Grapplers take fifth at Paola
Following the excitement of the Basehor-Linwood Bobcat Classic last weekend and looking toward the Garden City High School Invitational this weekend, Basehor-Linwood wrestlers found themselves in a bit of a trap tournament on Saturday.
The tournaments are two of the toughest the team will compete in all year. Nestled in between was the Paola Invitational. The Bobcats suffered a bit of a letdown in Paola, placing fifth out of 11 teams in the tournament.
“It was a little bit below average tournament showing for us,” BLHS coach Scott Neil said. “I didn’t think we wrestled to the level we could.”
Neil expected the team to have a few more placers. The team also battled colds and influenza, and didn’t take all of its regular wrestlers to the tournament. As it was, just four wrestlers placed in the top four spots.
Symon Seaton won the 125-pound weight class despite being sick.
“I was happiest for him, and he learned to wrestle sick,” Neil said. “He showed some toughness and overcame adversity. He wrestled a very good tournament.”
He defeated Sasha Ambross of Bishop Miege in the championship match. Earlier, he won a match against Justin Sharp of Fort Scott.
In addition to Seaton, Garrett Kahle won the first tournament of his career in the 140-pound weight class, which is a sign of progress for the freshman wrestler.
He started the season slow, missing some tournaments because of debate conflicts, but has steadily improved on the mat. He nearly missed placing at the Bobcat Classic a week earlier and continues to impress Neil.
“He is a hardworking freshman who comes in and does extra work,” Neil said. “He is very coachable and is getting more solid in all of his positions. He is trying to become a full-package wrestler. I have hopes for him making the state tournament this year. I think he can make some noise as a freshman.”
In addition to Seaton and Kahle, Mike Torrez placed third in the 103-pound weight class. He defeated Arrington Kemp in the consolation final. Chandler King placed third in the 160-pound weight class. King defeated Jake Shridde of Great Bend in the consolation finals.
Joe Johnson did not wrestle in the meet because of illness.
This week’s meet
Basehor-Linwood will travel 420 miles one way to compete in the Garden City Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The tournament is one of the toughest in the state of Kansas. Teams from Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico will be in attendance
“Garden City will be very, very tough,” Neil said. “A lot of people like to argue our tournament or Newton, but I have known for a while Garden City is the toughest tournament in the state.”
The tournament has a lot of nationally ranked wrestlers in it.
“It is good for our wrestlers to get out and see what they have to do to wrestle at that level,” Neil said.