Size no obstacle for LHS students
The wrestling team at Lansing High School is proof positive that big things come in small packages.
Twelve wrestlers from the school qualified for this year's Class 5A state tournament, contested Feb. 25 and 16 in Wichita. Five of the wrestlers were medalists. One - sophomore Kyle Grape - was the state champion at 140 pounds.
Grape is just the third state wrestling champion from Lansing High School.
There are 32 high schools that compete in the Kansas State High School Activities Association's Class 5A. The largest school in the classification is Blue Valley West, with an enrollment of 955 sophomores, juniors and seniors. LHS, at 510 students in grades 10-12, is the smallest among its 5A brethren. The Lions are competing this year in Class 5A for the first time in the history of the school.
That the Lions could claw their way to a sixth-place overall finish in their class is testament to the wrestlers' hard work.
But the accolades for students this winter shouldn't end with Grape, his medal-winning teammates or the other state qualifiers on the Lions wrestling team.
Students from throughout the high school are making a name for themselves on the statewide stage. Senior Micah White played second-chair trumpet in the state orchestra at the recent Kansas Music Educators Association convention.
Jerry Gatson, an LHS senior and a tenor, was one of only 256 singers from across Kansas to earn a spot on the music educator's State Festival Choir.
Members of the LHS forensics team are preparing for their state tournament, and the list goes on.
Lansing High School and its students are more than holding their own among their Kansas peers.
They're receiving excellent tutelage from their coaches, sponsors and teachers.
They're taking heed of the advice of their parents.
And in the end, the students know the size of their school doesn't matter. The size of their town doesn't matter, either.
What matters is the preparation and desire the students put into their extracurricular activities.
Our parents taught us a lesson early in life that if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. It's a lesson that can serve all of us well in life, and it's a lesson the high-achieving students at Lansing High School have taken to heart and put into practice.
In that way, these students are all champions.