Callahans win gold to lead BHS wrestlers
The Baldwin High School wrestling team started its season with a bang at the Blazer Invitational Saturday at Gardner-Edgerton High School.
The Blazer Invitational was a 16-team tournament that BHS has attended for the second straight year. BHS placed third behind Gardner-Edgerton by only 7.5 points and Omaha-Burke (Neb.) by 13 points.
"This was a great first meet for us," coach Kit Harris said. "We were able to gauge where we are and what we need to improve on. I think we need a lot of bottomwork and our football players are catching up on their conditioning. I was very pleased, overall. Everyone fought very hard."
Junior Alan Callahan (112 pounds) and senior Kevin Callahan (130 ) went undefeated and each won gold medals. Placing second was senior Nick Rockhold (119).
BHS had two third place finishers. They were junior Colin Busby (160) and senior Jake Enick (285). The fourth-place finishers were sophomore Josh Hanson (125) and senior Gabe Mason (171). Senior Michael Barnes (215) placed fifth.
"I think we did pretty well, but we could have done better," K. Callahan said. "We had some new guys come in and help out a bit and others who needed to practice more. But overall we did well."
Other wrestlers that competed were freshmen Colby Soden (103) and Will Von Bargen (140), as well as juniors Travis Huffman (135), Brad Canterbury (145) and Nick Barkley (189).
"I thought we did very well," Enick said. "Everyone performed well and worked hard. We went to win some matches and we met that goal."
In an impressive showing for BHS, the team won 34 matches, 25 of which were "bonus" wins. A wrestler will earn bonus points for a fall, technical fall or major decision win.
"We need to practice getting bonus wins down now before regionals and state," Rockhold said. "That is what counts. Hopefully this year we will get a trophy at state."
K. Callahan won his finals match by a major decision, 14-4 over his opponent from Olathe Northwest.
At some tournaments, a wrestler is named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler as voted on by the coaches. At this tournament, Baldwin's A. Callahan was named the OW. He beat a defending state champion and a national cadet runner-up in the finals by a 6-2 score.
Next up for the Bulldogs is the Cardinal Classic Friday and Saturday at Eudora High School. Baldwin placed third in this 24-team tournament last year.
Harris is ready for a big tournament.
"Eudora is a great tournament," Harris said. "It is close, which is nice for our 'Purple Pack' fans. And there are a lot of good 4A teams in attendance."
The wrestlers are getting prepared as well.
"I am looking forward to having tough matches at Eudora this weekend," A. Callahan said.