The noise was deafening inside the Blue Springs High School gym during a wrestling dual Tuesday night.
Shouts, cheers, athletes jumping up and down and instructions from the coaches on both sides all came at once as Blue Springs 120-pounder Cayden Dotson took down Lee’s Summit North’s Caden Schweitzer.
Dotson got Schweitzer’s shoulders close to the mat with about 4 seconds left. He needed the pin to give his team the win. As the buzzer sounded, the Lee’s Summit North’s sideline jumped and shouted in jubilation. However, it was so loud that the referee didn’t hear the buzzer go off and he slammed his hand to the mat, signaling that Dotson got the pin.
That’s when the Blue Springs side started celebrating. North coach Mick Cronk let the official know that time already expired. It was ruled that Dotson got just a near fall, giving him a 10-2 victory. But Blue Springs fell one point short of victory as the Broncos squeaked out a 33-32 win to capture their first Suburban Big Six Conference championship.
“It seemed like about four or five seconds (after the buzzer sounded),” Cronk said of the referee counting the pin. “It’s one of those things … It was exciting.”
Added North senior Zane Ragland: “It was crazy. Everybody was getting wild in here. We were freaking out because the ref couldn’t tell the time was out. We were trying to let him know that the time was out. That’s what is great about wrestling, all the energy that comes with it.”
Like the referee, Blue Springs coach Bobbe Lowe didn’t know time had expired.
“It was close, but (North) thought time was out,” Lowe said. “I wasn’t watching the clock.”
After trailing the entire dual, North finally got the lead when senior 113-pounder Alex Noble pinned Devin Baldwin in the first period to put the Broncos ahead 33-28.
“None of the guys told me, but I knew it was a big match,” Noble said. “Everything was riding on me, so I had to make it work.”
So did 195-pounder Aaron Barnhill, who bumped up to 220 to face Blue Springs’ Brock Sullivan. He avoided two near takedowns from Sullivan while getting two of his own and a near fall in a 7-1 victory.
“It was a lot different,” Barhill said of wrestling a heavier opponent. “Zane is my wrestling partner and he’s 182 pounds, so it’s a big difference. He was 30 pounds heavier than I am. You don’t take that into account. You just go in for the shot.”
Added Cronk: “Aaron is a freak athlete. He is about as athletic as they come. Once he gets a little more wrestling savvy, he is this close to doing some amazing things.”
Trey Robinson (138) beat Jace Mansfield 7-2; Mark McGhee (285) won by forfeit; Hunter Ross (145) pinned Devin Scribner in the first period; Zack Coetzee (195) defeated Colin Horan 3-0; and Ragland (182) pinned Aaron Hazen in the first period for the Broncos.
Aside from Dotson’s win for Blue Springs, Corbin Katamura (170) earned a 6-1 victory against Carter Pickering; defending state champion Corbin Shepherd earned a first-period pin vs. Chance Savage; Jason Gross (132) topped Ryan McNeel 11-6; DeAndre Thomas dominated in a 21-5 tech fall win over Javi Gutierrez; and Michael Infranca (160) was a 16-1 winner against Morgan Wilkins.
“We had a shot at winning the dual. I know they had a few guys out,” Lowe said. “We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities. We had guys who left points there and didn’t pick up points that they knew we needed to have.
“We have some things that we need to work on. We need to go back to the drawing board and really focus on competing hard.”