LOUISBURG — The Paola Panther wrestling team won the Class 4A regional at Louisburg High School, defeating their closest competition by 37 points.

Paola scored 177.5 points, defeating runner-up Holton for the team title on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Panther senior Preston Martin and coach Darvin Willard were named the Class 4A regional wrestler and coach of the year.

Martin placed first in the regional at 132 pounds, punching his ticket to state for a fourth year in a row. He was 3-0 with two pins, improving to 44-4 on the season.

Willard, in his first season as head coach, was recognized for his leadership with a relatively young Paola Panther program. Willard had served as an assistant coach for 12 years with Jayhawk-Linn, Spring Hill and Paola.

Ryan Pankov placed first at 106 pounds. Pankov is ranked No. 1 in the state.

The Paola Panthers qualified nine wrestlers for state. The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state tournament in Salina on Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29. Fourteen teams competed in the two-day regional, which featured more than 200 matches.

Charlie Zeller placed third at 113 pounds. Carson Gleghorn was third at 152 pounds.

Brady Johnson was third at 195 pounds. Christian Dunmeyer placed third at 220 pounds.

Steven Yeager placed fourth at 120 pounds. Noah Bowden was fourth at 145 pounds. Ben Timpe placed fourth at 170 pounds.

The Louisburg Wildcats qualified three wrestlers for state. The Wildcats placed ninth in the team standings.

Cade Holtzen placed first at 126 pounds. Ryan Owens was runner-up at 120 pounds. Brandon Doles placed second at 160 pounds.


Ryan Pankov of Paola, 31-13, scored a 14-6 major decision against Nakos Benton of Baldwin in the 106-pound title match. Pankov was 4-0 with three pins.

Cade Holtzen of Louisburg, 35-3, scored a 13-1 major decision against Nick Lawson of Piper in the finals at 126 pounds. Holtzen was 3-1 with two pins.

Preston Martin of Paola, 44-0, scored a 6-0 decision against Christian Rowe of Santa Fe Trail in the championship match at 132 pounds.


Ryan Owens of Louisburg, 35-6, lost a 12-4 major decision against Grayson Sonntag of Tongnaoxie in the championship match at 120 pounds. Owens was 2-1 with a 15-0 technical fall.

Brandon Doles of Louisburg, 31-9, was pinned by Anthony Ferguson of Piper in the title match at 160 pounds. Doles was 2-1 with a pin and a 15-0 technical fall.

State Qualifiers

Charlie Zeller of Paola, 25-11, scored a 13-2 major decision against Dustin Robison of Tonganoxie for third place at 113 pounds. Zeller was 3-1 with a pin and a major decision.

Carson Gleghorn, 19-20, won a 6-2 decision against Dakota Whitaker of Eudora in the third-place match at 152 pounds. Gleghorn was 3-1 with a pin and a major decision.

Brady Johnson of Paola, 17-12, pinned Wyatt Sink of Ottawa in the third-place match at 195 pounds. Johnson was 3-1 with three pins.

Christian Dunmeyer of Paola, 21-19, pinned Jared Ferguson of Ottawa in the third place match at 220 pounds. Dunmeyer was 3-1 with three pins.

Steven Yeager of Paola, 18-20, lost a 5-2 decision against Dayton Fraser of Eudora in the third-place match at 120 pounds. He was 3-2 with a pin.

Noah Bowden of Paola, 16-14, lost a 3-1 decision against Taygen Fletcher of Holton in the third-place match at 145 pounds. Bowden was 2-2 with two pins.

Ben Timpe of Paola, 23-18, was pinned in a third-place match against Dakota Garrison of Santa Fe Trail. Timpe was 3-2 with two pins.

Other results were:

113 pounds — Kaven Bartlett of Louisburg, 28-12, missed going to state by one match. He was 1-2 with a pin.

126 pounds — Sheldon Martin of Paola, 17-21, was 3-2. He missed qualifying for state by one match.

132 pounds — Luke Kelly of Louisburg was 0-2.

138 pounds — Cutter Meade of Paola was 2-2 with a pin.

138 pounds — Jarrett Hoyle of Louisburg was 0-2.

145 pounds — Brett Rangel of Louisburg was 0-2.

160 pounds — Corey Holub of Paola, 11-15, was 1-2. He was one win away from qualifying for state.

170 pounds — Aiden Barker of Louisburg, 21-14, was one win away from going to state. He was 2-2 with two pins.

182 pounds — AJ Reed of Louisburg was 0-2.

182 pounds — Trysten Williams of Paola was 1-2 with a pin.

195 pounds — Jonathan Keegan-Childs of Louisburg was 0-2.

220 pounds — Sam Kratochvil of Louisburg was 0-2.

285 pounds — Jason Newton of Paola, 14-25, missed state by one match. He was 2-2 with a pin.

285 pounds — Elijah Elsinger of Louisubrg was 0-2.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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