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Wrestling 49: Kansas

8/14/2014
Eric Johnson

With the high school wrestling season's start nearing, InterMat is taking readers across the United States of America on a tour of scholastic wrestling. From mid-August until mid-November, InterMat is introducing readers to the top high school senior wrestlers in the 49 states with scholastic wrestling.

In this installment, Eric Johnson looks at the top senior wrestlers in Kansas.


Kansas applauded as the state sent four wrestlers in 2014 to Division I programs: Dustin Williams (Nebraska), Tagen Lambotte (Iowa), Preston Weigel (Oklahoma State) and Andrew Millsap (Bucknell). Kansas welcomed in a gem of a freshman class and have a talented group competing in 2015. The class includes three Fargo All-Americans and two favorites to join the elite four-time state champion fraternity. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Kansas' top 10 and honorable mention for the Class of 2015!

1. Sean DeShazer (Wichita Heights)
Projected High School Weight Class: 132
Projected College Weight Class: 125/133

Sean DeShazer
Analysis: DeShazer cemented his elite place in Kansas wrestling history by finishing as a double All-American in Fargo, placing third in Greco and fourth in freestyle. This effort was on the heels of his folkstyle national runner-up finish. With a career record of 97-6 and three state titles under his belt, DeShazer also has his sights set on his third undefeated season. His last two seasons, he finished 36-0 in both campaigns while only allowing a single takedown (at a higher weight class)! His quickness and agility make him a phenom on his feet. He also has the pedigree of two nationally ranked wrestlers in his extended family. Division I coaches and national rankings are moving Sean way up the list!

Words from the corner: "Sean has really stepped his training up these past two seasons. He is a wrestler and wrestling is his passion. He has only given up one takedown in the past two seasons and has dominated! He wants to be the champ at everything he does. Whether it is on the wrestling mat or a cup cake eating contest, he wants to win! After this past summer, I have no doubt he will end up at a good Division I program who will take him to the next level." -- Coach Mike Church

2. Isaac Dulgarian (Olathe North)
Projected High School Weight Class: 160
Projected College Weight Class: 157

Isaac Dulgarian
Analysis: Isaac is a highlight reel to watch. This two-time state champion and Fargo All-American has a career record of 128-5. He has made the All-Tournament Team in both styles at the Junior Duals the last two years with a record of 24-1! In 2013, he was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the Rocky Mountain Nationals. He has wins over many nationally ranked wrestlers, is a true technician and has an unlimited upside. Coaches and ranking services from around the country have noticed and will be watching closely this season.

Words from the corner: "One the best talents I have seen from the neutral position, having already broke the all-time Kansas takedown record going into his senior year. He is the favorite to bring home his third state title this season." -- Coach Josh Carroll

3. Jared Langley (Newton)
Projected High School Weight Class: 195
Projected College Weight Class: 184/197

Jared Langley
Analysis: Langley is a Fargo All-American with a career 111-21 record. He is a two-time state finalist and stood atop the podium last season. He is a veteran on Kansas' National dual teams and has that rare athletic length that makes him a legitimate college recruit. Langley is also a star in the classroom with a 3.857 GPA. This kid will have many choices next fall!

4. Ben Ewing (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Projected High School Weight Class: 220
Projected College Weight Class: 197

Ben Ewing
Analysis: Ewing is a three-time state placer and one-time champion with a 111-17 career record. He is a multi-sport star with plenty of college choices in front of him. If he chooses wrestling, this kid has a huge upside on the mat. His strength and speed make him a crowd pleaser. He has been one of my favorite wrestlers on the All-Class dual teams, winning the Rocky Mountain National title twice.

Words from the corner: "Ben has devoted himself to the weight room each summer, working out three days a week to help with his performance in football and wrestling. Ben's wrestling technique on his feet is exceptional. His aggressive attacks on his feet scored 67 takedowns. In the top position Ben uses tilts and constantly applies pressure from the top. He is also a prolific pinner (30 out of 38 matches)." -- Coach Lorne Parks

5. Emilio Fowler (Olathe North)
Projected High School Weight Class: 195
Projected College Weight Class: 184/197

Emilio Fowler
Analysis: When the bright lights come on, Fowler goes into battle mode. He has made a name for himself on the national stage. In 2013 he was the FILA Cadet folkstyle national champion. He followed that up with a double All-American accomplishment in Fargo! This summer he was named to the Junior Dual All-tournament Team, finishing 7-0 in freestyle. This kid is a flat-out athlete!

