Bulldog wrestlers win league tourney
For the first time in 29 years, the Baldwin High School wrestling team won the Frontier League Tournament on Saturday at Louisburg.
"It is great to be the team to do something no Baldwin team has done for 29 years," senior Travis Barnes said.
The Bulldogs finished with 199 points, 53 points higher than second-place Gardner-Edgerton, 146 points, to win the tournament for the first time since 1976. The only other time Baldwin has won the tournament was in 1973.
Baldwin had 12 of its 14 wrestlers place in the top four, including three individual champions.
"It went real well," coach Kit Harris said. "It was one of those days everything went right. We had 12 out of our 14 wrestlers place and everybody had an outstanding day."
Senior Josh Kohn (135 pounds) and freshmen Kevin Callahan (119) and Gabe Mason (160) took first in their weight classes.
"We had an awesome day as a team," Mason said. "It was great."
Harris said the three winners all had thrilling matches during the day.
"Our three champions, Kohn, Mason and Callahan, all won big matches," Harris said. "They all had exciting wins."
Baldwin had three wrestlers finish second. They were senior Luke Halford (189), junior Mark Jehle (112) and freshman Nick Rockhold (103).
Halford said he was proud of how the entire team worked together to win.
Seniors Barnes (171) and Andreas Brandenberger (140) each took home a third-place finish.
The other top placers for Baldwin took fourth. They were senior Brandon Cone (215), junior Josiah Mason (152), junior Matt James (125) and sophomore Josh Wood (145).
"It was awesome letting our 'team magic' go to work," Halford said. "We fueled off each other and kept it going all day. This is great momentum heading into regionals and state."
Harris said the team has been working toward the final three meets of the season.
"All year long we kind of talked about pointing towards league, regional and state," Harris said. "We've been using the whole season to prepare and fix our flaws."
Harris said the competition that the team faced at some tournaments should help them at regionals and state.
"We get quite a few losses going to some tough tournaments, but it pays off by making you better late in the year," Harris said. "Nothing can show a kid their deficiencies like good competition can."
Gabe Mason said the team is trying to correct its problems from the league tournament.
"We're working hard at practice and we're working on our mistakes we had last week, so we can do awesome at regionals," Mason said.
The Bulldogs head to Fort Scott to participate in the Class 4A Regional Meet Friday and Saturday. The top four placers from each weight class qualify for the state meet the following weekend in Wichita.
"I hope we do well," Harris said. "All of the brackets have some tough competition. I like the team's enthusiasm and our training sessions have been going really well. I am excited about how the weekend can go for us."