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Domination on the mat: Buffs lead way for All-Area wrestling team

Published 3/14/2013

Domination on the mat

By The Telegram Sports Staff

Highlighting the 2012-2013 wrestling season was Garden City High School's Class 6A state team championship.

For first-year coach Carlos Prieto and the Buffs, it had been since 1999 when they had last won a state championship.

Two GCHS wrestlers garnered individual state titles while Scott City's James Jurgens won an individual gold medal at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament.

The collective won-loss record of the nine All-Area wrestlers was 299-62.

Tevin Briscoe

Garden City, So.

Briscoe enjoyed a banner season for the Class 6A state champion Buffaloes, capping off his 40-4 won-loss campaign with an impressive 13-3 major decision over Dylan Beckner of Wichita Northwest in the finals.

It was a season of redemption for Briscoe, who had missed weight his freshman year at the 6A regional tournament, thus keeping him from having a chance to qualify as a freshman. Ranked among the top wrestlers in Kansas at 113 pounds then, Briscoe was 24-5 before missing out by a mere 1.5 pounds. This time his weight was not an issue. The only four losses for Briscoe came to a Randall, Texas, wrestler at the Rocky Welton; a loss at the Newton Tournament of Champions and two setbacks at the tough Kansas City Stampede in December.

He went unbeaten in the Western Athletic Conference as well.

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Season Record: 40-4.

Favorite athlete: David Taylor, Penn State wrestler.

Favorite food: Ice cream.

Favorie class in school: Tumbling.

Person I most admire: My dad.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Jordan Burroughs.

Favorite pastime: Hanging out with teammates and friends every weekend.

Honors: State champion (6A-132 pounds); WAC champion; 6A team state champions; regional champions; all-WAC first team.

Anthony Gardner

Garden City, Sr.

Gardner wrestled some of his best matches of the season at regional and state this year.

After a fifth-place finish in 2012, Gardner eyed a state championship, but came up short in a 16-11 decision setback to Laphonso McKinnis of Shawnee Mission Northwest. Gardner trailed early in the match, came back to tie it and then McKinnis scored key points late in the match to win.

Gardner had been 27-20 as a junior, qualifying for the state tournament.

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Season Record: 29-9.

Most memorable moment for the 2013 season: Beating Alan Clothier in the state semifinals.

Favorite athletes: Cale Sanderson and Henry Cejudo.

Favorite food: Double bacon jalapeno cheeseburger.

Favorite class in school: American government.

Persons I most admire: Chris Adler and my mom.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Julius Caesar.

Favorite pastime: Becoming a national champion in Kansas City.

College you plan to attend: Oklahoma State University.

Area of intended study: Nuclear engineering.

Honors: Class 6A state runner-up (170-pounds); 6A team state champions; three time first team academic all-state; 12-time presidential physical fitness award.

AJ Hurtado

Garden City, Sr.

It was a bittersweet ending to Hurtado's outstanding career when he lost to Dodge City rival Dane Edwards in the 138-pound championship match. The two had split earlier matches, but Edwards had the upper hand in the title match this time around.

Hurtado leaves, though, with a 2012 Class 6A state championship at 132 pounds and was the heart and soul of the Buffs' team this season in helping them win the Class 6A state championship, the first time for the accomplishment since 1999. Over his final three seasons, Hurtado posted a won-loss mark of 84-32.

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Season Record: 31-8.

Most memorable moment for the 2013 season: Capturing the 2013 team title.

Favorite Athlete: David Taylor, Penn State wrestler.

Favorite food: Ice cream.

Favorite class in school: Weights.

Persons I most admire: My dad and uncle.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Jordan Burroughs.

Favorite pasttime: Spending time with my friends and teammates.

College you plan to attend: University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Area of intended study: Pharmacy.

Honors: Class 6A state runner-up (138-pounds); all-acedemic first team state; 6A team state champions.

James Jurgens

Scott City, So.

After a wrestler finishes second in a state tournament as a freshman, there's really only one goal left — move up a notch and bring home a state championship.

That's what Jurgens did this season, claiming the 120-pound Class 3-2-1A state championship with an 8-4 decision of Logan Bowen of Atchison Community High School.

Jurgens had placed second at 113 pounds as a freshman, finishing with a 30-13 record, and came back more impressively to finish with a 34-5 record as a sophomore (64-18, 2 seasons).

Jurgens was a member of the Beavers' 2012 Class 3-2-1A state championship team and helped the team to a fourth-place finish in 2013.

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Season Record: 34-5.

Most memorable moment for the 2013 season: Winning state.

Favorite athletes: Henry Cejudo and Champ Bailey.

Favorite food: Steak.

Favorite class in school: Foods.

Persons I most admire: My parents.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Adam Sandler.

Honors: 4.0 GPA, two time state finalist, Class 3-2-1A state champion (120-pounds).

Trevor Kennedy

Garden City, Sr.

Kennedy was another strong component for the Class 6A state champion Buffs.

