The Leavenworth Pioneers and Lansing Lions renewed their rivalry on Thursday night on the wrestling mat.
Lansing High School hosted their rival across Eisenhower Road in the Lions’ senior night celebration.
To make the dual more special, the schools battled in the high school auditorium instead of the gym.
Lansing head coach Nick Flynn said the different environment made the match special.
“Everything is about environment,” Flynn said. “(The auditorium) brings the atmosphere a little closer together. There are more people on top of you, it gets louder and you’re elevated up. The environment itself just kind of brings one more element to it. I was really glad (the school) let us do it and I think our fans enjoyed it. I know we had a lot of alumni in attendance and they enjoyed being here and watching it so kudos to the school for letting us do this and hopefully we can do it again in the future.”
Lansing ended up winning the dual 62-16.
Flynn said the meet was a fun night for the team. Camden Maestas, Ayreon Daniels, Gabriel Bailey, Joseph Irwin, Dylan McLain, Malachi Tinnel, Dylan Ward and Braiden McKee all won their matches for the Lions. Plus Tucker Bieber, Claye Howard and Marcus Hester won due to Leavenworth not having a wrestler in the class.
Leavenworth picked up wins from Hartwell Taylor, Sean Market and Tyler Robinson.
Leavenworth head coach Matt Long said the young Pioneers did not match up well with the older Lions.
“We lined up pretty uneven on them. We are younger and a lot less experienced. You look at a lot of their guys and they’re club team guys. They’ve all been wrestling since they were young. It’s a team that Nick (Flynn) has been waiting around for because he knew they were in the works. We had guys that were still growing and it was obvious.”
Long praised the three wrestlers on the team that picked up the win and said he hopes Jacob McLain can battle Irwin again after the close loss.