Bullpups coach Doug Kretzer wasn’t surprised by his team’s strong performance, even with the dual being McPherson’s first action of the year.
“The boys have been working really hard in the (wrestling) room for the last three weeks and we’ve got a good, strong, experienced team,” he said. “The boys are a hard-nosed group that just keeps coming. They practice like they wrestle.”
After falling behind 12-0 with open weight classes at 106 and 113 pounds, McPherson strung together four straight pins to take a 12-point lead. Tim Prescott (120), Kaden Kretzer (126), Alex Boswell (132) and Jose Gloria (138) didn’t need the full six minutes to beat their Eisenhower opponents.
The Tigers got within 24-18 behind a pin by Chris Schmidt at 145, but the Bullpups recorded three more pins after that to seal the win. Todd Graber claimed victory in the 152-pound match, Jordan Sponsel won at 160 and Travis Steenson prevailed at 170.
McPherson, which is ranked No. 6 by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association, got its other pin from Zach Lanning in the heavyweight division.
Eisenhower received a second pin from Tyler Higgins, who is the top-ranked wrestler in 5A at 182 pounds. Tigers coach Enrique Espinoza was pleased with how Higgins worked toward his pin of Dalton Clark.
“Once he was able to get his legs in -- which he’s good at -- he was able to ride the kid and be able to get quite a few near-fall points,” Espinoza said. “I thought he did a great job with that.”
That was all the points Eisenhower could muster from matches though as 18 of its points came on forfeits. Espinoza knew the Tigers faced a big challenge in McPherson, especially with the experience level of his team.
“With our schools being able to split like the way they did, we have a lot of kids who are inexperienced,” he said.
Kretzer still felt Eisenhower put up a good fight.
“I’m impressed with how hard they wrestle,” he said. “They got after it tonight.”
Despite all the success against Eisenhower, Kretzer feels his wrestlers will continue to get after it too and not slack off or get overconfident.
“I don’t think that the guys are going to think that they’ve accomplished something here and then things are given to them from there,” he said.
McPherson hosts Andover next week in another dual before competing in a tournament at Douglass on Dec. 10. Eisenhower has a quick turnaround as it travels to Pratt on Saturday for a tournament.