Leavenworth wrestler Nathan Butler has earned a lot of accolades and awards over his stellar career, but the one trophy that had always eluded him was the Lee's Summit Holiday Invitational, one of the toughest meets on the Pioneer schedule.
That is until now.
Butler rolled through the competition with five pins and one decision to capture the heavyweight title of the weekend event. He beat St. Louis McCluer North's Tavon Butler in the finals 7-0, to improve to 17-0 on the season.
"This was the only tournament he's never won," Leavenworth wrestling coach Jay Johnston said. "It's an incredibly tough field with a lot of powerhouse teams from the Missouri side. He wrestled great."
The Pioneers finished 18th out of the tough 22-team field, but fielded a young lineup with several opens in the weight classes.
"We've had a rash of injuries and we took a lot of young kids," Johnston said. "It gave us a chance to get a lot of guys some experience and they all battled hard."
Two-time state qualifier Danny Wilson at 113 pounds also had a nice showing for the Pioneers, taking fourth place overall. He won four of his seven matches to improve 11-3 overall.
Johnston also praised Danial Wilson (no relation) at 132 pounds, who battled back to win this last three matches in the tourney to go 4-3 overall.
The Pioneers will have a couple of weeks off for the holidays before competing in the North Kansas City Invitational on Jan. 4-5.