816 North

Platte County wrestling enjoys successful dress rehearsal for district meet

Platte County’s Cody Phippen (left) gained control of Lee’s Summit North’s Hunter Ross during the 126-pound final Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in the Lydia’s Lights Blue Springs South Wrestling Tournament. Phippen, a two-time state champion, pinned Ross for the title.
Platte County’s Cody Phippen (left) gained control of Lee’s Summit North’s Hunter Ross during the 126-pound final Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in the Lydia’s Lights Blue Springs South Wrestling Tournament. Phippen, a two-time state champion, pinned Ross for the title. Special to The Star

As the last tournament on the schedule before districts, the Lydia’s Lights Blue Springs South Tournament served as somewhat of a dress rehearsal for Platte County’s wrestlers.

A look at the final brackets suggests the Pirates are in great shape.

Platte County didn’t take the team title in the 14-school tournament Jan. 26-27 at Blue Springs South, but the Pirates finished solidly in second place with four individual champions and five other top-four medalists.

It was precisely the kind of performance Platte County wrestling coach Reggie Burress wanted to see with the Class 3, District 4 tournament at Winnetonka less than two weeks away.

“I think we have kids who are peaking at the right time,” Burress said, “and that’s what you need going into districts. We’ll clean up a couple little things in the next two weeks and we’ll be ready to compete.”

Platte County’s Cody Phippen looked ready after tearing through the 126-pound weight division. Phippen (38-3), a two-time state champion, pinned his way through the pool rounds and capped his run by pinning Lee’s Summit North’s Hunter Ross in the final.

“Cody’s Cody,” Burress said. “He’s going to go out and wrestle hard and do what he does.”

Blake Bills also finished strong, pinning Hazelwood Central’s Devin Trujillo in the 120 title bout, as did Dakota Schmidt, a returning state qualifier who pinned Blue Springs South’s Brady Childers in the 182 final.

Finally, Sage Smart, another returning state qualifier, claimed a 14-2 major decision versus Waynesville’s Ethan Gatzmeyer during the 220 final.

Platte County also had runner-up finishes from Nick Filger (138) and Colton Davis (152), while Grant Stathopoulos (106) placed third and both Nolan Saale (145) and Matthew Knopp (285) finished fourth.

“We knew we had a chance to come in here and place a lot of kids, and we did,” Burress said.

Just not enough to catch Waynesville, which had five individual champions and scored 518.5 team points. The Pirates finished with 447 points, which was good for second, followed by Lee’s Summit North (309) and Park Hill South (263.5).

“I thought we wrestled well in most weight classes,” Burress said. “A couple of weight classes I thought we could have done more, but we’ll get back to the drawing board and fix some things we need to fix.”

Park Hill South had one champion — Cameron Gillespie, who won the title at 170 with a 17-2 technical fall against Lee’s Summit’s Grant Parrish. The Panthers’ Carter Thomas (132) and Jackson Minor (160) each finished second with Gage Baska (126) third and Andrew Mikuls (138) fourth.

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