Wildcats finish third at Fort Scott to open season

Louisburg senior Blue Caplinger puts an opponent from Anderson County on his back Saturday during the Fort Scott Dual Tournament. Caplinger finished with a 5-0 record on the day and the Wildcats took third overall as a team.

 

FORT SCOTT – Before the start of each dual during the Fort Scott Tournament on Saturday, the Louisburg wrestling team found itself having to play catch up.

The Wildcats were open in four different weight classes and were giving up 24 points to each of their five opponents. It was not exactly a formula for success, but the Wildcats were able to make the best out of a tough situation.

Louisburg finished third overall with a 3-2 record, behind Paola and Anderson County, to open its season on a strong note and got some good experience for a lot of its wrestlers.

“We structured our season to begin with several dual tournaments,” Louisburg coach Bobby Bovaird said. “The idea is to foster the team aspect of the sport in the wrestlers’ mindsets. Scoring bonus points, fighting out of pinning situations, being willing to step in where the line-up needs them. Aside from that deficit we were in at the start of each dual, the guys wrestled very well.

“Of course, with it being the first competition of the season, we saw quite a few things that need to be addressed, but ultimately, I’m pretty happy with the technique, the physicality, and the attitudes of the guys. In our Wrestling Mindset training sessions, we’re focusing on the three things we can control: effort, attitude, and aggressiveness, and I’m pretty happy with our first matches of the season based on those three things.”

The Wildcats opened the tournament with three straight victories, including wins over Blue Valley Southwest (46-34), Fort Scott (42-28) and Shawnee Mission West (42-18). Louisburg lost its final two duals to Anderson County (36-29) and Paola (45-33).

A pair of state-ranked wrestlers led the way for Louisburg as sophomore Cade Holtzen (No. 3, 113 pounds) and senior Blue Caplinger (No. 5, 170 pounds) both went 5-0 on the day and each had a close victory.

Caplinger notched a 6-2 victory over Anderson County’s Logan Allen, in what was a low-scoring match late in the third period.

As for Holtzen, he also finished the day with three pins and he bumped up a weight class to 120 pounds to wrestle Anderson County’s Ryland Wright, who was a state qualifier last year. Holtzen recorded two points late in the third period to win the close 7-5 decision.

“I love getting these guys some tough matches to kick-start the season,” Bovaird said. “There’s no better way to get in wrestling shape than to be on the mat wrestling, and to do so against some quality opponents is great for these guys. Against Anderson County, Cade and Blue both wrestled against returning state qualifiers and pulled out some tight victories. Cade was bumping up a weight class, and Blue’s match was pretty close until the end. Both were very smart with their wrestling.”

Louisburg freshman Aiden Barker grapples with an opponent from Shawnee Mission West on Saturday at Fort Scott.

Freshmen Aiden Barker (145 pounds) and Brandon Doles (152) both had a strong debuts for the Wildcats as they finished the day with 4-1 records. Doles won all four of his matches by pin and Barker recorded three pins.

“Both Aiden and Brandon held their own against their opponents, and that’s a great sign for the rest of the high school careers,” Bovaird said. “It’s a huge difference between kids club wrestling and high school wrestling. Now, these guys are often stepping on the mat with men who are about to graduate high school. The conditioning is at a higher level, and the techniques that worked before will often be ineffective up here. They both showed how resilient they can be by adapting to the new level and scrapping with their opponents.”

Sophomore Ben Wiedenmann, who wrestled at 182 pounds on Saturday, pulled off the biggest upset of the day for the Wildcats as he knocked off Anderson County’s Dominic Sutton in a 6-4 decision. Sutton was state-ranked coming into the match and Wiedenmann’s victory moved him into the state rankings at No. 4 this week.

Wiedenmann, who finished the day with a 4-1 record and two pins, suffered his lone loss to Paola’s Mikey Stribling in the final dual of the day. Stribling is ranked No. 3 at 182 pounds.

Fellow sophomore Ryan Owens had a big day at 113 pounds with a 4-1 record with a pin and a technical fall. Sophomore Anthony Welborn also filled in for an injured Gabe Bonham at 138 pounds and was 2-2 on the day.

Louisburg sophomore Ryan Owens was 4-1 on the day as he split time at 113 and 120 pounds.

