Daniel Lewis admitted that initially he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go through the preparation and take part in the 22nd Annual Missouri vs. Kansas Metro Classic All-Star Wrestling Dual.
The Missouri fans at the Kansas City Kansas Community College were glad the Blue Springs senior put on one more show Tuesday, though.
Lewis, a four-time state champion who went unbeaten in his last two high school seasons, pinned his Kansas opponent, St. James Academy’s Andrew Tujague, in 1:17. That 152-pound bout capped a string of six consecutive wins for the Missouri wrestlers, producing a 27-7 lead that proved too much for Kansas to overcome.
With a 33-23 victory, Missouri’s senior all-stars have captured back-to-back Classics and four of the past five and hold a 14-8 all-time lead.
William Chrisman’s Josh Wallace (170) and Blue Springs South’s Wyatt Parker (182) dropped their matches, but Plattsburg’s Dylan McClain and Lawson’s Austen Eskew claimed the next two bouts to clinch the win for Missouri before Staley 285-pounder Bailey Sutko dropped a 2-0 decision to Jefferson West’s Justin Scott.
In the end, Lewis was glad he took the mat one more time before heading off to a collegiate career at the University of Missouri.
“It was just one match, and the practices (which started two weeks ago) were at Blue Springs,” Lewis said. “Plus, they put my picture on the flier for it, so I kind of had to.
“We had some good practices. I got some better practices this week than I did all year.”
Tujague was a two-time state champion himself, but like many others stood little chance against Lewis, who got a quick a takedown and then worked for the right position to run his trademark cradle, a scenario the Missouri fans have grown accustomed to seeing.
“They were going ‘ohhhhhh.’ They knew it was coming, and (Tujague) knew it was coming,” Lewis said. “I could hear his coaches say, ‘Stay on the top hand! Stay on the top hand!’ to keep my hand from coming over the top.
“That’s always the plan, get the quick takedown and go to work. I just wore the guy out. It doesn’t feel good to have almost 160 pounds pressing down on you.”
Wallace, who took third at state at 182 pounds, got pinned in 4:40 by Shawnee Mission Northwest’s LaPhonso McKinnis. Wallace reversed for a late four-point move and a 5-4 lead in the first, reversed again in the second to get within 9-7, then got caught trying to score from the down position in the third.
“I wish I hadn’t tried that move at the end,” Wallace said. “If I’d played it more solid, I had a chance to win. He was good at staying back without getting too extended, and he was a really good scrambler.”
Wallace said his favorite part of the Metro Classic was the practices because of all the stiff competition.
“I went from being the best kid in the room to probably the worst, to be honest,” he said. “It was humbling, but it was a lot of fun.”
Parker, who placed sixth at state at 182, had a rough time escaping and couldn’t fend off Topeka’s Austin Tillman, dropping a 10-4 decision.
“He’s good on his feet, and that’s my strength, too, so when I get someone who’s better at that, it kind of cancels me out,” Parker said. “He was good on his feet and quick off the whistle.
“It was a great honor,” he added of being chosen to represent Missouri. “I used to come here as a little kid and watch them wrestle, and it was always a dream of mine to get selected for this.”
Team Kansas had an early 7-0 lead thanks to wins by Bonner Springs’ Josiah Seaton over Platte County’s Matthew Barmann at (10-1 at 106) and Leavenworth’s Danny Wilson over Smithville’s Hunter Sparrow (6-2 at 113).
But Lee’s Summit Alan Olivas, sixth at state at 126, beat Kansas 120-pound state champ Donte Boose of Sumner Academy, racking up seven takedowns in a 14-6 win.
“We knew the first three matches would be tough, but Alan Olivas kind of got the ball rolling for us,” said Oak Grove coach Bobbe Lowe, who served as one of the three Missouri coaches. “I think it surprised some people, but he came out to compete and it showed.”
At 126, Park Hill’s John Erneste beat St. James Academy’s Reese Cokeley 8-3, and Oak Park 132-pounder Noah Teaney scored a 9-1 win over Blue Valley Southwest’s Sawyer Like. Then, Kearney 138-pounder Blake Clevenger won by injury default over Lansing’s unbeaten Michael Olsen, as Olsen injured his left leg after getting a tying reversal in the first period.
In perhaps the most decorated bout, Kearney 145-pounder and three-time state champ Grant Leeth (runner-up as a freshman) outmuscled Rossville four-time champ Tagen Lambotte 12-4. The two are bound for college mats at Duke and Iowa, respectively.
“He got a little tired at the end,” Lowe said of Leeth, “but he’s a very tough kid and he knew it what it takes to win.”
Kansas got a win at 160 pounds as Gardner-Edgerton’s Dustin Williams handled St. Joseph Benton’s Tyler McNutt 14-6. McClain beat Ottawa’s Dalton Weidl 13-7 at 195, and Eskew reversed out of a near-pin in the first period on his way to a 9-7 win over Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Mario Galvan at 220.