Wrestling gears up for regionals


The No. 10 ranked Fort Hays State wrestling team begins postseason action this weekend (Feb. 23) at the DII Wrestling Super Region 4 tournament. Regionals are hosted by Lindenwood in St. Charles, Mo. and are slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday from inside Hyland Arena. Finals are set to commence at 6 p.m. Saturday evening.

Super Region IV features 11 total teams and five MIAA teams; Central Missouri, No. 20 Central Oklahoma, Drury, No. 10 Fort Hays State, Kentucky Wesleyan, No. 9 Lindenwood, No. 12 Maryville, No. 4 McKendree, No. 18 Newman, Ouachita Baptist and Truman State. There are 25 wrestlers individually ranked on these teams, including No. 1 Brandon Ball (141) and No. 2 Efe Osaghae (157).

The Tigers are taking 12 total wrestlers with them, 10 in their respective weight classes and two alternates. They consist of two seniors, one junior, three sophomores, three redshirt-freshmen and three freshmen.

125 | Broderick Green (Fr.) will make his first regionals appearance. Green has 10 wins on the season with five coming against Division II competition. He leads the team in falls with seven, including pinning Newman’s Jake Patch in 42 seconds his last time out.

133 | Cole Zebley (Fr.) will also make his first appearance in the postseason. Zebley carries an 11-8 overall record and a 4-3 clip in Division II this season.

141 | No. 1 ranked Brandon Ball (Jr.) makes his third consecutive trip to regionals. As a redshirt-freshman, Ball swept through the tournament going 4-0 on the day and his first trip to nationals. Last season, he completed regionals with a 4-2 record and earned his second-consecutive start at the NCAA DII National Championships. This year, Ball is undefeated at 20-0 overall and 17-0 against Division II opponents. The Great Bend, Kan. native has three falls, three major decisions and two technical falls this season.

149 | FHSU will have options at 149 pounds. Either Ryne Cokeley (Sr.) or Jonathan Ball (R-Fr.) will earn the start. Cokeley enters at 7-5 on the year with two pins and one major decision to his credit. As a junior, Cokeley went 5-2 at regionals and earned his first trip to the NCAA DII National Championships. On the other side, Ball sits at 19-10 overall and has earned a runner-up at the Bob Smith Open, a third-place finish at the Bethany Swede Open, Kansas Cup and Rocky Mountain Collegiate Open, and a fourth-place finish at the UNK Holiday Inn Open this season.

157 | No. 2 ranked Efe Osaghae (So.) makes his second trip to regionals. Last season, Osaghae was named West Super Regional Freshman of the tournament as he claimed a runner-up finish at 149-pounds and defeated rival Nebraska-Kearney’s No. 1 ranked Keith Surber for the third time on the year on his way to nationals in 2018. Osaghae looks to get back to nationals and All-America status as he is 24-3 overall and 18-2 in Division II. He paces the squad with seven technical falls this year and individual titles at the Bethany Swede Open and the Kansas Cup.

165 | Marty Verhaeghe (So.) is making his first appearance at regionals. Verhaeghe enters with a 19-9 overall record and is 16-4 against Division II opponents. He has an individual title at the RWC Jet Invite, a runner-up finish at the Swede Open and a third-place finish at the UNK Holiday Inn Open on the year.

174 | Aryus Jones (R-Fr.) enters the regional tournament for the first time in his college career. Jones has compiled a 14-6 overall record this season. He has earned four pins and two technical falls, while also defeating a two-time All-American in an 11-8 decision over Zach Stodden (Nebraska-Kearney) ten days ago (Feb. 10).

184 | The Tigers will have two options for this weight class. Either Micquille Robinson (Sr.) or Tyler Boone (Fr.) will earn the spot at 184 pounds. Robinson has a 33-8 overall record and is 14-6 in Division II. The senior leads the Tigers in wins (33) and major decisions (nine). Boone enters at 16-11 on the year and has a runner-up finish at the Swede Open. The freshman has posted six falls and two technical falls this season.

197 | Ryan Tiers (R-Fr.) will also make his first regional appearance this weekend. Tiers sits at 4-3 on the year with one fall and one major decision.

285 | A.J. Cooper (So.) is another Tiger making their first start in regionals on Saturday. Cooper enters with an 18-11 overall record and is 11-10 against Division II competition. Of his 18 wins, he has five pins, five major decisions and one technical fall.

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