BHS wrestlers qualify seven
Seven Baldwin High School wrestlers qualified for state, as the team took second place at the Class 4A regional meet in Fort Scott on Saturday.
"It went real well," coach Kit Harris said. "We came in with real high hopes and expectations and competed really hard. There were some up and down moments, but a lot more up than down."
The Bulldogs headed to the meet after winning the Frontier League Tournament. They came home from regionals with a second-place plaque. They also had seven wrestlers place in the top four, qualifying them for the state tournament this weekend in Wichita.
Freshman Kevin Callahan thought the team competed hard, but could have done better.
"On Friday, we didn't have the greatest day, but on Saturday, everybody came back and wrestled fairly well," Callahan said. "It turned out all right, but I think we could have done a lot better. But at regionals, that's just what happens."
Callahan (119 pounds) led the way for the Bulldogs by winning the regional championship in his weight class.
"I wrestled pretty good, and I could have wrestled better," Callahan said. "I did pretty good I guess."
Baldwin had two wrestlers take second place. Junior Mark Jehle (112) and senior Josh Kohn (135) placed second.
"Josh Kohn had a real big win in the semifinals to make it to the final," Harris said. "He lost by one in double overtime. He was really close to being regional champion."
Jehle was proud of how the team wrestled well on the second day.
"We did fair Friday night and really good Saturday," Jehle said. "I think we took nearly as many kids to state as we could."
The other four qualifiers for Baldwin were freshman Nick Rockhold (103), junior Matt James (125), senior Andreas Brandenberger (140) and senior Luke Halford (189). All four wrestlers placed third.
Harris said he was unsure how many would qualify for state.
"I had so many kids that were on the bubble," Harris said. "They had a chance to qualify, but they had to do some wrestling to get there. I knew we would get anywhere from four to 10. To get seven out of that is pretty exciting."
Harris also said he thought the entire team competed hard the last couple of meets.
"I thought the whole team wrestled well, even the kids who didn't qualify wrestled well and hard," Harris said. "We've just looked real solid late in the year pretty much all the way around."
Callahan agreed about it being a total-team effort.
"I think everybody was into it," Callahan said. "Everybody was helping each other out. Everybody showed they cared for everyone else's matches."
Harris said all five of the seniors helped the team, even though not all of them qualified.
"We have five seniors, and only three made it to state, but all of them contributed to the team's success," Harris said. "They were fantastic leaders on our team."
The two-day state tournament starts at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday in Wichita.
Harris said he is unsure how the team will do at state.
"It's hard telling, because we got put in some tough spots in the brackets," Harris said. "I'm really unsure how we'll pair up. We'll just have to go out and compete."