Broncos, Wildcats advance all to Class 4 sectionals
Lee's Summit North qualifies all 14 wrestlers while claiming district team title
When Lee’s Summit North wrestling coach Mick Cronk looked at the field for the Class 4 District 7 tournament, he said his team had a chance to do something special.
That’s exactly what his Broncos did as they earned their first district title in the 26-year history of the program with 224.5 points Saturday at Blue Springs High School. Blue Springs was second with 199 points, Blue Springs South (146) was third and Truman (36) was seventh.
“We knew we had a really good team,” Cronk said. “Blue Springs South has really improved and Blue Springs is really good. But going in, I thought we were the best overall team.
“I really thought we could’ve got a couple more kids into the finals, but overall, I am very excited with how we wrestled. We were really focused and did what we needed to do to be successful.”
The top four wrestlers in each weight division advanced to the Class 4 Sectional 4 Tournament on Feb. 20 and North qualified all 14 of its wrestlers. Six wrestlers won individual district championships, including Charlie Dykes (113), Caden Schweitzer (120), Trey Robinson (138), Javi Gutierrez (145), Cody Steinbrugge (152) and Aaron Barnhill (195).
Other Broncos to qualify were Paden Cole (third, 106), Seth Hooper (third, 126), Ryan McNeel (third, 132), Wayne Peterson (second, 160), Blake Horner-Ogle (third, 170), Joe Engle (third, 182), Owen Moore (fourth, 220) and Trevor Taylor (second, 285).
Dykes, a freshman, improved to 15-13 after earning a 15-0 tech fall victory in the semifinals and pinning Rockhurst freshman Reid Moshier in the finals.
“I missed half (of the season) because of COVID,” Dykes said. “But it feels pretty good to win this. I am just going to do my best at sectionals and go out there and try to win it.”
Like Dykes, Robinson, Gutierrez and Steinbrugge will be looking to make their first state appearances. Robinson got a pin in the semifinals before earning a 7-2 victory against Blue Springs senior Jason Gross in the finals.
Gutierrez got a pin in the semifinals and beat Blue Springs junior Jase Mansfield 11-4 in the championship match. Steinbrugge wrestled three matches. He got a pin in the quarterfinals, earned an 11-6 decision in the semifinals and got a 13-4 major decision win against Blue Springs’ Devin Scribner.
“Javi had a great tournament,” Cronk said. “He really went out and dominated. But when he wrestles at sectionals in two weeks, 145 might be one of the toughest brackets. If he wrestled like he did this weekend, he has a good chance to go to state.
“Cody wrestled really well. Hopefully we can keep that going. He’s had an up and down season, but if we can get him going on the right track, he could have a good showing at sectionals.”
Schweitzer will have one last chance to earn a state medal this season. He made state as a freshman and sophomore but didn’t go last season. He punched his ticket to sectionals with pins in both his matches, including one in 2:35 against Blue Springs South sophomore Daniel Hampton in the finals.
“I definitely knew I needed to pick his head up on that pin,” Schweitzer said of his match with Hampton. “The kid has an amazing bridge. That’s impossible to pin. Just going in, I knew if I attacked the head, I was going to be fine.”
Barnhill, who qualified for state last season and is ranked No. 2 at 195 in Class 4 according to MissouriWrestling.com, had to wrestle only one match. He pinned Blue Springs South junior Cooper Boyles in just 50 seconds.
Like North, Blue Springs qualified all of its wrestlers. The Wildcats had five individual district champions including Aleksei Wojtkiewicz (106), No. 1-ranked Korbin Shepherd (132), No. 5-ranked Jaxson McIntyre (160), Corbin Katamura (182) and No. 5-ranked Brock Sullivan (285).
Also qualifying were Cayden Dotson (second, 126), Gross, Scribner, Mansfield, Mason Sullivan (second, 170), Colin Horan (third, 195) and Dom Howlett (third, 220).
“We had 12 guys and they had 14,” Blue Springs coach Bobbe Lowe said of having two open weights in the competition for first place with North. “It was like going to a gunfight with a couple less bullets.
“But the kids wrestled really well. I am pretty happy with their performance. We had some kids step up and wrestle the best that they have all year. We had some kids win matches that they lost earlier in the year. That’s what you want to see.”
Wojtkiewicz probably got the loudest reaction from his teammates when he pinned Blue Springs South’s Logan Mainard in 3:51 in the finals.
“The last time I wrestled him, in the first period I rolled my ankle after I got a takedown,” Wojtkiewicz said. “He got on top of me after that and pinned me. I felt so bad. It felt so good to get my revenge right there.”
Shepherd, who has finished second at state twice and was a state champ as a sophomore, got a pin in the semifinals and pinned Raytown’s JT Westervelt in 1:07 in the title bout. McIntyre got pins in both of his matches, including one in the finals against Peterson.
Katamura got a pin in just 14 seconds in the semifinals before pinning Blue Springs South’s Evan Theilin in 1:17 in the championship. Brock Sullivan earned a hard-fought 8-5 victory in the semifinals before pinning Taylor in 2:51 in the finals.
Dotson, ranked No. 4, led Rockhurst’s Jacob Franklin 14-1 in the final and went for a spladle and a pin. However, when attempting the move, his shoulders were on the mat, and the official called a defensive pin in favor of Franklin.
“I have seen defensive pins before,” Lowe said. “That was a really weird deal. Cayden made a mistake. I know he was trying to go for the fall, but you can’t put your back on the mat. That’s one of the first things you learn. You can’t go to your back.”
Blue Springs South had one district champion and nine other qualify for state. Zander Dombrowski won at 170, getting pins in all three of his matches, including Mason Sullivan in the finals in 3:56.
Others to qualify for the Jaguars included Mainard, Carl Larson (fourth, 113), Hampton, Tyler Field (fourth 126), Jacob Williams (third, 145), Robert Greiner III (third, 152), Theilin, Boyles, Tommy LaPour (second, 220) and Callen Smithpeter (third, 285).
Truman pushed through four to sectionals including Nathan Noda (third, 138), Jaylon Pickens (third, 160), John Chapin (fourth, 170) and Colton Treloar (fourth, 182).
The top three in the four sectional meets advance to state on March 13 at Cable Dahmer Arena.