Saving his best wrestling for the regionals and state tournament, Kennedy ended his final year of prep wrestling with a 35-12 record and a state runner-up finish at 145 pounds.

He wrestled eventual champion Andrew Millsap of Junction City on near-even terms before losing a couple of points in the final minute of the third period. Millsap had just one loss all season. Just as impressive was his improvement from a year ago when he had just a 7-5 record and qualified for state, but did not place.

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Season Record: 34-12.

Most memorable moment for the 2013 season: Winning state as a team.

Favorite Athlete: Kyle Dake.

Favorite food: Pizza.

Favorite class in school: Tumbling.

Person I most admire: My grandpa.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Jordan Burroughs.

Favorite pasttime: Hanging out with friends and family.

College you plan to attend: Fort Hays State University.

Area of intended study: Anatomy.

Honors: Class 6A state runner-up (145-pounds); WAC champion; academic all-state honorable mention; 6A team state champions.

Alex Kough

Scott City, Sr.

Kough completed his four-year career with an impressive senior season, going 40-5.

Two of his losses were to unbeaten and Class 3-2-1A state champion Brandon Ball. One of those setbacks came in a tight, 2-0 decision setback in the semifinals at the state tournament in Hays. A highlight for his senior season, was winning the 126-pound division title at the Rocky Welton Invitational in Garden City.

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Season Record: 40-5.

Favorite athlete: Jordan Burroughs.

Favorite food: Lasagna.

Favorite class in school: foods.

Person I most admire: Aaron Dirks.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Jordan Burroughs.

Favorite pasttime: Hanging out with friends and wrestling.

College you plan to attend: Northwest Kansas Technical College, at Goodland.

Area of intended study: Collison repair.

Honors: Class 3-2-1A regional champion (126-pounds); four time state qualifier and three time state placer (third, fifth, and third); Rocky Welton champion; all-time record of 152-20.

Michael Prieto

Garden City, Fr.

Prieto has quickly established himself as one of the elite wrestlers in Garden City High School's tradition-rich program.

He became the first Buffalo freshman to claim an individual state championship, winning at 106 pounds.

He was runner-up in the Rocky Welton Invitational, losing to Logan Terrill of Arkansas City, the Class 5A state champion. Prieto had beaten Terrill twice earlier in the season. His only other loss was in the prestigious Kansas City Stampede in December. His state championship bout came with a 7-0 decision of Doug Newcomb of Olathe Northwest.

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Season Record: 41-2.

Most memorable moment for the 2013 season: Winning state with the team and individual.

Favorite athlete: David Taylor, Penn State wrestler.

Favorite food: Ice cream.

Favorite class in school: Weights.

Person I most admire: My dad.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Jordan Burroughs.

Favorite pasttime: Being with the team.

Honors: State champion (6A-106 pounds), team WAC champions; team regional 6A champions; 6A team state champions; all-WAC first team.

Samuel Reyes

Garden City, Jr.

Reyes was one of the most improved wrestlers this past season for the Buffaloes. In any other year, Reyes likely would have won the WAC 195-pound division, except he had to compete against Class 5A champion and unbeaten wrestler Preston Weigel of Hays. Both are juniors.

Reyes' third-place medal-winning match came against James Denton of Junction City with an 8-1 decision. He lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Seth Pesek of Gardner-Edgerton, a match where Reyes took Pesek to overtime before coming up on the short end of a 7-4 score.

Reyes' dramatic rise for the Buffs can be shown by the fact that he was just 21-22 as a sophomore and didn't qualify for the state tournament.

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Season Record: 32-11.

Most memorable moment for the 2013 season: Winning Class 6A team state championship.

Favorite athlete: Jordan Oliver.

Favorite food: Pizza.

Favorite class in school: Weights.

Person I most admire: My mom.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Kyle Dake.

Favorite pasttime: Hanging out with friends, family, and wrestling teammates.

Honors: State 3rd place (6A-195); Two time state qualifier; 6A team state champions; team WAC champions, team regional champions.

Patrick Weaver

Hugoton, Sr.

Weaver, also one of the state's premier 800-meter runners in track and field, and a top cross country runner in Class 4A, enjoyed his best year ever for the Eagles.

In finishing runner-up at 145-pounds, Weaver compiled a 33-5 season record. He was runner-up in January at the prestigious Rocky Welton Invitational in Garden City.

Weaver lost in the championship match to Austin Hughey of El Dorado.

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Season Record: 33-5.

Most memorable moments for the 2013 season: Being in the class 4A state finals; wrestling my senior year with my best friend and practice partner, Lawson Fiss.

Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps.

Favorite food: Pineapple pizza.

Favorite class in school: Economics.

Person I most admire: My uncle Kevin Kennedy and my mother.

If I could meet one person, it would be: Shaun White, so I could get private snowboarding lessons.

Favorite pasttimes: Playing ping-pong, swimming, snowboarding, running, wrestling, reading, and singing in the shower.

College you plan to attend: Stanford University.

Area of intended study: Economics.

Honors: State runner-up (4A-145), individual GWAC champion; academic all-state; academic team state champions; all-area.

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