For the first time this school year, two teams have been selected as the Great Plains Federal Credit Union McPherson County Team of the Week.
Both the McPherson High School boys and girls wrestling teams overwhelmingly won the Burlington Invitational on Saturday, as the McPherson wrestling program shined bright and made Kansas history as the first school to win a boys and girls invite at the same tournament.
“Both the boys and girls teams had their sights on winning both tournaments,” head coach Doug Kretzer said. “We had discussed the opportunity to make history, and both teams wanted to do their part.”
As girls wrestling continues to gain ground in the state of Kansas, Kretzer hopes this is just the beginning for both McPherson wrestling programs.
“This situation has been missing in wrestling,” Kretzer said. “Both genders working hard and supporting each other to accomplish a shared goal. The tournaments were in separate gyms, so both the boys and the girls were going back and forth to support each other throughout the day.”
On the boys’ side, the Bullpups scored 230 team points to take the title from host Burlington, who finished with 146.5 points. Headlining the Bullpups were Rhett Edmonson at 120 and Scott Radke at 152, who both won their respective weight classes and remained undefeated in the process.
“Both Rhett and Scott have a lot of similarities,” Kretzer said. “Both are extremely confident in their wrestling skills. They believe they can beat anyone; their mindsight is a huge part of their success this season.”
The McPherson girls tallied 78 points, which was 33 more points than second-place finisher Fort Scott. Caitlyn Allington and Morgan Jones each won their respective division.
In total, McPherson brought 15 girls to wrestle — not including Mya Kretzer, who took third place at 106 on the boys’ side.
“The whole girls team stood out; every girl competing wrestled tough,” Coach Kretzer said. “We talk regularly about making a level jump. This past weekend, Brittani Burgess, Sierra Nigh, and Fabiola Morales made a level jump, and had a really nice tournament. But again, all of our girls were impressive.”
To cap off a historic tournament, McPherson High also won the sportsmanship award.
The Bullpups have perhaps their biggest dual of the season on Thursday when the eighth-ranked Bullpups travel to fifth-ranked El Dorado. The Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division III title will likely be on the line.