Seaton siblings lead Braves to tourney
Bonner Springs is starting to look really good on the mat — and it’s only December.
The Braves traveled to the Lee’s Summit Holiday Wrestling Invitational on Saturday and competed well in one of the area’s toughest tournaments of the year.
The Braves took on teams from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Iowa and finished 11th overall. It was a significant jump from last year’s 19th-place finish and a 23-spot jump from their showings in 2006 and 2007.
Four Braves made it out of their pools and into the bracket — the most Bonner Springs has ever had. Three out of the four placed.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was Caleb Seaton’s 119-pound championship run of seven straight victories. Last year he finished second, but he simply would not be denied this year. He now stands at 17-0 on the season. Ten of those victories are by pin. The junior is rounding into form and is backing up his No. 4 state ranking in Class 5A.
His younger brother, freshman Justus Seaton, did not disappoint either. He only lost one match the entire weekend on his way to a fifth-place finish at 103 pounds, including a victory over the Class 3A sixth-ranked wrestler in Missouri. His record is 15-2 with seven pins.
Aaron Puckett also had a great tournament. The freshman placed fifth at 140 pounds and posted a 5-2 record for the weekend. His season record is 8-2 with four pins.
Junior 171-pounder Brian Callahan wrestled tough, but faced some of the best competition the state of Missouri has to offer. He did not place in his bracket after falling to two highly ranked Missouri wrestlers. His record is 10-5 on the year.
Jonathan Blackwell had perhaps the toughest pool of all and lost to two very talented wrestlers, finishing 2-2 on the weekend at 130 pounds. He is 10-3 on the season.
“This was our toughest competition we have seen so far, and we were up to the challenge,” said first-year coach Brandon Jobe. “It was great to see some of our younger wrestlers battle with Missouri’s best. Hopefully that intensity will transfer back over to the Kansas side.”
Both 112-pounder Nick Korosec and 125-pounder Austin Cobb finished 2-2 at the tournament.
Jobe was happy with the team finish — by far the highest Bonner Springs has ever placed at this tournament.
“It was a total team effort. Many guys that didn’t place won at least one match, scoring valuable team points,” Jobe said. “I am very proud of this team’s progress so far. They are getting better with every competition. We will continue to practice hard over the break, keeping our momentum going. Our guys are still wrestling with great intensity and desire to win. We are improving in all aspects, but there’s still (so) much to work on and a long season ahead.”
Bonner Springs has a two-week break in competition for the holidays but gets cranked up again Jan. 9, when the Braves play host to the Dick Burns Classic.
“It would be great to see a big Bonner Springs wrestling crowd at our home tournament,” Jobe said.
Over winter break, the Braves will have five days off from practice and Jobe is hoping they don’t eat too much and come back with weight problems.
“Our practices will be long (and) we will incorporate quite a bit of weight training,” he said. “In the practice room we will continue to work on positioning and technique, but will start increasing our level of conditioning.”
Earlier in the week, the Braves won a pair of duals as they held off Sumner Academy, 44-34, and routed Harmon, 66-12. BSHS now is 6-3 in duals this season.