As girls’ wrestling continues to grow at the high school level in Kansas and nationwide, the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats will host a home wrestling tournament for girls’ teams Saturday.
This is the first season as their own team. It is also the first time Basehor has hosted a home tournament for girls’ wrestling.
Basehor-Linwood will host Anderson County, Atchison County, Harmon, Pittsburg, Prairie View, Rock Creek and Spring Hill.
Although the sport is still growing, head coach Jay Johnston said the Bobcats won’t see too many rematches from previous meets.
“Girls’ wrestling is seeing explosive growth across the state and country and is one of the fastest growing sports in America,” Johnston said. “Other schools will likely see rematches but we won't see too many. Our last tournament was in Missouri and the Atchison County Community High School tournament was canceled due to weather, so some of these schools we will be seeing for the first time.”
Johnston said it is hard to pin down a particular wrestler who has improved the most this season as all but one had never competed in a match before, but he said he is impressed with their growth.
He also said the lack of a ranking system will make it hard to determine who the top teams to watch will be, but he hopes that can come with the sport being sanctioned by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
“Since there is not a ranking system in place yet, it’s hard to tell who the top teams are,” Johnston said. “Hopefully, if it is sanctioned next season, you will see a rankings system in place to reward and show the excellence of the top girls in the state. We will have about 40 competitors in the tournament, which is a great turnout for the first-ever girls’ tournament in Basehor.”
Johnston said there are not any extra challenges that came from setting up the tournament.
“There aren’t any extra challenges for us to run the tournament,” Johnston said. “It’s just a fun opportunity to showcase the sport and the girls’ hard work. We are just excited for all the competitors in the tournament to show their grit and toughness to the Leavenworth County and Kansas City wrestling community.”
He continued to say the tournament will also be great with the girls’ state tournament coming up.
“It’s a great tuneup for the open state tournament next weekend,” Johnston said. “I just received an email that says there will be 71 Kansas high schools represented next weekend at the girls’ state tournament. How awesome is that?”
The tournament is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.