KVL sparkles with green & gold
BLHS snags 2 league crowns
Two Bobcat wrestlers took first place in their weight division, and one took fourth, but the BLHS wrestling team was only able to pull off a seventh place tie at the Kaw Valley league tournament last Saturday.
Although the Bobcats felt they could have finished higher, they now put their sights on the regional qualifying tournament, where only the top four wrestlers will advance to state.
Juniors Zach Davis (119) and Dustin Sullivan (135) both pinned their opponents in their final matches to take first place, raking in big points for the Bobcat team. Sophomore Todd Bell (160) went 2-2, hoping to make it to the final round, but finished in fourth place.
"We wrestled better, but not as good as we could have," BLHS coach Scott Neil said. "We are going to have to wrestle real well to get to state."
With bodies bruised and aching, the wrestling season takes its toll on a high school athlete, separating the devoted from the inept. According to Neil this leaves the door slightly open for someone to sneak into a spot if they lay it all out on the table.
The BLHS coaching staff has dreamed about how good Davis could be, but hadn't wrestled to his full potential this season. Davis may have gotten his wake up call when he was cut on his eyelid, rousing him to dominate the rest of his opponents at the league meet.
"It kind of made him mad, and then he stepped it up and dominated," Neil said. "Sometimes you just need to see blood to get you going."
Sullivan may not have seen blood, but he wrestled like that was exactly what he was out for. After taking giant steps of improvement forward this season, Sullivan came full circle when he trounced his opponent in the semi final round. The opponent from Santa Fe Trail had beaten him badly early this season, setting the stage for another rout. But, Sullivan pinned his opponent in the finals with ease.
"This was the best we've seen Sullivan wrestle all year long," Neil said, who expects Sullivan and Davis to be his best shot at sending someone to state. "All of our kids are going into regionals thinking that they have a chance."
If anyone is going to place in the state tournament, the last weeks of practice could be the key to their success. A lack of focus may have lead to a lower finish in the league tournament, a problem that needs to be addressed before it's too late.
"We weren't quite prepared mentally," Bell said, who Neil feels could have taken a higher spot than fourth. "We need to be more focused in practice, and take it more seriously."
The regional tournament will be held tomorrow, and Saturday at Fort Scott High School.