Seaton captures medal in state’s biggest meet
Bonner Springs' wrestler Caleb Seaton finished a strong freshman wrestling season with a fourth-place finish at the Class 5A State wrestling tournament on Friday.
Wrestling in Hutchinson, Kan., he finished in fourth place at the 103-pound weight class.
Both of Seaton's losses were against Adrian Salas of Liberal High School. He lost in the second round by decision and also in the third-place match by decision.
He finished with a 4-2 record at state.
"He is disappointed, but I thought he took it well," coach Dan Burns said.
Seaton led Bonner Springs to a 23rd-place finish as the team finished with 19 points. The Braves finished with a 6-8 record as a team.
Seaton finished the year with a 38-4 record, and a stack of first-place medals. Fourth place is the lowest that he finished in a tournament this season.
"He probably had more wins than any freshman in our school history," Burns said. "I will remember how he handled coming from kids club to high school. He didn't miss a beat. He continued to improve. He had a good work ethic and worked hard. He won a league title and tournament titles."
Seaton's success is the result of years spent years on the wrestling mat learning the intricacies of the sport.
"He put a lot of time and work into becoming as good a wrestler as he could be," Burns said. "It has paid off for him."
Seaton led the team's performance in the tournament. The Braves had three other wrestlers compete in the state tournament who didn't place.
"They did pretty good really, given the fact that it was tougher for them to qualify to begin with," Burns said. "They wrestled hard."
Brooks Ballou, 119-pounder, finished 1-2 and concluded the year with a 17-19 record.
Ballou won his first match in the tournament, but lost the next two.
"He was in every match he wrestled and he definitely grew from last year," Burns said.
Adam Shirley, 145-pounder, finished 1-2 in the tournament.
Collin Stirling, 171-pounder, finished 0-2 in the tournament, and gained enthusiasm for the sport by competing at state with a 2-14 record. He spent most of the season on junior varsity.
"He said, 'I qualified like everyone else, and I deserve to be here,'" Burns said. "He became a fan of the sport. Collin fought as hard as you could ask anybody to fight."
Stirling also received a pep talk from Frank Gonzales, who coaches at Sumner Academy and was the first Bonner Springs wrestler to win a state championship.
Gonzales was impressed with how Stirling wrestled. "He told him 'to keep his head up and keep working hard,'" Burns said. "You could tell it touched Collin."
Bonner Springs wrestlers gained a lot of experience at state.
"We finished the season strong," Burns said. "We had our down moments throughout the year and we seemed to bounce back."