Caldwell County will take seven wrestlers to this weekend’s state tournament in Lexington looking for their second top 20 team finish in three years.
Riley Johnson (39-6) is looking to get back to the state tourney podium. He finished eighth at 106 last year. He moved up to 113 this year and finished third in the region. Johnson is ranked 11th in the state heading into this weekend and will open against No. 15 Mason Davis of Valley. A potential second round match looms with third-ranked and unbeaten Jonathon Gilbert of Madison Central.
Dylan Walls (41-6) is also looking to get back to the state tourney podium after winning the region title at 126 last week. Walls, who finished eighth at 120 last year, is ranked fourth heading into Friday. He opens against St. Xavier’s Leone Couzin with a potential second round match against LaRue County’s Thomas Hoppes, the state’s No. 2 wrestler in the class.
Cofy Harris (29-16) finished third in the region at 120. He enters the weekend ranked No. 17 in the state in the weight class. He will open against sixth ranked Jason Holden of Campbell County in the first round.
Blaine Hicks (31-18) finished fourth in the region at 132. He drew a tough first round match against Woodford County’s Gavin Andreoni, who finished fifth at last year’s state tourney at 126 and is ranked fourth at 132 this year.
John Paredes (32-12) finished fourth in the region at 160 in a tough weight class. He enters the weekend ranked No. 14 in the state. He will open competition Friday against No. 13 Trevon Warren of Fern Creek.
Collin Teutsch (34-5) won a region title at 106 over the weekend. He is ranked tenth statewide in the weight class and will open with Valley’s Simon Scheidel. A first round win means a potential second round match with Ryle freshman Olivia Messerly. She is ranked sixth in the state and is one of few females to qualify for the state tourney.
Colin Walls (39-16) may have the most intriguing match of the first round. Walls finished third at region at 152 and will be paired in the first round against St. Xavier’s Kashiku Hutcheson, the son of former Caldwell County state wrestling runner-up John Mark Hutcheson. Walls enters the first round match ranked No. 11 in the state, while Hutcheson is ranked 15th.
The first round of the state tournament begins Friday at Alltech Arena in Lexington and continues Saturday.