Youth wrestlers place at tournament
Eleven Baldwin youth wrestlers placed at the Sub-District tournament at Bonner Springs High School Saturday and qualified for this weekend's District Championships. The top four placers at Districts will qualify for the Kids State Wrestling Tournament to be held at the Topeka Expocenter on March 28-29.
Baldwin had four champions and five runner-up finishers, and added two fourth-place finishers. The nine finalists is one of the best team performances the club has had in many years.
Baldwin won three gold medals in the 14-and-under division, and two more in the 12-and-under category. Joe Bonner (120 pounds), Kevin Callahan (115) and Chase Abel (155) were the 14-and-under champions, and Alan Callahan placed first at 12-and-under, 92 pounds.
Five Baldwin wrestlers won silver medals. In the 8-and-under division, second-place finishers were Bryce Shoemaker (55) and Colton Bonner (95). Carson Wood was second in 12-and-under, 150 pounds. Jordan Miller finished second at 14-and-under (95) and Mark Jehle was second at 16-and-under (100).
Two more Baldwin wrestlers managed to qualify through to Districts by placing fourth. Jeremy Wood was fourth at 10-and-under (70) and Colin Busby was fourth at 12-and- under (105).
Four more Baldwin wrestlers finished fifth to earn a spot as an alternate for Districts. Placing fifth were Coltin Thomas (8-and-under), Josh Hansen (10-and-under, 76), Josh Wood (14-and-under, 160) and Josiah Mason (16-and-under, 145).
It is the first year wrestling for Shoemaker, Thomas, and Hansen, who recently moved up from the novice (1-2 years experience) division to finish the season with the open wrestlers (3-plus years experience).
Other Baldwin competitors were Matt James (14-and-under, 120) and Sam Hinton (14-and-under, 135). Each went 1-2 in their brackets.
Last year, Baldwin had five state placers: Chase Abel (first), Luke Halford (second), Kevin Callahan (fourth), Ethan Hebenstriet (fifth), and Carson Wood (sixth). Paul Halford was also one match from placing. It was a record for the most placers in one season for the Baldwin youth wrestling club.