BHS wrestling squad wins four titles at Rossville
Baldwin High School’s wrestling squad started the 2010 year off with a bang, as four wrestlers won titles at the Rossville Invitational Saturday.
The Bulldogs’ first tournament after Christmas break was a success. They finished third out of 10 teams with 200.5 points, but were one point behind Topeka-Seaman, which placed second. Clay Center won the meet with 243 points.
“It was a great meet for us,” coach Kit Harris said. “Everybody contributed to our success as a team. We had 13 out of 14 guys place in the top six. We had a lot more positives than negatives, which is promising coming off the three-week break.
“We just narrowly lost to Topeka Seaman, which is a good 5A team,” he said. “We were going to try and make a run at Clay Center, but they put nine in the finals. The team we have is young, but strong. We keep getting better and it’s fun to watch.”
Junior Jesse Austin, one of the Bulldogs’ champions, had higher hopes for the team, but was satisfied Saturday.
“We did pretty good, but I was hoping to do better,” Austin said. “Clay Center is pretty good and we hung in there with them for a while, but they had too many in the finals.”
Austin was the only BHS wrestler over 119 pounds to win Saturday. He went 3-0 in the 285-pound weight class by pinning every opponent. He won the finals match with a first-period pin to record his first-ever high school tournament victory.
“It feels pretty good, because I got second there last year,” Austin said. “I went in there and knew there were some tough guys I wanted to beat. I was kind of mad I got second there last year, because it was the first meet where I made the finals.”
Heading into Saturday, Austin wasn’t too confident in himself. However, he knew the competition wasn’t as tough as it will be in upcoming meets.
“I hadn’t been on the mat in a while, so I thought I would be out of shape,” Austin said. “There weren’t that many really tough guys there. Luckily, all of my matches ended in the first period. But I still feel like I am way behind those state-ranked guys. I want to get up there with them.”
Baldwin’s other first-time winner was sophomore Cody Sellers in the 119-weight class after entering unseeded. He also went 3-0 to win the tournament. Sellers pinned two opponents.
“Jesse and Cody won their first high school tournaments,” Harris said. “Andrew beat a state runner-up in the finals. Cody beat a kid he lost to three times last year. Jesse had three first-period falls.”
The Bulldogs’ two other champions were sophomore Andrew Morgan (112) and freshman Bryce Shoemaker (103). Morgan went 3-0 to win his title, while Shoemaker went 4-0 to win his fourth tournament this season.
“Bryce is really aggressive on his shots and his stuff on top,” Harris said. “He just continues to wrestle hard and smart. His road will get tougher. He has some really tough guys coming up the next few weeks. It will be good for him to get tested.”
Senior Josh Hanson (135) continued his successful season, as he finished second, falling to the fourth-ranked wrestler in Class 5A from Topeka-Seaman in the finals. He won his semifinals match with a fall to officially move ahead of Harris in the BHS all-time wins standings with 101 career victories.
“Josh lost to a really good kid from Seaman,” Harris said. “That kid was really good on his feet and had really good shots. He kind of opened up the score on Josh, but we should see him at the next two tournaments.”
Placing third for the Bulldogs were freshman Colton Horne (145) and senior Heath Parmley (160). Each wrestler won three matches on the day. Junior Keenan Coffey (189) and sophomore Colton Bonner (215) were fourth-place finishers.
Three juniors were fifth-place finishers. They were Colby Soden (125), Greg Schiffelbein (140) and Will Von Bargen (152). Junior Chris Schrapel (171) was a sixth-place finisher.
This weekend the Bulldogs will travel to Basehor-Linwood to compete in the Bobcat Classic. There will be 32 teams competing.
“It’s going to be very tough,” Harris said. “There will be some great brackets. It’s tougher than the state tournament.”