Oh so close … again
LOUISBURG -- One point was all that separated the Baldwin High School wrestling team from winning the Frontier League Championship here Saturday.
Baldwin fell to Gardner-Edgerton after the 215-pound Trailblazer won by a 4-1 decision. That victory gave Gardner 182 points, which was just enough to defeat Baldwin at 181 points.
"I was very happy with how hard everybody wrestled and the effort we put out," coach Kit Harris said. "It was an exciting day of wrestling. When you shoot for the top and you come up that short, there is obviously some pain."
Junior Nick Rockhold said the loss hurt, especially because one point could have been gained somewhere.
"It was hard to get over the fact that we lost by only one point," Rockhold said. "There are so many things that could have happened to gain us that one point, but who knew it would come down to just one. Don't get me wrong, taking second was good, though."
This marked the second straight year where Baldwin has finished runner-up at the league tournament by a small margin. Last year, Paola scored 175.5 points to beat the Bulldogs by three points, as they had 172.5 points.
"Two years in a row to finish that close and fall short isn't a lot of fun," Harris said. "Like I said, you can't fault the effort that the kids put out. To finish that high is exciting."
Despite the loss, Baldwin did have a successful day as a team. Three BHS wrestlers won their weight classes. They were sophomore Alan Callahan (112 pounds), Rockhold (119) and junior Kevin Callahan (130).
Both Callahan brothers finished the day 3-0 with two falls. Rockhold was 2-0 with two falls.
"Nick Rockhold pinning his way through the tournament as the No. 3 seed was exciting," Harris said. "He pinned a returning state placer who had beat him earlier in the year. He pinned him in the first round of the final."
Rockhold was thrilled to win, along with the Callahans, but he was happier about watching a fellow Bulldog pull off a couple of upsets.
"I was really impressed with Andy Thurlow's performance," Rockhold said. "It felt great being able to take first with the Callahans. I just wish we would have had a few more in the finals."
Thurlow, a freshman 125-pounder, entered Saturday with a record of 5-20. Thurlow finished the day with 2-1, with two falls, to take runner-up in his weight class.
"Andy Thurlow came in unseeded because he had a losing record," Harris said. "He pinned two straight seeded kids to make the finals. He almost won in the finals. He had a great day."
Other top BHS performances came from freshman Josh Hanson (103), senior Sam Wilson (152), senior Michael Kohn (171), senior Josh Wood (189) and senior Brandon Reed (215).
Wilson placed third with a record of 3-1. Hanson and Kohn were both 3-2 on the day and placed fourth. Wood and Reed also finished fourth with 2-2 records.
"Everybody found a way to contribute," Harris said. "Like I always say, those losses are a good thing, because it makes them think about some things they didn't do well in the match. Losses are sometimes a good kick in the butt."
Baldwin will host the Class 4A Regional Tournament this weekend in the Baldwin Junior High School gym. The action begins at 2 p.m. Friday and will resume at 11 a.m. Saturday.
1. Gardner-Edgerton -- 182 (5 champions)
2. Baldwin -- 181 (3 champions)
3. Prairie View -- 171 (2 champions)
4. Eudora -- 158.5 (1 champion)
5. Osawatomie -- 112
6. Spring Hill -- 109 (1 champion)
7. Ottawa -- 107
8. Paola -- 82.5 (2 champions)
9. Louisburg -- 39
10. Anderson County -- 37
11. Wellsville -- 30.5
12. Central Heights -- 28
13. De Soto -- 8