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Wildcats end regular season with home dual win

Photo courtesy of Luke Faulkner

Junior Ryan Owens works for some back points against an opponent during a 120-pound match Tuesday during the Wildcat Duals at Louisburg High School.

Thanks to Mother Nature, the Louisburg High School wrestling schedule was a little bit shorter than in year’s past.

A couple different events, including the Wildcats’ home tournament last month, had to be cancelled due to weather and head coach Bobby Bovaird was looking to add something to his schedule to give his wrestlers more mat time.

Bovaird was able to find something right before the start of the postseason as Louisburg invited Blue Valley West, Anderson County and Girard to compete in the Wildcat Duals on Tuesday at Louisburg High School.

Although the Wildcats didn’t get the results they wanted, as they went 1-2 on the evening, it was a good way to get ready for the important tournaments ahead.

“We lost 4-5 matches with our home invitational being canceled, then the next week we lost one more match with the Spring Hill dual being canceled,” Bovaird said. “It’s tough trying to make-up matches with wrestling. A game can be easily rescheduled, but not an entire tournament. I’m very thankful that my administration was willing to let us host this meet to make up some competition points, plus it gave us one more chance to showcase our wrestlers at home.”

It didn’t get off to the start the Wildcats were hoping for as they fell to Blue Valley West (54-24) and Anderson County (42-32). Louisburg did end the night on a positive note as it defeated Girard, 45-21, in its final dual of the season as the Wildcats now focus on the Frontier League Tournament this Saturday.

Louisburg got victories from Kaven Bartlett (113 pounds), Ryan Owens (120), Cade Holtzen (126), Brett Rangel (145), Brandon Doles (160), Aiden Barker (170), Jonathan Keegan-Childs (195) and Elijah Eslinger (285) to secure the win over Girard.

“We didn’t wrestle our best Tuesday night, but that’s all right,” Bovaird said. “It gave us some ideas of where we really need to focus as we get ready for the end of the season. I especially am proud of the guys for finishing our dual season with a victory. We have a lot of opens and a lot of younger and lighter kids bumping up to fill our varsity weights. That’s something that really impresses me, that we have the ability to fill those weights with kids who can compete.”

Owens, Holtzen and Doles each finished the night with a 3-0 record, while Bartlett, Holtzen and Doles are each currently ranked No. 6 in Class 4A in their respective weight classes.

Senior Sam Kratochvil (220) got a win against Blue Valley West, while Barker, Keegan-Childs and Eslinger also picked up victories over Anderson County.

The Wildcats will now turn their attention to the Frontier League Invitational. The Frontier League currently has two teams (Tonganoxie and Piper) ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A, along with state-ranked wrestlers from several schools.

The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Ottawa High School.

“The Frontier League is traditionally a pretty tough tournament,” Bovaird said. “Each of our guys will have some key match-ups that will help us get set for regionals. Whether it’s a state-ranked opponent from another league school, a potential regional match-up, or even just a chance for a revenge win, we’re sitting in a good position to win those match-ups.”

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