Bulldog wrestlers fare well
The Baldwin High School Bulldog varsity wrestling team keeps climbing the ladder to success. Their record is now 8-5 overall in duals and 4-1 in the tough Frontier League which has six teams that have been ranked in this year's state poll.
The Bulldogs also brought home a third-place plaque Saturday from the George Worley Invitational in Atchison. A team trophy has not been won by a BHS wrestling team since 1994. They also knocked off the defending regional champion Anderson County by a 40-35 score Thursday.
The Bulldogs were defeated by 40-25 Spring Hill, which is currently second in the Frontier League with only one loss. Last year Spring Hill beat Baldwin 52-21. The Bulldogs competed with the Broncos much better this year. Spring Hill is also currently rank 10th in Class 4A. Taking home wins for the night were freshmen Derek Lang (140 lbs.), sophomore Nathan Deel (112 lbs.), juniors Adam Turk (135 lbs.) and Witt Hinton (275 lbs.) and senior Andy Breedlove (215 lbs.).
The Bulldogs then rebounded to beat Anderson County 40-35. It was a very big win because Anderson County beat Baldwin 69-10 last year. Wins went to sophomores Wayne Sage (103 lbs.), Deel, and Josh Haeffner (160 lbs.). Senior Matt Westgate (119 lbs.), Hinton, junior Chris Hirschmann (145 lbs.), and freshman Kyle Flory (160 lbs.) each had wins also.
At the George Worley Invitational, the Bulldog's third-place finish came thanks to 115.5 team points scored. Ahead of Baldwin were ACCHS- Effingham (ranked first in 3A) with 213 points, and Abilene (ranked third in 4A) with 199.5. Fourth place was Royal Valley with 83; fifth, Atchison with 82; sixth, Sumner with 65; seventh, Hillsboro with 54; eighth, Mill Valley with 47; ninth, Gardner-Edgerton with 27; 10th-Perry-Lecompton with 23; 11th, Maur Hill with 11; and 12th was Immaculata with six.
"I'm really excited for the kids for winning the team plaque. Everyone had a part in that. That was truly a team accomplishment because we had no individual champions. We don't have any ranked No. 1 in the state, undefeated, prime time all-stars ... we just have a good number of hard-working, tough, solid wrestlers who dislike losing and have a strong desire to win," said coach Kit Harris. "Atchison and Royal Valley beat us pretty handily last year and we had two starters out so I wasn't sure how things would go. But our schedule strength paid off for us because each one of our finalists knocked off higher seeds along their way. Seven of our eight place-winners finished higher than their seed."
"We wrestled decent. We looked good but kind of faltered in the finals," Lang said, referring to the team only winning two of the eight finals matches.
Taking second place was junior Corey Martinez (130 lbs.), Lang, Hirschmann and Hinton. Taking third were Flory and Breedlove. And taking home fourth place was Deel and junior Adam Halford (152 lbs.). Sage and Westgate nearly placed as well, as both lost tough matches in overtime to get into the placing round.
"We had a great day, but should have won more than two of our finals matches," Flory said.
The team's next action is against league opponents Osawatomie and Prairie View on Thursday. The meet will be held at Spring Hill starting at 5 p.m. The team will have their final home competition on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. against league powers Paola (undefeated and leading the lead) and Eudora. It will be senior night honoring seniors Breedlove, Westgate, Jerrad Goodell, Chase Wood and Clint Hornberger, as well as managers Sara Johnson and Chelsea Wilson.