KMC Crusade

Senior core leads wrestling team

Battling+for+position%2C+senior+Michael+Spangler+attempts+to+pin+his+St.+Thomas+Aquinas%27+Bret+Minor%27s+shoulder+to+the+mat+at+the+34th+Derby+Invitational+January+5.+Spangler%2C+a+defending+5A+state+champion%2C+lost+the+match%2C+his+first+5A+loss+in+over+a+year%2C+and+placed+2nd+in+the+tournament.+
Battling for position, senior Michael Spangler attempts to pin his St. Thomas Aquinas' Bret Minor's shoulder to the mat at the 34th Derby Invitational January 5. Spangler, a defending 5A state champion, lost the match, his first 5A loss in over a year, and placed 2nd in the tournament.

Battling for position, senior Michael Spangler attempts to pin his St. Thomas Aquinas' Bret Minor's shoulder to the mat at the 34th Derby Invitational January 5. Spangler, a defending 5A state champion, lost the match, his first 5A loss in over a year, and placed 2nd in the tournament.

Sophee King

Sophee King

Battling for position, senior Michael Spangler attempts to pin his St. Thomas Aquinas' Bret Minor's shoulder to the mat at the 34th Derby Invitational January 5. Spangler, a defending 5A state champion, lost the match, his first 5A loss in over a year, and placed 2nd in the tournament.

Kaegan Cowan, Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






For the past three seasons, the KMC wrestling team has been able to attribute a significant amount of its success to one wrestler, a three-time state champion. Senior Michael Spangler, winner of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Kansas state tournaments in the 106-pound division, and who went 39-0 last year against 5A competitors in his weight class, said he is aware there is a “target on [his] back.”

“Guys can come in and wrestle [me] and all lose, and they have nothing to lose,” Spangler said. “I have a state title to lose. Knowing I have to show up to every match, whether I wrestle good or wrestle bad, I have to win.”

Spangler lost his first match in more than a season Jan. 5 at the Derby Invitational to St. Thomas Aquinas junior Bret Minor. He did, however, avenge the loss against Minor by defeating him two weeks later in Hays at the Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic.

“I hate losing,” Spangler said. “It’s just the worst feeling ever, losing. It’s not really about loving to win, it’s just hating to lose.”

Despite Spangler’s success, other wrestlers must step up to help the team make a run in the state tournament at Hartman Arena Feb. 23-24. According to assistant coach Tim Nance, the team has already competed well in the City League, but he has higher ambitions for the team. He said he expects a strong showing at the state tournament.

“[As of January 24,] for both varsity and junior varsity this year, we [were] both undefeated in duals,” Nance said. “City League champs is what we’re going for. Beyond that, being in the Top 5 teams in regionals and the Top 10 in state is the goal, maybe even higher.”

The wrestling team is 4-1 in City League duals, coming off their first league loss this season vs. undefeated Wichita South Jan. 25. In tournaments, the team won the Raytown South Holiday Tournament in Kansas City Dec. 15-16, placed eighth at the Derby Invitational Jan. 5-6, and placed third at the Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic in Hays Jan. 19-20. As of January 23, the team is ranked ninth in 5A by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association.

One of the athletes who will be expected to step up in the state tournament is senior Nick Lowe. In the 285-pound weight division, Lowe went 32-16 and placed fifth in last year’s state tournament, but he is on pace to do even better this year with a 32-3 record. He said the previous experiences have helped himself and Spangler, along with fellow varsity seniors Kirk Bomgardner (160), Nathon Hernandez (152), Kevin Mills (170) and Travis Phelps (195), lead the team in this season.

“Having senior leadership helps [and] we have a good senior core this year,” Lowe said. “I think having that will push the other guys to do better.”

Nance agreed.

“We have a really good team this year,” Nance said. “We have a strong bunch of seniors and a strong bunch of young kids that have come from the Wichita Wrestling Club. They really have stepped up to fill the spots that the seniors left last year.”

One of those who have stepped up is junior Brogan Klein, who has only been wrestling since his freshman year. He is 18-13 so far this year in the 182-pound weight division after going 12-20 last year. He spoke about the problems associated with being a relatively inexperienced wrestler.

“Wrestling people that you know are better than you is very tough, just like, especially, me being a three-year wrestler, wrestling people that have wrestled since they were 5 are going to know a lot more than me,” Klein said. “You’ve just got to outwork them.”

Spangler is not a stranger to challenges, either. He had to move into the 120-pound weight class this year from the 106-pound class he competed in the last three years in order to prepare for college wrestling. Spangler said he has gained 40 pounds since his freshman year, and that has made things harder against naturally bigger wrestlers.

“It has been more difficult against wrestlers who are naturally big and have to cut [weight] and I don’t have to,” Spangler said.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Student faces cancer

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Riverfest Ignites Nostalgia

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Online privacy becomes concern

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Mental edge key to golf success

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Veterans Lead Boys Tennis Team

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    CAP takes over STUCO

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Trump shakes up his administration in dramatic fashion

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Divers Set Records

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Clothing class participates in volunteer program

  • Senior core leads wrestling team

    News & Features

    Students balance school and after-school activities

The Student News Site of Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Senior core leads wrestling team