Wildcats down Lawrence on Senior Night

The Louisburg High School wrestling team honored eight seniors Thursday during its Senior Night dual with Lawrence High. The Louisburg seniors are (from left): manager Megan Anderson, Kyle Allen, Dylan Thompson, Garrett Caldwell, Ryan Adams, Thad Hendrix, Tucker Battten and manager Ashley Chitwood.


For the six Louisburg senior wrestlers, Thursday’s matchup with Lawrence High was more than just your normal dual.

It would be the last time they got a chance to compete in front of their home fans.

Thad Hendrix, Kyle Allen, Tucker Batten, Ryan Adams, Dylan Thompson and Garrett Caldwell were all honored on Senior Night and the Wildcats got a win in the process. Louisburg downed Lawrence 56-15 as the Wildcats improved their dual record to 13-5 on the season in their final home performance.

This senior class was one Louisburg coach Bobby Bovaird got to know a young age and he has enjoyed his journey with this group.

“I first got to know these guys when they were seventh graders,” Bovaird said. “With the exception of Dylan, all of them were on the seventh grade team when I started coaching at the middle school. I have gotten to know them quite a bit, more than just the four years that you typically get to know a kid.

“Each of these kids have gone with us to some kind of camp with us over the years, whether it be in Nebraska, going to Baldwin or our summer camp here. It is a great group of kids and I am definitely going to miss them when this is all over.”

As for the dual itself, the Wildcats encountered some losses that nearly turned into wins. Hendrix lost a back and forth match at 106 pounds to begin the dual and Adams nearly the pinned the state’s No. 2 wrestlers in Class 6A, Ja’Melle Dye, before he ended up getting pinned himself at 145 pounds.

Despite those setbacks, the Wildcats still experienced plenty of success against the Lions.

Freshman Cade Holtzen got the Wildcats on the board at 113 pounds with a pin, and after both teams were open at 120, Allen and Gabe Bonham won by forfeit at 126 and 132, respectively.

Senior Tucker Batten turns his opponent for some back points during the 138-pound match Thursday.

Batten won by technical fall at 138 pounds and put the Wildcats up by 20 and they led 23-15 following the 152 pound match.

The Wildcats reeled off six victories in a row to end it. Junior Blue Caplinger (160) won by pin, freshman Ben Wiedenmann (170) won by decision, Caldwell (182) won by forfeft, Hayden Hoy (195) won by forfeit, Austin Moore (220) won by pin and Hunter Day (285) won by forfeit to complete the dual.

“There were some tough matches, but we just didn’t have the type of matchups that I was hoping have for our Senior Night,” Bovaird said. “I wanted a chance to showcase our guys and how tough they are. Thad’s match was a close one, and Ryan’s match was an intense match, but they didn’t go the way we wanted them to go. We have a lot of work between now and league.”

Louisburg will now begin its postseason stretch as it will compete in the Frontier League Dual Tournament beginning on Friday at Baldwin High School in hopes of defending its league title. The Wildcats will begin action against at 5 p.m. against Eudora, followed by matches against De Soto and Spring Hill.

The Wildcats will open with Paola at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, followed by duals with Baldwin and Ottawa.

“With the competition we have, we have stressed taking one weekend off a month,” Bovaird said. “We have been going four weeks straight and now it is time for them to take a break and enjoy a little time off. I just hope our weight doesn’t balloon up too much. We have four solid practices coming up (this week) and then we start the postseason. It is an exciting time right now.”