By CONOR NICHOLL
Special to The Telegram
HAYS — The Scott City wrestling team tied for sixth in Class 4A last season. But Clay Mulligan looked at the Class 3-2-1A state finish and saw that Norton dominated the field with 174.5 points, 94 points more than any other team.
This year, Scott City dropped down to 3-2-1A and lost several top wrestlers, but Mulligan believed the Beavers could establish themselves as a power.
"Last year, if we were in 3-2-1A and if things panned out the way we could have, I think we really could have gave Norton a run for their money because we had four state placers that graduated out of our senior class," he said. "It was just a really deep, solid class. We were struggling as a team at the beginning of the year, but we've really picked it up."
Mulligan's prediction proved true. Scott City finished in fourth place with 81.5 points, just 2.5 points behind Rossville for a team trophy. Norton, with a large senior class, won with 131.5 points. Hoxie was second at 97 points.
Mulligan picked up the 112-pound championship and fellow junior Luke Hayes earned the 215-pound title. Scott City also had a third-place finish with sophomore 119-pounder Alex Kough and a fourth-place showing by 145-pound senior Dalton Paul.
Mulligan (32-2) defeated Norton sophomore John Risewick, last year's champion at 103 pounds, 4-2 in the final.
The two met up three times this season, including regionals and state, and Mulligan won all three matches.
"Just been preparing for this my whole life and just came together tonight," he said. "Just a feeling of relief and excitement that I finally got it done. I have been working for it since I was a kid, and it's nice to finally get it.
"I really went home and studied the films really hard and really prepared really well for this match because I knew unless something drastic happened, it was probably going to be us two in the finals," he added.
In the 215-pound class, Hayes matched up with St. Francis senior Adam Guthmiller for the third time. The previous two times, Guthmiller won. This time, Hayes pinned him in 3 minutes, 35 seconds.
Cimarron senior 285-pounder Tyler White lost 3-1 in the championship to Hoxie senior Dillon Salmans. The two split two matches during the regular season, and White won at regionals.
Lakin senior Dalton Davis capped his career with a third-place showing at 135 pounds. Davis was upset in the first round, but worked his way through the backside Saturday to win his fourth state medal.
He had been runner-up a year ago to Colt Rogers of Smith Center.