As he prepared for his final match at the Sunflower League wrestling tournament, Olathe North’s Kelvys Gonzalez had one phrase ringing in his head — put on a show.
He did just that with a thrilling 14-13 decision against Olathe Northwest’s Kavian Kalantari in the 126-pound championship match. His victory also helped the Eagles win the team title with 308.5 points, which was 131 points better than second place Lawrence Free State.
“Coach is always telling us to score and put on a show,” Gonzalez said. “He got some shots on me, but I kept calm, controlled myself, found some angles and never gave up.”
Gonzalez was one of 10 Eagles who advanced to league title matches on Saturday at Leavenworth High School. Eight of them were victorious. The other winners were Riley Alderman (113 pounds), Terrell Garraway (132), Blake Stovall (138), Tyler Moulden (145), Isaac Dulgarian (170), Emilio Fowler (182) and Chase Miller (285).
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“We had a lot of ups and some downs today, but it is building for next week and the week after that,” Olathe North coach Josh Carroll said. “I am pleased, but not 100 percent.”
Olathe Northwest, which placed third, had five wrestlers compete in championship matches. All five finished second and Olathe Northwest finished 1.5 points behind Lawrence Free State.
Aside from Kalantari, Olathe Northwest’s other four runners-up were Will Whitaker (106), Taylor Jokerst (120), Doug Newcomb (138) and Evan Pardue (145). Ravens coach Steve Mesa was named Sunflower League Coach of the Year.
“We have got to be tougher at the end of the match when time is running out,” Mesa said. “Some of our headline guys didn’t finish their moves and I want to make sure we’re finishing the right way to be on top at the end of the match.”
Huskies are EKL champs
Blue Valley Northwest wrestling coach Tim Serbousek knew he would have to establish a strong base in order to set up his Huskies for lasting success.
Now, all of the behind-the-scenes work is paying off. The Huskies won the Eastern Kansas League title on Saturday at Blue Valley Southwest, which builds on last year’s third-place finish at the Kansas Class 6A state tournament.
“You have to have kids to wrestle and kids to push you,” Serbousek said. “That is why they are wrestling so well, because they have a room full of kids who don’t care if they are first string, second string or third. They come in and push the guy in front of them.”
According to Serbousek, the Huskies tied the program’s school record with six individual league champions. Winners were Sam Elliott (126), Jason Laramore (132), Max Tierney (160), Chris Lyons (182), Foster Jacobs (195) and Colin Kenney (285). They had 11 wrestlers overall in championship matches.
Gardner Edgerton placed second in the EKL team standings with two individual champions: Jensen McDermott (113) and Dustin Carstens (170).
Mill Valley wins crown
Four Mill Valley wrestlers placed first in their respective weight classes and helped lead the Jaguars to a first-place finish in the Kaw Valley League tournament.
Conner Ward kicked off the effort with a league title in the 113-pound weight class, followed by Bryan Burnett (152), Seth Burnett (170) and Peyton Bendure (182). Four more Mill Valley wrestlers earned second-place finishes for a narrow nine-point victory over Lansing.