Four BLHS wrestlers medal at Bobcat Classic
Playing host to one of the state’s toughest tournaments is a matter of pride for Basehor-Linwood High School wrestlers.
The BLHS wrestlers were even more proud of their performance Friday and Saturday at the Bobcat Classic as they landed four competitors in the top eight to earn medalist honors.
“I was hoping to get a couple more, but they didn’t quite make it through,” coach Scott Neil said. “I thought we wrestled a pretty good tournament; all of the kids won a match. I thought we could have ended up in seventh or eighth place.”
As it was, the Bobcats finished in 13th place with 72 points — a vast improvement for the Bobcats who finished in the lower half of last year’s tournament.
Goddard High School won the tournament and Lansing finished second.
Individually, Basehor’s Symon Seaton placed third in the 112-pound weight class, defeating Kyle Johnson of Columbus in overtime of the consolation final match.
Johnson attempted to toss him, but Seaton managed to counter and record a takedown for the points and victory.
While he was pleased to win the match, Seaton said he expected more when the tournament started on Friday.
“I wanted to finish on top, of course,” he said. “That is what you have to reach for, but it is better to finish in third place now than at state.”
Tournament success hung on a familiar foe for Seaton. In the semifinal match, he lost to Derrick Weller of Piper, 3-1. The two have developed a rivalry this season going back and forth in the matches, splitting them.
Seaton struggled to get up from the bottom position in the match and said he wasn’t sure what happened. Neil said it could be attributed to conditioning and Seaton still recovering from a hamstring injury.
“I don’t think he is completely back from (the) hamstring injury and stuff,” Neil said. “He had a tough bracket. I don’t think it was an easy bracket; probably on paper it looked a little bit easier. The kids who were there and their losses they had were legitimate losses. They weren’t pushover kids. I think he knows that he has to get in better shape now.”
Seaton said the loss will motivate him to work harder.
“It is probably going to (go) back and forth all the way to state,” he said of the rivalry with Weller. “We both have the technique; it is just a matter of who wants it more.”
Mike Torrez doesn’t have a major rival yet, but give it time. The sophomore is pulling upsets this season and placed fourth in the tournament.
Last year, as a freshman, he compiled a 0-2 record and credits the tournament with helping to prepare him for this season.
“It helped a lot. It is a lot easier this year to realize what I am going into and not some little tournament on the side,” he said.
In the Bobcat Classic, Torrez lost in the consolation match to Tommy Williams of St. Thomas Aquinas.
“He was tough and has been wrestling longer than I have,” he said. “I had an OK match, but I think that I could have done better.”
To wrestle in the semifinals, Torrez had to upset Zach Dremel of Olathe South. With the victory, Torrez said he felt like he improved as a wrestler.
“Yeah, it did. I heard he was really good. I had to warm up and think I could do it,” he said. “I wanted to push myself to work a little bit harder than I did on the previous kid.”
“I think he opened a few eyes with a couple of wins that he had,” Neil said.
Basehor’s Derek Pike placed eighth in the 135-pound weight class.
“He had a very good tournament and placed seventh as a freshman,” Neil said. “He was our sleeper I think; he was a nine seed and finished in seventh place. He finished above his seed, so that is a plus.”
Joe Johnson placed seventh in the 152-pound class.