Wrestling super regionals begin Friday at 1 p.m.
Sixteen prep wrestling teams will descend on Leavenworth High School on Friday with hopes of sending their grapplers to the state finals a weekend later.
Beginning at 1 p.m. the host Pioneers and the Lansing Lions will be front and center among teams from DeSoto, KC Schlagle, KC JC Harmon, KC Sumner Academy, KC Turner, KC Washington, St. James Academy, Blue Valley Southwest, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pittsburg, Mill Valley, Shawnee Heights, Highland Park and Topeka Seaman.
Weigh-ins are Friday and the top eight wrestlers in the 14 weight classes advance to state the following day as action is scheduled for 9 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m.
“It is set up a little different than years past,” Lansing head coach Nick Flynn said. “Typically it is just a one-day tournament with eight teams and the top four go to state. This year they combined the regional to make two super regions. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I've seen it all happen before at the regional tournament.
“Any wrestler on my line has a realistic shot at making the state tournament. All that matters is who brings it that day.”
“I honestly think that everyone has a chance to qualify for state,” Leavenworth head coach Jacob Beck said. “This time of year records go out the window and drive, determination and heart take center stage. The new super regional system changes a few things as well.”
Flynn has been keeping an eye on the competition in hopes of seeing where some of his boys stack up.
“Tucker Bieber, Joseph Irwin, Claye Howard, Luke Wagner, Tyler Green, James Schafer and Braiden Mckee are all likely wrestlers to make it to the state tournament,” Flynn said. “Our other wrestlers certainly have a shot. They may have to beat someone who has beaten them earlier in the year, but it is certainly obtainable.
“I am excited for my team going into this weekend. Really it is just an exciting time of the year. This is what it is all about. Wrestlers across the state have been preparing for the next two weekends all year. As we go into the tournament the only thing that matters is that day’s performance. Any match that has taken place before has just been preparation for the day. Our team has had its ups and downs throughout the year, as any team has, but we are excited to finish the year on a good note. We have a lot of momentum coming off of senior night and a huge win over Olathe South and we are looking to bring that emotion into the regional tournament. I can’t wait to watch our men in action.”
Beck feels good about his team, which comes off a third-place finish in a tough, Sunflower League, and that momentum could play a big role in how they perform this weekend.
“We are focused and ready to roll and concentrating on our own needs and strengths,” Beck said. “The first match is with the scale on Friday morning, then it's time to cut it loose and brawl. The team is excited and prepared.”
Basehor-Linwood will head to one of the four regionals with the aim of sending a number of Bobcats to state.
BLHS will compete in the Santa Fe Trail Regional which will feature Atchison, Baldwin, Bonner Springs, Eudora, Holton, KC Bishop Ward, KC Piper, Jefferson West, Ottawa, Santa Fe Trail, Bishop Miege, Spring Hill, Tonganoxie and Topeka-Hayden.
Pleasant Ridge will send its team to the Class 3A-2A-1A Waubaunsee Regional which will host a bevy of teams including, Maur Hill, Riverbend, Burlingame, Council Grove, Atchison County, Eskridge-Mission Valley, Herington, Hiawatha, Highland-Doniphan West, Royal Valley, Marysville, Onaga, Osage City, Oskaloosa, Perry-Lecompton, Riley County, Rossville, Sabetha, Silver Lake, St. Marys, Wabaunsee and Riverside.