Words from the corner: "Emilio has a personality that all coaches want around the room. He is a hardworking, talented, two-sport athlete that loves competing. He has had great success in his short amount of time wrestling, having started in the eighth grade. I expect big things from him this season." -- Coach Josh Carroll

6. Brandon Ball (Hoisington)
Projected High School Weight Class: 138
Projected College Weight Class: 141

Brandon Ball
Analysis: With a career record of 124-2, Ball is the favorite to join the four-time state champion fraternity in Kansas. He carries a 3.85 GPA while finishing the last two seasons at 44-0 and 43-0. He is a workhorse in the practice room and weight room. Any college program would be fortunate to have this kid, as the sky is the limit!

7. Zak Hensley (St. James Academy)
Projected High School Weight Class: 132
Projected College Weight Class: 133

Zak Hensley
Analysis: Hensley is a two-time placer and 2014 state champion with a career record of 101-20. He is also a three-time varsity letterman in football. He has traveled well since kids wrestling and has many wins over nationally ranked wrestlers. He is a blast to watch with his unique athleticism and strength and was a huge help to his team's state title in 2014. Look for him to bring home another gold state medal this year.

Words from the corner: "Zak had a breakthrough season. With the difficult schedule we had, including the Kansas City Stampede and Allen Texas Outlaw, Zak really stepped up for the competition. He understood that he needed to see the best competition he could, in order to reach his goal of being a state champion and to have a chance to wrestle at the next level. By placing at the Stampede, winning the Texas Outlaw and Garden City Invite against solid competition, he was prepared to win his first state championship. In the practice room, he is one of the hardest workers I have ever coached. I know that Zak will pay the price to have great success at the next level." -- Coach Mike Medina

8. Tevin Briscoe (Garden City)
Projected High School Weight Class: 152
Projected College Weight Class: 149

Tevin Briscoe
Analysis: Briscoe is a two-time state champion with a 97-13 career record, while carrying a 3.2 GPA in the classroom. After a highly successful kids career, he contributed greatly to his team's back-to-back state titles. His athleticism makes him a crowd favorite. I expect big things for him this season!

Words from the corner: "Tevin is one of the most talented wrestlers that I've had the privilege to have coached. He is very explosive on his feet as he usually leads the team in total takedowns. His passion for the sport of wrestling has helped transform him into one of the best wrestlers of Garden City. He has a chance of becoming a three-time state champion, which would be a first for Garden City! Tevin plans on wrestling at the next level and I believe he has the talent to do so. I look forward to this coming wrestling season and watching him achieve his goals!" -- Coach Carlos Prieto

9. Taylor Watkins (Columbus)
Projected High School Weight Class: 170
Projected College Weight Class: 165

Taylor Watkins
Analysis: This kid is a beast and a scholar. He is a three-time state placer and 2014 state champion with a career 110-18 record as well as an All-State linebacker on the gridiron. Watkins carries a 3.97 GPA and was elected as class president this coming year. He took second last season at the Rocky Mountain Nationals and had some solid wins in Fargo this year.

Words from the corner: "He was the 4A state champion last year in Kansas. He was 40-2 on the season, but more importantly he is a hard worker while also excelling in the classroom. He was chosen by Team Kansas for the Rocky Mountain Nationals after the season ended and had three quality wins including a victory over Spencer Heywood from Utah who wrestled at the FILA Pan Am Games. Heywood was ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the nation for juniors." -- Coach Eric Napier

10. Greg Tooley (St. Mary's)
Projected High School Weight Class: 152
Projected College Weight Class: 149

Analysis: Tooley is a 2014 state champion and two-time state finalist with a 112-7 career record, running the table last season at 46-0. He is a workout machine with solid skills on his feet with dynamic speed. The first look at Tooley tells you he's spent a lot of time in the weight room. His effort at the Rocky Mountain Nationals put him on the radar of many college coaches.

Words from the corner: "Greg is an outstanding young man who absolutely has come to love the sport of wrestling. The thing I like about Greg the most is how he presents himself on and off the mat. He one of the hardest working and most respectful wrestlers I have ever been around. How much he has improved since his freshman year is a credit to how hard he works all year round. Greg is an exceptional wrestler who has just started to be recognized on the national level. It is exciting to see what Greg will be able to accomplish in his senior season and what college will pick him up." -- Coach Travis Van Vleck

Honorable Mention:
Austin Cook (Smoky Valley)
Tyler Harris (St. James Academy)
Kevin Kissane (Maize South)
Nick Nolting (Bishop Carroll)
Saul Ortiz (Wichita Northwest)
Seth Pesek (Gardner-Edgerton)
Matt Pratt (St. James Academy)
Logan Terrill (Arkansas City)

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