Blue Springs senior Daniel Lewis will tell you he’s been on a hot streak lately.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
That’s just his humble way of acknowledging the fact that he is undefeated in his last two seasons of high school wrestling, including a 24-0 ledger so far this year.
His streak continued Saturday night as Lewis, the three-time Missouri Class 4 state champion, added to his accomplishments with a fourth consecutive Bobcat Classic title at Basehor Linwood High School. He is the first wrestler in tournament history to win four straight titles after a victory against Columbus’ Taylor Watkins in the 160-pound weight class.
Lewis was also named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.
“It means that I’ve been putting in the right amount of work, I’ve been doing the right things, staying with the plan and executing it well,” Lewis said.
Lewis, who will wrestle atMissouri next season, won all five of his matches by pinning opponents in 1:45 or less and needed just 52 seconds to pin Watkins. He improved to 159-4 in his high school career with the victory.
“He came out hot with that single leg, but with my defense I was lucky to catch him, bent him over and then everybody knows me because of my cradles, so that is what I went out there and tried to do,” Lewis said. “That is one of the strongest kids I’ve wrestled. I just stayed with the plan, got the cradle and got it done.”
Fellow Wildcat Michael Pixley also won, defeating Caleb Ward of Lansing to help secure an eighth-place finish for Blue Springs.
St. James Academy, the top-ranked Class 5A team in Kansas, won the tournament with four first-place finishes. Reese Cokeley kicked things off with a victory against Kendall Frame of Goddard in the 126-pound weight class. Then junior Zak Hensley defeated Tonganoxie’s Clayton Himpel in the 132-pound weight class.
The Thunder’s only championship match loss of the day came when defending state champion Andrew Tujague fell to Lansing’s Michael Olsen. Junior Matt Pratt, who was wrestling up a weight class this tournament, won his with an injury retirement by Atchison’s Tyler Harris and Trent Salsbury closed out the day with a victory against Gavin Grater of Riley County.
“It was a complete team effort,” St. James head coach Mike Medina said. “The boys work hard every morning, every afternoon and I think they got what they deserved.”
Corbin Nirschl of Basehor Linwood, Josiah Seaton of Bonner Springs and Ben Ewing of St. Thomas Aquinas were other winners.