BHS wrestlers split duals with SFT
Despite missing five varsity starters, the Baldwin High School wrestling team split its duals against Santa Fe Trail Friday.
The varsity Bulldogs were in a battle until the Chargers won the final three matches. SFT won the dual 41-30. The younger junior varsity Bulldogs' squad won the JV dual by a score of 42-22.
"I was really happy with the effort and the way we wrestled," coach Kit Harris said. "We had some great wins and the kids wrestled really hard. I wasn't sure how we would do, because I knew Santa Fe Trail is a strong team. As it turns out, if we would have been at full strength, we could have won that dual."
Five BHS varsity wrestlers didn't participate at the dual for various reasons, most of which were sickness or injury. The missing wrestlers were senior Nick Rockhold, senior Michael Barnes, senior Jacob Enick, senior Nick Barkley and sophomore Heath Parmley.
Three Baldwin lightweights grabbed wins Friday. They were senior Alan Callahan (112 pounds), sophomore Josh Hanson (125) and senior Kevin Callahan (130).
A. Callahan pinned his opponent in 1:36. Hanson used an early takedown and a smart position match to hold on for a 3-1 win. K. Callahan found himself down 7-4 to SFT's Dustin Hill, but scored a last-second escape and a takedown for a 9-7 win.
"Kevin had to come from behind to beat his guy," Harris said. "He got caught and gave up five points in the second period. He got a takedown with a few seconds left to get the win."
Baldwin's other three victories came from senior Alex Coffey (152), Colin Busby (160) and Gabe Mason (171). Coffey and Busby were trailing in their matches, before pinning their opponents.
Down 10-2, Coffey took his opponent "feet-to-back" for a third period fall. Busby trailed 6-0, but used a cradle for a fall and a important win for the Bulldogs.
"Alex and Colin Busby were both losing, but got pins," Harris said. "That was big for us."
Mason was the final victor for Baldwin as he pinned his opponent in the third round.
In the JV dual, Baldwin got pins from junior Travis Huffman (140) and sophomore Braden Phillips (160). Add to that wins from freshman Brandon Kempenar (103), sophomore Jake Abram (125), freshman Keenan Coffey (130), freshman Joey LaBuda (135) and two forfeit wins for freshman Taylor Moore (171) and junior Cody Wiederholt (285), and BHS took the commanding victory.
"I was pleased because they were focusing on things that they need to improve," Harris said. "Some of those include shot finishing, scoring on bottom, quickness and match control. We are focusing on those things right now."
The Bulldogs will wrestle one final dual before the season begins to wind down. They will travel to Osawatomie to wrestle at 4:30 p.m. today. A few wrestlers, such as the Callahan brothers, will have to miss the match.
Any BHS wrestler that hasn't missed a meet this season will not be wrestling today, because of the state-mandated points system.
"Kids miss a meet for various reasons, so it gives us an extra meet to get some wrestling it," Harris said. "Plus it gives some JV guys a chance to wrestle up on varsity. It is also nice to rest up for league, regional and state. We are trying to stay as healthy as we can right now."
Harris said that the dual today should be a good tune up for this weekend's Frontier League tournament.
"It will be a good dual," Harris said. "It will be nice to get a few matches in before league. It should be a good tune up for this weekend."