SALINA – Freshman Tucker Cell and senior Brandon Parker will be making their first high school qualification for the state wrestling tournament for the Abilene Cowboys while sophomore Braden Wilson gets his second try state medals.
Cell (35-0) enters the Class 4A finals as one of the favorites to capture gold at 113. The first year wrestler will match up against Garnett-Anderson County’s freshman AJ Schaffer (23-8) in Saturday’s first round at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina. In the second round Cell could face Dalton Weber (27-5) of Pratt. The Pratt junior is the brother of last year’s state champion at 113 Devon Weber. Chanute junior Kolton Misener (30-0) looms on the other side of the bracket. Misener was runner-up a year ago.
Wilson (28-4) returns to the Salina arena after qualifying as a freshman for the Cowboys at 132. This season wrestling in the 138 class, Wilson will face off against Ottawa junior Colin Creach (31-5) who is currently ranked fifth in the state. Creach was the state runner-up last year at 132. Wilson the fourth ranked wrestler at 138 could face either Chanute’s Colton Seely (23-7) or Pratt’s Keishaune Thompson (26-14) with a win over Creach. Colby junior Tyler Voss (36-3) is the other one seed in the 138 bracket. Voss was a state medalist a year ago at 120 pounds.
Parker (27-7) wrestles on the Salina mats for the first in his high school career. Wrestling fourth place at the McPherson sub-state, Parker will square off against Coffeyville senior Brady White (29-0) in his first state matchup. White is a returning state qualifier at 285 pounds and is currently ranked fourth in the state.
Parker, who missed the early part of the season recovering from a football injury, could face Colby’s Declan Ryan (36-5) or Chanute’s Nathan Cunningham (16-9) in the second round.
With the state being only one day this year due to COVID restrictions, wrestlers need to only win one match to reach the medal podium.