Senior heavyweight Hunter Day also had a strong performance with a 3-1 mark with two pins, while junior Sam Kratochvil had a 3-2 record on the day with two pins at 220 pounds.

“Ryan, Ben and Anthony are some sophomores who are undersized for their weights,” Bovaird said. “Ryan has been trying to get down to 106 and he spent the night trying to get the weight off, but it wasn’t going to happen. He came in Saturday morning, weighed in at 113, and never complained once going between 113 and 120. The one match he lost was against a 120 kid from Fort Scott who was pretty strong. Ryan had been leading most of the match before the weight difference wore him down too much.

“Anthony was trying to get to 132 this weekend but couldn’t quite get there, even after coming in early Saturday morning to run it off. He bumped up to 138 and filled in for Gabe after he hurt his knee the first match. Ben is about the same size as Blue, but he’s filling in at 182 for our lineup in duals and got a big win against a state-ranked opponent from Anderson County.

“Sam is showing a lot of growth after having his season end early last year. Hunter’s only loss last weekend was against a state ranked opponent from 220 who bumped up a weight for the competition. Jacob Briley (160) is another sophomore who is stepping in at a higher weight class. He’s shown that he’s much more comfortable this season and is looking very natural on his feet during matches.”

Louisburg hopes to continue to see improvement Friday when it travels to Baldwin High School for the December Duals. The first match against Prairie View is set for 4 p.m.




Wildcat wrestlers excited to get season underway

Louisburg’s Cade Holtzen had a memorable freshman season that finished with a state medal and a school record for wins in a season. Holtzen hopes to improve on that this season as a sophomore.

 

It was another solid season for the Louisburg High School wrestling team last year as the Wildcats sent six to the state tournament and one came away with a state medal.

The 2018-19 season has the same type of promise for the Wildcats as three of those qualifiers return to lead Louisburg, including the team’s lone state medalist from last season – Cade Holtzen.

Although Louisburg has a chance to make a statement at the state tournament against this season, the Wildcats were delivered a couple different blows prior to the season.

Returning state qualifier Austin Moore was lost for at least half of the season with a broken collarbone he sustained during the football season. On top of that, participation numbers came down from previous years, but the Wildcats are trying to make the best out of a tough situation.

“The sport of wrestling is like a roller coaster for a lot of reasons, and that applies throughout a season as well as from one season to the next,” Louisburg coach Bobby Bovaird said. “This year we have 17 wrestlers on the roster, which is the lowest I’ve had in the past 8 years. It’s tough to stomach at first because we’re not retaining kids like we need to be doing, and we’re not getting a lot of new kids to try out the sport.

“On the other hand, of all the kids on the roster, only one is brand-new to the sport. Everyone else has wrestled for the program at least a couple of years. Practices have been very smooth, and I feel like we’ve been picking up and taking off at a quicker pace than in previous seasons.”

Holtzen will look to take another step forward off of what was a successful freshman season. He finished sixth overall in the 113-pound division at state and also broke a program record for wins in a season with 45.

The Louisburg sophomore will look to take another stab at the 113-pound division this year and is hoping for an even higher finish at state.

“You’ll see kids have a successful season one year and then walk into the next with a huge ego and a sense of entitlement,” Bovaird said. “Not a kid like Cade. He put in the time over the summer, attending various camps and a few competitions on his own. He’s as focused as ever, and the best part is that he’s totally bought into the ‘wrestling mindset’ approach we’re taking this season. He’s a smart kid, which will help him with goal setting, staying focused, evaluating his progress throughout the season and recovering when he gets knocked down.”

Seniors Blue Caplinger and Moore are the other two returning state qualifiers and both have a chance to end their Wildcat wrestling careers with a state medal.

Louisburg senior Blue Caplinger finished one win away from earning a state medal last season.

For Caplinger, he has been making steady progress since his freshman year and he was two victories away from earning a state medal last winter. It is that consistent improvement that will put Caplinger over the top, according to Bovaird, as he will bounce back and forth between 170 and 182 pounds to start the year.

“Blue has been a staple in the program for three years now, and one thing I can tell you about him is that he’s one of the toughest kids to score on,” Bovaird said. “From his freshman year through last year, I don’t think there were any other wrestlers who saw as much overtime or 1-point matches as he did. He wrestles smart, keeps matches close, and puts himself in great scoring positions to win those tight matches. He’s been training to win key matches, like a regional semifinal or a state quarterfinal, by focusing on crisp technique and positioning.”

