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Examiner
  • Wildcats top Liberty as '92-93 team honored

  • Wednesday was a night to pay heed at Blue Springs High School.

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  • Wednesday was a night to pay heed at Blue Springs High School.
    As the Wildcat wrestling team hosted Liberty, the 1992-93 Blue Springs team was honored to commemorate the squad’s 20-year anniversary since finishing third in the state.
    About a dozen members of that group were on hand, including coach Glenn Berry. Tables with trophies, scrapbooks and old newspaper articles were set up in the back of the gym, and the former Wildcats were recognized in the middle of the dual. At night’s end, plans were made to meet up at Applebee’s to trade wrestling war stories from the good old days.
    Meanwhile, the current Wildcats more than likely wrapped up a Suburban Big Six Conference championship by downing the Blue Jays 53-27.
    “As always, they’re very well coached,” said Berry, who handed over control of the program to current coach Mike Hagerty following that ’93 season. “They’re very exciting. It’s amazing how things change and things don’t change. They’re still very good on their feet. You can tell (Hagerty’s) influence.”
    Berry and Hagerty both talked about the enormous role tradition has always played within the program. On a night when Blue Springs’ youth wrestling teams were also introduced and traded fist-bumps with the high school squad, that sentiment wasn’t lost on the guys currently suiting up for the Cats.
    “It was pretty cool to see them,” said Darick Lapaglia, who pinned Damien Henderson in the 145-pound match. “I see a lot of those guys around. ... But it’s cool to see them come back and still be involved.”
    Hagerty talked about the bridge that unites the Blue Springs wrestling coaches. With only three coaches in school history (Chuck Sears started the program in the late 1960s), Hagerty said there’s always been a bond between all the guys from each era.
    “It’s cool because there’s only been three wrestling coaches in the history of Blue Springs High School and that shows a degree of consistency in the program,” Hagerty said. “So a lot of these guys can connect with either the Sears era or the Berry era. Then when I came in, a lot of these guys have had a chance to be part of a group that’s consistent.”
    While Hagerty’s team drew raves from Berry, he offered a much harsher critique. In addition to Lapaglia, Jayme Allen (160), Loren Vasquez (170) and Michael Pixley (182) notched pins and Daniel Lewis earned a 16-0 technical fall at 138, but Hagerty was frustrated by a familiar inconsistency from his lineup.
    “We have guys like Daniel and Darick and Pixley doing the same thing over and over again,” he said. “Just going out and winning. But it’s disheartening that they have to carry the load all the time. These guys are emotionally a little bit tired of it.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Hagerty did compliment Allen, who scored his third consecutive pin by downing Damon Braughton. In Tuesday’s triangular, Allen topped Raymore-Peculiar’s Zach Short and Lee’s Summit’s Kyler Milligan as Blue Springs topped the Panthers 47-27 and the Tigers 57-18, respectively.
    “If he continues to grow over the next two and a half weeks, he might be somewhat of a threat at 160 to get to the state tournament and score some points for us.”
     

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