Senior Night…one to remember
The Basehor-Linwood wrestling team earned a 1-1 split against Perry-Lecompton and Piper in its last home meet of the season last Thursday. The old wrestling veterans also sent the crowd home with some powerful memories on Senior Night.
The five Bobcat seniors combined for a 5-1 record on the night, but the most lasting impression was probably made in the match that was lost. That bout was a courageous performance by Brandon Magaha that had to be cut short.
Magaha suffered a dislocated shoulder on the first day of the season and, as the year wore on, continued to have too much pain to compete. But, with one last chance to wrestle at home, Magaha convinced his coach, Scott Neil to let him go against Perry.
"I didn't want him to go out there, but he's a senior and wanted to give it a try," Neil said. "I got to give the young man credit, it took a lot of guts to go out there. His shoulder's in bad shape, he's got to have surgery on it. I told him it was up to his mom and dad."
With his parents watching Magaha took the mat against the Kaws wearing a large brace that encircled his chest, shoulder and upper-arm. The brace was impossible to miss and showed everyone in the gym that Magaha wasn't 100 percent and the arm would be vulnerable.
Toward the end of the first period Perry-Lecompton's Robbie Madden-Martins got Magaha down on his stomach and immediately grabbed his injured arm and began ripping his shoulder back, intent on flipping him over for the pin. Magaha grimaced and groaned but refused to turn over.
This continued for several seconds until many in the crowd who were familiar with the injury had to turn away, the scene being painful just to watch. Magaha was able to escape just as the period ended, but as he walked back to the center he was obviously favoring the sore shoulder. Neil came onto the mat to ask if he was OK. Magaha said he was and indicated that he wanted to continue. But Neil knew that his wrestler's pride and competitive spirit were probably clouding his judgment. The coach told the officials he was conceding the match to Perry-Lecompton.
"He did what he could, he just didn't have anything left in that shoulder," Neil said. "He was willing to go on, but I wasn't willing to watch him."
As Magaha left the mat many of the BLHS fans stood and clapped to show their appreciation. But Neil was left with the task of consoling a wrestler whose high school career had just ended.
"I told him life's full of tests that we have to go through and this is just one of them," Neil said. "He's a great kid, I miss having him there all season out on the mat, but he's been with us in practice, he's been around to help out. I told him this is all up to him; wrestling can be over now or he can go on to college and try it there."
Perhaps inspired by their classmate's courage, Dustin Sullivan, Zach Davis, Dustin Weimer and Will Peterson demolished their competition. Weimer won 8-7 against Perry-Lecompton in one of the night's most exciting matches. He escaped in the last five seconds to earn the victory.
Peterson was the only senior who had two bouts on Thursday and he made the most of both. He pinned Perry-Lecompton's Jake Hetrick after 3:40 and pinned Piper freshman Collin Dungan in the first period.
Sullivan and Davis both won forfeits against PLHS and neither broke a sweat against their opponents from Piper. Davis pinned after 28 seconds and Sullivan finished his match in 19 seconds.
The Bobcats lost to PLHS 49-26 before thumping the Pirates 48-18. Next up, they head to Perry for the league meet on Saturday.