaughnessy (26-15) took sixth at 170 pounds. He battled his way through the backside of the bracket before falling by pin in the consolation semifinals and by a 10-2 major decision to WaKeeney-Trego Community senior Cameron Staples (30-9).