Lions rested, ready for Kaw Valley League showdown at SFT
It was hard to argue with Lansing High wrestling coach Ron Averill's decision to give his grapplers a three-day break last weekend, a mere matter of days before the Kaw Valley League meet.
A quick glance at any of the Lions during Thursday's home triple-dual sweep of Mill Valley, Bonner Springs and Tonganoxie could tell you the guys were worn out and in need of a few days of rejuvenation.
"The last couple of weeks have just been crazy," junior Jeff Terrill said. "We've been going and going and going, and it's taken a lot out of everybody. Everybody's taped up and wearing kneepads."
Averill said the short break helped his squad heal physically and refocus mentally for the KVL showdown, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Santa Fe Trail High School in Carbondale.
"We've got to hit it and go and be pumped up and full-speed-ahead by Saturday," Averill said.
The Lions certainly will have their hands full at the league meet. They placed second last year with 162 points, just 12 points behind champion Bonner Springs and 1.5 points ahead of third-place SFT, but the Chargers reloaded this year and are considered by many to be the odds-on favorite to win the crown on their home mat.
Trail edged Lansing, 37-21, in dual action on Jan. 18, and LHS whipped Bonner Springs on Thursday, but Averill said the KVL crown would be up for grabs.
"We have the tools to do it," Averill said. "Everybody knows that Santa Fe's pretty well loaded, but when everybody gets together, anything can happen. All it takes is a few guys to knock somebody out, and we come walking through the door. We've got a few guys that we expect to step up."
Some of those guys Averill indicated were freshman Nick Flynn, sophomores Kyle Buehler, Kyle Grape and Casey Caton and juniors Terrill, Sean Flynn, Stewart Jones, Ryan Civils and Logan Ryan.
Freshman Chance Thackston and junior Lance Fink also have been on the brink of winning some big matches recently.
"We really have a respectable league tournament," Averill said. "I told these guys that for some of us the league tournament is going to be tougher than regionals. It's going to be an exciting tournament for us. We just need to welcome that."
So far, the Lions sound like they're ready to step up to the challenge.
"We've definitely showed throughout the whole year that we can beat the people over and over and over because we wrestle them over and over and over," Terrill said. "I think that with everybody wrestling the way they're wrestling, we can definitely take it. It's just a matter of putting it together at the right time."