All season long wrestling coaches have driven their teams with hopes that they would peak at just the right moment.
This past weekend represented that moment, and numerous local grapplers stepped up to the challenge.
Nineteen total area wrestlers will compete for a state crown this upcoming Friday after placing at their respective regional tournaments this past Saturday.
From its 5A regional in Topeka, Leavenworth had the most qualifiers with 10, while Lansing amassed seven at the same meet.
Pleasant Ridge acquired two state spots at its 3-1A regional in Onaga and Immaculata, at the same tournament, came up empty-handed.
Below is a complete regional rundown for each local school.
With its 10 qualifiers, the Pioneers earned 128 points to place fourth. Topeka Seaman took first with 185 points.
LV was led by two regional champions — Danny Wilson at 113 and Nathan Butler, who is now 40-0 for the year, at 285.
“As a coach, you always want the kids to peak at the end of the year,” Leavenworth coach Jay Johnston said. “Probably the best thing was seeing the kids, who have put in the time, get the reward.
“It was more of a celebration. So it's just great to see good things happen to good kids.”
Other Pioneer regional highlights included:
Brad Young, fourth at 106
Danny Wilson, first at 113
Danial Wilson, second at 132
Jacob Harrington, fourth at 152
Tilden Edwards, second at 160
Peter Gardner, fourth at 170
Josh Ammel, fourth at 182
Kenneth Sculley, fourth at 195
Jesse Colver, second at 220
Nathan Butler, first at 285
The team's 5A state tournament begins Friday inside the Hartman Arena in Wichita.
The Lions utilized its seven regional medalists to place fifth with 100 total team points.
Sky Summers was Lansing's top dog when he earned gold in the 120-pound class.
“We had a really good tournament and I felt like everybody stepped up,” Lions coach Ron Averill said. “I felt like they wrestled with a completely different attitude than they did at league.
“Every single one of those guys went in with a will to win and I was just very pleased with the wrestling, attitudes and outcome.”
Jordan Girard, third at 113
Sky Summers, first at 120
Cole Hoing, second at 126
Elijah Hill, third at 132
Will Gering, fourth at 138
Camden Chiles, fourth at 160
Caleb Ward, third at 182
Two Rams made it through to state from Ridge's 3-1A regional Saturday, where the team placed eighth with 67.5 points. ACCHS was first thanks to its 145 points.
Page 2 of 2 - Pleasant Ridge's Clayton Gum earned second at 106 and Jared Johnson kept his perfect season alive, 37-0, to win first at 170.
“I felt like the effort was definitely there,” PR coach Darren Weber said. “We showed up ready to wrestle, we were just a product of a really tough regional. The quarterfinals were crucial for us and we ended up losing those. It really defined our tournament, but that is the way it goes some times.”
The two Rams will begin the 3-1A state tournament Friday at Fort Hayes State University.
The Raiders ended up in 21st place at the Onaga regional with PR. The team failed to get a member state qualified, though it only had five participants compete.
Max Campbell (145) and Sam Linder (160) each went 2-2 while Bruce Stanley was 1-2 in the 152-pound class. Both Jared Clothier (132) and Cory Holcomb (138) finished 0-2.
“The regional tournament was probably one of the toughest in the state,” Imac coach Bobby Hancock said. “I was happy with how our young guys competed against that field, though, and the experience they were able to gain is invaluable.”