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Louisburg falls to Spring Hill, celebrates alumni reunion

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg’s Jacob Briley grapples with a Spring Hill opponent Thursday during the Wildcats’ home dual with the Broncos. Louisburg came up short in a 54-24 loss.

The Louisburg wrestling team fell to Spring Hill in a home dual last Thursday in a 54-24 loss to the Broncos, but like it has been most of the season, the open weights have hurt the Wildcats.

Louisburg was open at three different weights, and along with that, lost some key matches to the Broncos.

 “On varsity, we ran into some tough kids,” Louisburg coach Bobby Bovaird said. “Some of our usual match-winners couldn’t come out with a win, especially at 138, 145 and 152. Again, our open weights hurt us pretty badly. Having so many opens doesn’t do us well when we have a lot of dual competitions.

 “I was hoping that we would match up better at other weights, but it just didn’t go in our favor. We wrestled well, that’s for sure, but Spring Hill’s style helped us identify several key areas we need to be working on. They’re a very technical, disciplined, and strong team. You can always expect that when you go up against a group coached by Tucker Woofter. Even though I don’t like taking a loss at home, we needed something like that dual to help us refocus. It’s time to hit our ‘reset buttons’ and get back to work. 

The Wildcats found themselves down 12-0 early, but came back to tie. Sophomores Ryan Owens and Cade Holtzen both weighed in at 120 for the dual, and after Owens won by forfeit at 120, Holtzen bumped up two weight classes from his normal 113-pound spot.

Holtzen responded with a pin at 126 pounds to give Louisburg some momentum, but after another open at 132 pounds for Louisburg, Spring Hill rattled off four straight victories to all but put the dual meet away.

Louisburg did manage to get a couple more wins as senior Blue Caplinger recorded a quick pin in 13 seconds to win at 170 pounds. Sophomore Ben Wiedenmann followed with a pin of his own at 182.

It was also Alumni Night for the Wildcats as several former wrestlers came back to be recognized in front of the crowd, among those was 1977 graduate Terry Scott, who flew in from Houston to attend the event, along with his father, Wayne, who helped start what became the Louisburg Wrestling Club.

Terry Scott, a 1977 graduate of LHS, waves to the crowd after he was recognized during Alumni Night on Thursday. Scott, who lives in Omaha, flew in from Houston to attend the event.

“This is one of my favorite events we host,” Bovaird said. “I got the idea from Damon Parker, the new coach at Washburn Rural in Topeka. Five years ago, he hosted an alumni reunion and I had the chance to attend with Washburn Rural being my alma mater and the school I coached at my first eight years as a teacher. I decided to try it out with Louisburg, and it’s been phenomenal ever since. Shawn Crossley (’98) and Bruce Caldwell (’90) have been huge in helping get word out.

“We had guys from all throughout the years show up. The biggest class represented was 1977 (Jene Vickrey, Terry Scott, and Dan Cook), and the farthest distance traveled was Terry Scott — he flew in from Houston, but lives in Omaha). We had over 23 various alumni in attendance from wrestlers to coaches to managers. We had 12 state qualifiers and three state medalists attend. They collectively earned over 800 varsity wins, and that number doesn’t include everyone’s stats.”

The event helped brighten a tough defeat for the Wildcats, which turned out to be their first home dual loss since 2014, when they fell to Paola. However, the Wildcats were able to find success on the junior varsity level as they finished the night with a 7-1 record.

Louisburg was scheduled to participate in the Topeka Invitational last Saturday, but it was cancelled due to weather. The Wildcats will try and rebound Friday when they travel to Parsons for a dual tournament.

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