Jackson Stafford was the only Bulldog to win his first round match.
Jackson Stafford was the only Bulldog to win his first round match.

The Independence Bulldogs took part in Day 1 of the Class 4A state wrestling tournament Friday and all three of the young men that qualified are moving on to Day 2.

While they may not be moving on in the fashion they may have liked, all three are still in contention for a medal tomorrow.

We will dive further into the tournament in Sunday’s Daily Reporter, but for now we are going to keep you updated on what happened today and what is on tap for tomorrow.

So, without further ado, here is your recap of Independence’s Day 1 at the state 4A wrestling tournament.


Seth Stroble, 285 pounds


Stroble came into the tournament as the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the state in class 4A with a record of 36 wins and just one loss.

He took home the regional title with a win over the No. 2 wrestler in the state in Louisburg’s Mason Koechner last week and was one of the favorites to take home the state title this year.

Unfortunately for the senior, and now member of the Independence wrestling 100-win club, Stroble ran into a difficult official and a large road block in round one.

In round one Stroble took a 2-1 loss to Tylar Patrick of Wamego. It’s not like Stroble was beaten down or dominated or anything like that either.

In the first round he was docked a point for throwing what was honestly a non-existent punch and then he allowed Patrick an escape in round three which was the only two points Patrick scored on him in the match.

The problem was that Patrick had length on Stroble and he had trouble getting inside throughout. Despite the fact that Stroble was the aggressor he ended up taking a loss and losing his shot at the state title in the process.

It was unfortunate, but he did come back to take down Sam Schroeder 3-1 in the first round of the consolation bracket to stay alive for round two action. Stroble will be taking on Austin King of Circle in that match Saturday morning.


Gabe Eades, 106 pounds


Eades may have had the toughest draw of any of the Bulldog wrestlers on the weekend. The junior was matched up with Hunter Reddick of Clearwater who came into the tournament with a record of 22-1.

Reddick was a Top 5 wrestler in the state and after finishing as the runner up in his region, it seemed more likely that Eades would get a favorable match-up. It didn’t happen though, and as a result Eades took a 7-4 loss in the first round and moved over to the consolation side.

In that move to the consolation bracket Eades was matched up with Brayton Oleson of Basehor Linwood and took him down with a pin at 1:30 of the second round.

That win set Eades up with Griffin Baker of Andover Central in the second round of the consolation bracket.

Baker is 37-8 on the season.


Jackson Stafford, 160 pounds


Of all of the wrestlers that Indy had in the tournament this year, Stafford was probably the most overlooked. 

Of the three he was probably the one many would have thought had the toughest match-up in the first round since he did finish fourth at regionals, so few would have been surprised if he had taken a loss in that first match.

But all of those people would have been wrong as Stafford didn’t just get a win, but he got a win by a pin in the third round over Justin Hand of Tonganoxie.

The pin was dramatic and emphatic as we try to use as many modifiers in that sentence as the win warranted.

It was a huge win for Stafford and set him up with a match-up with Clayton Peterson of Buhler in the quarterfinals.

He did take a loss as he was pinned in the first round of that one, but he is still alive for Saturday as well as he will now take on Sage Greenfield of Santa Fe Trail in the second round of the consolation bracket.


Make sure to follow us on Twitter @IDRSports for live updates of all of tomorrow’s matches. We will be live streaming all of the matches there if you are interested.