Friday kicks off the state wrestling tournament. This year’s tournament will feature 24 wrestlers from the four area schools.
Lansing is sending the most with 11. Kobe Lawrence, Ayreon Daniels, Calvin Sholey, Tucker Bieber, Braiden McKee, Camden Maestas, Gabriel Bailey, Malachi Tinnel, Dylan McLain, Joseph Irwin and Dylan Ward will compete for the Lions at Hartman Arena in Park City.
Basehor-Linwood and Leavenworth will each send six wrestlers to the 5A and 6A tournaments in Park City and Pleasant Ridge will send one to the 3-2-1A tournament at Fort Hays State.
The six wrestlers for Basehor-Linwood will be Brayton Olesen, Cohen Suchy, Zachary Radefeld, Joe Phillips, Hunter Parish and Josh Willcutt.
Leavenworth’s qualifiers were Julian Long, Jacob Zilmer, Julien Bell, Jacob McLain, Tyler Robinson and Hartwell Taylor. Trevor Ragland will represent Pleasant Ridge.
Leavenworth head coach Matt Long said preparation for the tournament is more like a “cruise control” compared to preparation for other meets.
“As far as prepping for the state tournament, there are not too many more things that we can show to make the kids any better at this point,” Long said. “They know what they know. We just critique it, we ramp it up for regionals and then hit cruise control into state.”
The cruising comes after what Long said was the worst weather he has faced as a head coach with cancellation of practices and tournaments.
Of the six qualifiers for Leavenworth, five are new qualifiers. The only returning qualifier is Taylor, but Long said the standout junior recently tore his ACL and will not compete. Despite this, Long still said he is looking forward to the five that will wrestle.
“I am looking forward to seeing our young guys step up at the state tournament,” he said, “and get their first taste of state.”
The state tournament starts at 9:45 a.m. at all the locations with the opening ceremonies. Wrestling will begin at 10 a.m. with four rounds of play. Action resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. with the consolation rounds before another parade of champions and final matches.