The Hastings wrestling team showed why it's one of the best wrestling programs in the state this last weekend at the section 3AAA individual tournament. The Raiders dominated the tournament by sending nine wrestlers to the individual state tournament, on top of the team having already qualified for team state. Head coach Josh McLay was also honored as being section 3AAA Coach of the Year and said he could not be more proud of his team.
"It's a really good feeling (sending nine to state) and the kids were ready to rock," McLay said. "We had eight seeded in the first or second slot, and that's always our goal, to match what we have seeded to go to state."
John Kendall took fourth at 106 pounds and went 2-2 over the course of two days.
Paul Kendall took second and qualified for the state tournament at 113 pounds after going 2-1 in the tournament.
At 120 pounds, Croix Mader qualified for state after taking second. He won his first match by fall, second by decision and then lost in the championship match.
Jesse Mimbach also took second at 126 pounds to qualify. He beat Sam Tollison of East Ridge by major decision, won his second match by a 7-0 decision but lost in overtime of the championship.
Adam McSorley goes back to state for the third time after winning the championship at 132 pounds. He won all three of his matches and said that over the last three years he's really grown and matured as wrestler, especially in terms of his technique.
Riley Zietlow took third place at 138 pounds after getting the chance to wrestle back into second place. He lost his first match by fall but then pinned his next two opponents. In the third-place match he beat Payton Thao of East Ridge by decision, but lost by pin fall in his match to get back to second place.
Tyus Reinke won his first two matches at 145 pounds before he lost in the championship match and then his wrestleback match, dropping to third place.
Kyle Erickson returns to state for the second time at 152 pounds after winning all three of his matches to take home the championship.
Co-captain T.J. Pottinger notched his second trip to the state tournament at 160 pounds after getting hurt in his first match at state last year. Pottinger said his technique has improved over the last year.
"My takedowns have improved greatly, and my cardio," Pottinger said. "Last year I didn't get many takedowns but this year I'm second on the team right behind Trey (Rogers)."
Cody Leflay took third at 170 pounds after going 3-1, with his only loss coming to Carson Lesher of East Ridge.
Trey Rogers is also making his second trip to the individual state tournament. He went 3-0 at 182 pounds to take first and qualify and said he is chasing a record going into the last weekend of the season.
"I'm trying to get the takedown record," Rogers said. "I'm at 220 right now and the record is 223, last year I tied it so hopefully I can crush it this year."
Senior Josh Miser, 195 pounds, is going to state for the first time this year after going 3-0 at sections. Miser missed the first half of the season due to injury but has come on in the second half of the season and he said he wants to open people's eyes at the state tournament.
"I want to beat someone I'm not supposed to, whether it's in team or individual, I just want someone to be shocked," Miser said.
Jackson Schichel qualified for state for the second year in a row after going 3-0 and winning the championship at sections.
Drake Guck took sixth at heavyweight after going 1-3 in his four matches.
The Raiders wrestle as a team all day Thursday, March 2, before the individual matches take place Friday and Saturday.