Lions brace for Bobcat Classic
The youth-laden Lansing High wrestling team will face its toughest competition yet this season when it competes Friday and Saturday at the Bobcat Classic at Basehor-Linwood High School.
Twenty-eight teams will compete at the tournament, including defending Class 6A state runner-up Goddard and third-place Garden City, Class 5A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas and Class 4A third-place finisher Andale.
LHS coach Ron Averill said the tournament would be a good test for his wrestlers, especially state championship contenders such as senior 152-pounder Nick Flynn and junior 160-pounder Grant Hinckley.
"We know going into the Bobcat Classic that this is a ripper tournament," Averill said. "This is a state level thing. A lot of these guys are going to go in and get their butt kicked a little bit and just kind of get an idea of where they need to go and what they need to do to step it up for that kind of level of competition.
"Our goal as coaches is to get them prepared both mentally and physically and just kind of push them up to that next level."
Flynn was the Bobcat Classic champion last year at 145 pounds. He upset two No.1-ranked wrestlers along his way to the title by beating Class 4A No. 1 John Arveson of Chapman in the semifinals and 5A No. 1 Mark Millstead of Aquinas in the finals.
Teams competing from Class 6A will be: Blue Valley, Garden City, Goddard, Junction City, Lawrence Free State, Olathe North, Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission West. Teams from Class 5A will be: Bonner Springs, Lansing, Pittsburg, Aquinas, Topeka Seaman and Turner. Teams from Class 4A will be: Andale, Baldwin, Basehor, Chapman, Columbus, Eudora, Fort Scott, Piper, Paola, Santa Fe Trail and St. James Academy. Class 3A squads will be: Effingham, Rossville and Silver Lake. Also competing at the tournament will be Glenwood High School from Glenwood, Iowa.
Wrestling begins at noon Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
Nick Flynn is ranked No. 2 in the state at 152 pounds in the latest Class 5A poll. Grant Hinckley is listed at No. 4 at 160 pounds.
Flynn will have the opportunity to see the No. 3 wrestler in his weight class at the Bobcat Classic, and Hinckley will see the No. 2 wrestler in his weight class.