The Kansas City area has once again flexed its muscles in the state high school wrestling championships.

The Kansas City area has once again flexed its muscles in the state high school wrestling championships.

It has been the same story year in and year out at the state level. Wrestling is a sport that requires both mental and physical toughness as well as an unbelievable dedication by both athletes and coaches.

A few weeks ago we were able to interview local wrestling legend, Bob Glasgow, on our radio show. When the former 11-time state champion at Oak Grove was asked his opinion of why this area has remained so strong at the state level, his response was that all of the local high school programs are one big family willing to share ideas with one another.

Some of the greatest rivalries are mentor versus protégé. A great example is Mike Hagerty of Blue Springs and Bill Erneste at Park Hill. Mike was Bill’s college coach at the University of Central Missouri. Bill also served as an assistant to Hagerty at Blue Springs.

Following his stint at Blue Springs, Bill continued his career at Park Hill, where he has turned the Trojans into a state power just like Mike’s Blue Springs program. Last week these two schools finished first and second in the Class 4 state championships held in Columbia. It was back-to-back championships for the Wildcats, but the Trojans were right on their heels all the way.

Through the years, area sports that have had strong finishes in football, wrestling, softball, swimming, tennis and golf. Although the individual programs are opponents and want to beat each other, there still is a mutual respect which provides for great competition on a regular basis.

The level of competition provides an advantage to the Kansas City schools over other programs in the state. The local competitions are often equal to or greater in difficulty than the actual state match. The players are prepared for the highest level of competition. My motto has always been, “The more you go to the well, the easier it is to drink the water.” To compete against the best gives an athlete the understanding and confidence it takes to compete at the state level.

n Jeremy Lin has turned a very boring NBA regular season into something fun  to watch.  

n As I spend three weeks in southern Florida, the sound and smell of  Spring Training is great stuff.
n Is it possible for both Missouri and Kansas to get No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament? Wouldn’t that be a shot in the arm for area college basketball?

n My quote of the week is from NFL coaching legend Tom Landry: “We like competition. We think it  brings out the best in people.”