November 30, 2011
Given what the Bonner Springs High School wrestling team has accomplished during the past two seasons, there isn’t much higher for the Braves to set the bar — but they’re going to try.
The next logical step is for the team to earn a spot on the Class 4A state tournament podium and bring home a top-three trophy. That’s a feat that narrowly eluded BSHS last season.
“Coming off a regional championship and a fifth-place finish (at state) last year — and only losing one senior — expectations are high,” third-year BSHS coach Brandon Jobe said. “We have a great group of wrestlers who are focused and will put in the work to succeed. I would like to repeat as regional champions and improve our finish at the state tournament.”
The one senior lost to graduation is a big loss. Caleb Seaton won a state championship as a senior. Still, the cupboard is far from bare. Among the 13 returning letter-winners are state champion Jonathan Blackwell, third-place state medalist Aaron Puckett and fifth-place state medalist Mark Hobson.
In addition, Justus Seaton, Josiah Seaton and Jared Clements all are back after qualifying for state a year ago.
Blackwell, a junior, is expected to wrestle at 145 pounds this season. Hobson, a senior, will compete at 152 pounds and Puckett, a junior, will wrestle at 160. That should give BSHS one of the most talented middle-weight nucleuses in the state — and that’s just from the returning state medalists. Sophomore Josiah Seaton earned 2011 Greco-Roman All-American honors and will compete at 106 pounds. Justus Seaton, a two-time state qualifier and a 2011 Freestyle and Greco-Roman state runner-up, will wrestle at 113 pounds. Two-time letter-winner Austin Cobb, a senior, will compete at 126 or 132 pounds, and junior Coltin Bulkley — a fourth-place finisher at state in Freestyle and Greco-Roman — will occupy the 138-pound class. Junior Jared Clements — a 2010 kids club state runner-up — will compete at 170 pounds, and two-year letter-winner Patrick Ballard, a junior, will wrestle at 182 pounds.
Jobe also expects to see newcomers D.J. Ballard — a fourth-place finisher at Brute Nationals — compete for time at 106 or 113 pounds, and Bryan Lanning to vie for a spot at 132 or 138 pounds.
Bonner Springs opens the season at 4:30 p.m. today against Piper and Basehor-Linwood at Piper. The Braves then compete at 9 a.m. Saturday at Wamego.
Originally published at: http://www.basehorinfo.com/news/2011/nov/30/bshs-wrestling-squad-returns-significan-talent-pla/