As for Moore, he will have a tough road back to try and get ready in time to prepare himself for the regional tournament in February. He also finished one win away from a state medal last season and will look to try for that first medal this year at 220 pounds.

With everything going against him, Bovaird believes Moore will be ready to go when the time comes and is excited to see what he can do.

Austin Moore hopes to return for the second half of the season after suffering a broken collarbone during the football season.

“Every year you’ll see tough wrestlers sidelined by football injuries, and then they’re able to make a solid comeback to salvage the remainder of their wrestling seasons,” Bovaird said. “Austin is so physically and mentally tough that you can bet on seeing him finding success in February. Not having him on the mat and in our lineup will hurt us a little, but he’s still a captain and will be there to help lead the team.”

Caplinger, Moore and senior Hunter Day were all voted on as team captains for this season and the Wildcats will put out close to a full lineup, especially early in the schedule that features a lot of dual competitions.

Sophomore Ryan Owens will hold the 106-pound spot, while Holtzen and sophomore Luke Kelly will compete at 113 and 120, respectively. Sophomore Anthony Welborn and freshman Nathan Hamilton are battling for the 132 spot.

Senior Gabe Bonham returns after a solid season last year for Louisburg and will wrestle at 138 pounds, while freshman Aiden Barker, junior Dalton Hilt and sophomore Jacob Briley are competing for the 145 pound spot.

Freshman Brandon Doles will make his high school debut on the varsity level at 152 pounds, while senior Brian Houck will try for 160 pounds. Caplinger and sophomore Ben Wiedenmann, who saw a lot of varsity action last year, will flip-flop between 170 and 182 pounds to start the season.

Sophomore James Nelson, who is also recovering from a football injury, will be at 195 pounds and junior Sam Kratochvil will have the 220 spot until Moore returns. Day also returns as the team’s heavyweight for this year.

Even though there are some new names to the varsity lineup this year, Bovaird is excited for the potential of his group.

“I’m excited for Ryan Owens to get a shot at full-time varsity this season,” Bovaird said. “He was a USAWKS kids state champ last year, and always gave Thad Hendrix a close match. He’s stronger and more confident this year. Aiden Barker, Nathan Hamilton and Brandon Doles are three freshmen who have a lot of kids wrestling experience, and they were pretty dedicated summer wrestlers. Doles won USAWKS kids state two years ago. Gabe Bonham and Hunter Day will be in position to have good seasons, too. Both of them were state qualifiers for the Wildcat Wrestling Club last March.”

Louisburg will open its season Saturday when it travels to the Fort Scott Dual Tournament. The first dual is set for 9 a.m.




Hinkle ready to take on role as LHS activities director

Walking into Scott Hinkle’s office, it doesn’t appear he started a new job two weeks ago.

The moving boxes are mostly gone. His desk is organized with everything in its place, along with a calendar crammed full of upcoming events.

Hinkle is not shy to tell people about his love for the Boston Red Sox. Sitting on one wall are two older chairs from Fenway Park, along other memorabilia.

The one thing that Hinkle hasn’t caught up on is his efforts to get some purple gear. An avid Kansas Jayhawk fan, he hasn’t had need to purchase any purple flair in the past. Seems like that will change shortly as he was hired as the new activities director and assistant principal at Louisburg High School earlier this summer.

“I have been a Jayhawk fan all my life,” Hinkle said. “It will be a little weird to wear purple that is for sure, but I am sure I will get used to it. Before I left my old job, people found out where I was going so they started giving me little gifts with purple on it, like markers and stuff like that. They definitely got a kick out of that.”

Hinkle takes over for Jeremy Holloway, who was promoted to principal at LHS and becomes the third activities director in as many years to take over that spot.

“My wife has family in Kansas City and I have family in Wichita and so we were looking to come this way,” Hinkle said. “I had a couple friends that told me that the Louisburg position had opened up. I had heard of Louisburg a long time ago. I actually coached at Ottawa University in the early 90s and was familiar with the area. I came up, interviewed and here I am. It has obviously worked out well.

“Everyone has been so helpful and friendly and it is a good time to be coming to Louisburg. I am excited to be here.”

