In recent seasons, the top spot in the Class 6A wrestling team rankings has been occupied by mostly Goddard, with Derby and Garden City occasionally making appearances at No. 1.
Since the beginning of January, though, Heights has maintained the top ranking and barring an unexpected slip, the Falcons should carry that ranking into the state tournament in three weeks.
“Rankings are what they are — a guess based on the performance of an athlete or team at that moment,” Heights coach Mike Church said. “It’s an honor to be ranked No. 1, but it would be more of an honor to finish the season No. 1.”
Heights has chosen to pace itself throughout the season, setting the stage for its first state championship in 43 years. The Falcons have won just two tournaments, but have finished second twice and also defeated Kapaun Mount Carmel — No. 3 in 5A — last week to take the lead in the City League.
“Dynamics of tournaments change depending on the teams present,” Church said. “So until the teams in the tournament are the 6A teams, we call it a good weekend, realize we are not perfect, and strive to get better.”
The Falcons have nine ranked wrestlers, including two # 1′s — (pictured above) Daniel Deshazer (130 pounds) and Matt Reed (160). The depth the Falcons have is key for the postseason because getting points in the consolation rounds is sometimes more important than champions themselves.
For more on Kansas High School Wrestling : MATT BROWNING/Eagle correspondent