Wrestlers keep pounding the mats


The muscled man creatures continue their quest to beat everyone in Kansas to a pulp. So far, the coalition of spandexed warriors has managed to place highly in all of its high school gladiatorial tournaments.
The Mustangs have blown through their opponents with a combination of brawn and skill, seeming to be a mass reincarnation of Hercules. The senior class has been a source of inspiration and the main drive for victory this season.
Bryce Misenhelter, a senior, is 17-1. “All I see is gold,” he said.
His only loss was to Anderson County’s Lee Koch, who was ranked fifth in state. Misenhelter started the year at the 182-pound weight class, but recently moved up to 195. He was ranked second in the state, despite being a newcomer to the class.
Cody Conner is 17-2 in his senior year. One of his two losses was to the wrestler who was second in state at the time. Conner wrestles at the 152-pound class.
Another senior, Michael Armstrong, placed fourth at the Burlington Invitational on Jan. 11. He wrestles at 138 pounds and is recovering from a slight wrist injury suffered during winter break. Look for him to be a major factor in the remainder of the season’s end as he heals up.
The Mustangs played host to Burlington, Osawatomie and West Elk on Feb. 6. It was a varsity and junior varsity meet, so almost the entire roster competed.
Iola had a strong showing again; seniors Armstrong, John Whitworth and Misenhelter and sophomore Andrew Garber all were 3-0 that day. It was also a special day in another way, as it was parents night for the Iola squad.
The last regular season varsity meet was at Silver Lake in Topeka on Feb. 8. Misenhelter placed second at 195 pounds and Garber had a top-five finish at 182 during the event, which featured many elite teams. With that difficult hump out of the way, the Mustangs are busy preparing for regionals, scheduled for Feb. 21. The state wrestling tournament is the last weekend of the month.