Olathe North made it four Sunflower League wrestling titles in a row and the Eagles had won the championship before the finals started on Saturday at Shawnee Mission West High School.
The Eagles scored 239 points for the victory. Olathe Northwest finished second with 171.5 points.
“We had it wrapped up (early) and that is a testimony to the kids,” Olathe North coach Josh Carroll said. “We had 12 placers and seven in the finals.”
Most wrestlers are worried about putting on weight, but not Olathe South sophomore 106-pounder Jace Koelzer.
“I finished fifth last year,” he said. “And I just weighed about 94 pounds.
“Now I weigh around 110 and it has had a big impact on my wrestling.”
Koelzer had an easy time winning at 106 on Saturday, beating SM Northwest sophomore Jerad Habben 13-1 in the finals to improve his record to 35-2.
In the league tournament’s final match, Olathe North senior 285-pounder Chase Miller pinned Nick Carson of SM North in the first period.
The victory improved Miller’s record to 40-3.
Miller placed third at the Kansas Class 6A state tournament last year and is looking to improve on that finish next week.
“I want to win it this year,” he said. “I need to keep working hard every day in the wrestling room.”
Darion Bailey of Olathe South got an escape in the second period and took a 1-0 lead over top-seeded Riley Alderman of Olathe North at 120 pounds.
Bailey, a junior, made the lead hold up and went on to win the match, 1-0.
“I knew I had to stay tough and have a mentality that he’s not going to score,” Bailey said. “I just hung tough and tried to keep driving on top to keep him busy.”
Bailey improved his record to 25-12 and notched just his second victory ever over Alderman.
Olathe North sophomore Jevon Parrish placed third last year at 106 pounds.
He moved up to 113 and won the weight class with a 19-7 decision over Bennett King of Lawrence Free State.
“I set up my shots well (today),” he said. “I scored points by getting takedowns.”
Parrish will take a 41-5 record into his Kansas Class 6A regional on Saturday.
Olathe North’s Terrell Garraway turned a close bout into a pin in the third period against SM East senior Michael Aldridge at 145 pounds.
Garraway, a sophomore who won at 132 pounds last year, led just 2-1 after the first period. He started allowing Aldridge to escape, then proceeded to record a takedown.
“He was blocking my legs because that is how I beat him last year,” Garraway said.
In the third period, Garraway sensed an opportunity.
“I could tell he was going over,” he said.
The pin came with 48 seconds left in the bout and improved Garraway’s record to 37-8.
BV Southwest first in EKL
Blue Valley Northwest senior Sam Elliott was clearly proud of his achievements as a four-time Eastern Kansas League wrestling champion on Saturday.
However, Elliott quickly admitted that he was overcome with a sense of relief by his achievement in one of the state’s most competitive leagues.
“It’s kind of a weight off my shoulders that the fourth one is over,” Elliott said. “It’s always scary, especially going into the last one and the last year as a senior. It’s a lot to think about.”
Elliott faced just two opponents on his path to the 132-pound conference title, since one of his opponents forfeited. He won the other two matches by fall and major decision.
BV Northwest teammates Jason Laramore, Garret Tierney, Max Tierney and Blake Johnson also won individual titles to lead the Huskies to a second-place finish.
Blue Valley Southwest won the EKL team title. Justin Williams, Riley McCall and Marty Verhaeghe of BV Southwest each won their respective weight classes.
Gardner Edgerton finished third, sparked by first-place finishes by Drake Taysom and Edrick Rouse.
Kathleen Gier, firstname.lastname@example.org