December 7, 2022

FHSU Wrestling opens the MIAA with a double in Newman

By Hailey Chapman/Hays Daily News

The Fort Hays State wrestling team travels to Newman this Thursday for its first conference matchup of the season.

In preseason polls, Fort Hays ranked 4th out of five MIAA teams. Currently, the Tigers sit in 4th place with a 1-3 record.

Newman ranks 5th, with a 1-2 record, while Nebraska Kearney (5-2, 1-0 MIAA) is first, Central Oklahoma (5-0) follows in second and Central Missouri is third (3-2) .

The Tigers currently have two ranked wrestlers; #8 Marty Verhaeghe in the 184 weight class and #12 Tereus Henry in the 197 weight class.

Last week, the Tigers traveled to the Colorado School of Mines for a game against the #21 Orediggers, as well as San Francisco State. Fort Hays beat San Francisco State in its opening matchup, but fell to Mines in the next round.

On Saturday, Fort Hays took part in the Midwest Classic, where they faced No. 14 Adams State and Western Colorado.

Against Adams State, Verhaeghe, Henry and 285 contender Tony Caldwell all picked up wins, though the Tigers ended up losing the duel 30-15.

In the duel against Western Colorado, the Tigers fought hard losing 23-19.

133-pounder Tom VanValkenburg pinned his opponent to put the Tigers ahead, followed by 157 Anthony Scantlin earning a 2-0 decision to help further.

Verhaeghe and Henry picked up two more victories for Fort Hays, undefeated that day.

Verhaeghe beat his opponent by 4-3 decision, while Henry earned a dominant 10-1 major decision.

The final game of the duel would fall in the Tigers’ favor with the 285-pound AJ Cooper winning by 2-0 decision, but it wouldn’t be enough to defeat Western Colorado.

In the last ten meetings against Newman, the Tigers are 9-1. Fort Hays’ biggest margin of victory over the Jets came in 2016, winning 39-3.