BLHS freshman Nirschl reaches finals at Bobcat Classic
Hopper, McCleary, Handke still alive in consolation bracket
In his first high school season, Basehor-Linwood's Corbin Nirschl will have a chance Saturday to do something no Bobcat has ever done on a wrestling mat.
Nirschl, the state's top-ranked 106-pounder in Class 4A, went 4-0 in Friday's competition at the Bobcat Classic, improving to a perfect 14-0 on the season and setting up a finals showdown with Matthew Schmitt of Platte County (Mo.) in Saturday's finale. A win the finals would make him the school's first individual champion in the history of the tournament.
The Bobcat freshman opened with a 15-0 win against Jordan Drimmel of Atchison, then pinned Blue Valley's Gage Harmon to reach the semifinals. He scored a 2-0 victory against Louie Romero of Mountain Range (Colo.) in the semis, setting the stage for his championship appearance. Schmitt went 3-0 on Friday and enters the match at 31-0 on the year.
Seniors John Hopper (152), Cory McCleary (160) and James Handke (170) each suffered one loss on Friday, but are still alive in the consolation bracket, where they could finish as high as third in their respective weight classes. Hopper will open against Platte County's Matt Boren, McCleary will wrestle Turner's Kason Clark and Handke will take on Royal Valley's Chance Ogden. All three seniors enter Saturday's competition in the same situation: They would be eliminated with a loss in their first match, but a win guarantees them a spot in the top eight.
As a team, Basehor-Linwood is currently 12th out of 35 teams with 59.5 points. St. James enters Saturday atop the team standings with 163 points — 11.5 more than second-place Goddard. Saturday's competition will begin at 10 a.m. with consolation action. A live video stream of Saturday's matches is available here.