There are myriad reasons why Lee’s Summit North wrestling is rolling this year. For coach Mick Cronk, there’s one that stands out above all.
“We’ve got awesome kids,” Cronk said after North won twice in a four-team dual meet Wednesday at Truman High School. “Not just wrestling, I’m talking about great kids.”
It helps, of course, that those great kids are great wrestlers with a wealth of experience. Cronk has six seniors in his varsity lineup and he also has five state qualifiers. It’s lineup that’s now 6-0 in duals after Wednesday’s sweep.
“They’ve just worked really hard,” Cronk said. “We have a saying in our room that iron sharpens iron, like one man sharpens another. Our kids have bought into that.”
That showed at Truman, where North cruised in both duals, crushing Truman 72-4 and Liberty North 49-21. The Broncos didn’t wrestle Blue Springs South.
Liberty North, though, did put up more of a fight than the final score showed. North racked up six pins, but most of its victories were hard-earned. Two-time state qualifier Triston Jones had a slim 4-0 lead before pinning his opponent at 160 pounds. And 195-pounder Aaron Barnhill trailed going into the third period before pinning the Eagles' Andrew Stephenson with just 27 seconds to go.
“I knew I was losing and I’m not a fan of losing,” Barnhill said of his win over Stephenson, who is ranked fourth in the state at 195. “I had to kick it into gear and make sure I pulled it off with a win.”
“That was the biggest win of the night,” Cronk said. “That was huge.”
Truman heavyweight David Brack scored a big victory when he pinned Sean Rojas of Blue Springs South in their dual. Brack’s victory put Truman up six, but the Patriots forfeited the final match at 106 pounds for a 39-39 tie.
The decision went to criteria points, and Truman was awarded a point, and the 40-39 victory, for having the fewest forfeits.
“I would have liked to have done better, especially in that match,” Truman coach Levi Goes said. “Anytime you’re wrestling in a match like that you don’t want it to come down to criteria, especially giving up as many pins as we did.”
Brack had two pins for Truman, which fell to Liberty North 72-9 in the evening’s final pairing. Sterling Trawick also had a pin against Blue Springs South at 220 pounds and earned a hard-fought 18-10 major decision against Liberty North’s Owen Moore.
Jimmy Trinidad-Lozano (170) also had a pin, and John Chapin (152) won an 11-5 decision for the Patriots against South.
Blue Springs South also lost to Liberty North 71-6. Evan Thielen (182) had South’s lone win with a first-period pin.
Thielen also won with a pin against Truman. Landon Shoemaker (106), Danny Hampton (113), Trey Greiner (138) and Cooper Boyles (195) also won by pin and Zander Dombrowski (145) won a 5-4 decision against Truman.
Despite the losses, Jaguars coach Doug Black was happy with his team’s showing.
“I liked how the kids came out and battled tonight,” he said. “For the kids that competed you couldn’t ask for anything else. They put it all on the line.
“I told the kids that we came out and battled and showed some pride. They can control what they can control, we are looking for individual performances now. Had some solid performances from Danny Hampton (113) and Evan Thielen.”