Three sophomore wrestlers end season with All-Conference honors

Three sophomore wrestlers end season with All-Conference honors

Three Pratt Community College wrestling team concluded an injury heavy season finishing 19th in the country with three national qualifiers. The Beavers fell just 15 points behind Cloud County Community College, who finished the season with eight national qualifiers.

"At times it seemed like anything that could go wrong went wrong," said head coach Ken Kepley. "But I am proud of the way we handled it. We had a lot of downs but we also had some ups at the end of this year that provided us with some clarity."

Nick Lucas made the national semi-finals, but suffered an injury late in the tournament. "I think he would have easily taken third if he wasn't injured," coach Kepley said.

Lucas was named first team All-KJCCC at 165.

At 197, Chris Henderson was also a first team selection. Henderson won four straight matches to make All-American, finishing seventh.

"Every kid he beat was by bonus points, he beat them by eight or more," Kepley said. "That is impressive. I have never seen that before and he should have been in the finals."

Sophomore Brayan Balderrama was also a national qualifier, with his two losses coming from the wrestlers who finished third and fourth in the nation. He finished his tournament run just one spot away from placing.

 "He just ended up on the wrong side of the bracket," Coach Kepley said. "He wrestled light-out the entire tournament, I am so proud of that kid."

Balderrama received Second team All-Conference honors at 125.