BHS wrestlers split opening dual action
Baldwin High School's wrestlers kicked off the dual season at Holton by splitting a pair Thursday. BHS bounced Perry-Lecompton 60-21, but fell 41-33 to host Holton.
Although the performance against Perry pleased coach Kit Harris, the loss against Holton did not.
"The loss to Holton was a tough one to take," said Harris. "We should not have lost that dual. Although Holton is a tough team, we did not compete well and gave up points we should not have given up."
After BHS went up 12-6 on a pin by 119-pounder Matt Westgate and a forfeit to Nathan Deel at 112 pounds, the Bulldogs never led again. Losses at 125 and 130 put Holton up 16-12. Adam Turk got the Bulldogs back close with a decision at 135, but it only closed the margin to 16-15.
BHS then lost three straight matches, two by falls, to trail 31-15. Kyle Flory brought the Bulldogs back with a win by fall at 160 pounds, but then there were two more losses as Holton's lead swelled to 41-27.
Back-to-back pins by Andy Breedlove at 215 and Witt Hinton at 275 pulled it within eight at 41-33, but it wasn't enough.
In the big win over Perry, six wrestlers made it a 2-0 evening with another win. They were Deel, Westgate, Turk, Flory, Breedlove and Hinton. After Deel and Westgate recorded pins, BHS never trailed. Also gaining victories were Nathan Worley at 125, Chris Hirschmann at 145 and Adam Halford at 171.
"We looked pretty good against Perry, but still sloppy at times," said Harris. "We will get things straightened out, though. These kids have been working hard. Raytown South and the other tough tournaments we have expose our weaknesses which lets the kids know exactly what to work on and how to be top-notch wrestlers."
Next up for the Bulldogs is the prestigious Raytown (Mo.) South Tournament Friday and Saturday. The tourney will feature a wealth of high-quality teams from Missouri and Oklahoma, including Perry, Okla., which is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation. Defending Missouri state champs Platte County and Oak Grove and Jefferson City Helias which has won 15 of the last 20 Missouri state titles are also in the field. Other Missouri powers in attendance include Ray-Pec, Francis Howell and Blue Springs.
"This is one of the top tournaments in the Midwest and that is exactly why we are going," said Harris. "Regardless of the outcome, we will benefit from this competition and it will be all kinds of fun."
The Baldwin High junior varsity squad was also in action last week at the Wellsville JV Tournament Friday. Five wrestlers had 3-0 records. They were: Wayne Sage, 112; Worley, 125, with three falls; Joe Brown, 145; Josh Haeffner, 152; and Sam Coffey, 275. Corey Martinez at 135, Bryan Schneck at 152 and Charles Barnes at 215 all went 2-1.
"It was a good competition for us," said Harris. "We wrestled tough. Our young kids are still making a lot of mistakes, but they are learning and improving each time out and that's all we ask of them. Oftentimes we are getting away with our mistakes by wrestling tough and physical and that part is nice to see. I like where these kids are headed.
"Our second- and third-year wrestlers are showing much more confidence than last year," he said. "Their development progress has been fun to watch."
"It was a lot of fun," said Coffey. "We wrestled great and we are looking a lot better than we did last year."
Next up for the JV wrestlers is a freshman/sophomore tournament Saturday at Leavenworth.