Before taking the job in Louisburg, Hinkle had spent the last 22 years in the Liberal school district in a variety of roles. He served as the boys high school basketball coach, along with nine years as an activities director, a year as the head girls basketball coach at the local community college and last year he served as assistant principal at the high school.

Hinkle graduated from Valley Center High School, and went on from there to earn his bachelor’s degree from Friends University, where he played basketball, and his master’s from the University of Kansas.

Basketball has always been a passion for Hinkle, but during his time as activities director at Liberal, he had a chance to learn the life of other sports as well.

“Liberal changed a lot from when I first got there in the mid 90s when they were a football and track powerhouse,” Hinkle said. “There were just athletes galore, but the culture kind of changed. We were really good in soccer and decent in track and volleyball. We still had good kids and good athletes, but it was a big transition as far as sports go when I first got there. My kids grew up there and being involved and being able to watch their events was something that has always appealed to me.

“Basketball has always been in my blood. Other than my nine years as athletic director, I have coached in some capacity and I am a big basketball fan. Obviously, being an athletic director I am just a big sports fan in general.”

Still new in town, Hinkle is still trying to get to know his coaching staff, but he is excited about the situation he is walking into with the Wildcats finishing as state runner-ups in volleyball and girls soccer last season. Several cross country, golf, wrestling and track athletes also earned state medals.

However, if there is one thing he wanted to relay to everyone is that he wants to give his coaches the freedom to run their programs.

“I want to let the coaches, coach,” he said. “I am not going to be the guy that says this is how we did things in Liberal and I am not that type of leader. If it comes to the point where they need some advice, I want to be a resource for them. I don’t want to be someone that is looking for something.

“I have met a few of the coaches. I have let them know that I am here if they need anything. I have stopped by the weight room to speak to a few coaches and some have stopped by to introduce themselves. I am still learning names and faces. We have a coaches meeting on the 10th and I will see and learn a lot more about them then.”

With all the success the Wildcats had last season in the sports arena, Hinkle is happy to be a part of the LHS family and is learning new things about the town every day.

“I have heard all types of things,” he said. “I have heard they take football pretty seriously here. I know they were state runner-up in volleyball and girls soccer last year and that is an exciting thing to walk into. I think expectations are obviously high in those sports, but I think everyone always has high expectations. I am not going to do anything different than normal and I am just going to sit back and observe for a while and take it all in.”

Hinkle will experience some different things along with his new position. This season, the Frontier League will welcome three new teams – Bonner Springs, Piper and Tonganoxie – and will say goodbye to De Soto.

Another big change will be the postseason formats with several sports as the Kansas State High School Activities Association reshuffled their classification system, eliminating Class 4A-Division II.

“With the changes in the league, the classification system and being a new AD, it is probably a good time to be coming on,” Hinkle said. “The learning curve is going to be the same for all of us.

“I walked into a good situation for scheduling because (Holloway) already had everything all taken care of,” he said. “I think the dynamics of the league are going to change. Liberal’s former girls basketball coach is the coach at Piper and I know a little bit about them. As far as the programs and rivalries, that is something that is going to come with time.”

Even with all the changes in his life – moving, starting a new job, getting to know new faces – Hinkle is ready for what lies ahead and the staff at Louisburg has helped with that transition.

“It has been a whirlwind and it has been information overload,” he said. “It is a lot of the same things I did in Liberal as athletic director, I just haven’t done it for the last five years. Being an assistant principal at Liberal last year, I think, helped me prepare for the principal side.

“People have just gone out of their way to be helpful. From the administration to the custodial staff to the secretaries, everyone has been super helpful. When I was out around town, people have welcomed me and it has been a friendly feel everywhere I have been.”




Wildcat wrestlers get advice from NCAA champ during camp

Mark Ellis, a former NCAA champion wrestler from the University of Missouri, spoke to members of the advanced Louisburg wrestling camp earlier this month. Ellis was the camp clinician during the four-day session.

 

The first day of practice might have been four months away, but members of the Louisburg High School wrestling team, and some younger wrestlers, invaded the practice room earlier this month like it was December.

LHS head coach Robert Bovaird hosted his four-day advanced wrestling camp that went from July 9-12 and he had 37 wrestlers sign up for the session. Bovaird has run camps in the past, but this one was different.

Bovaird got in touch with former NCAA champion wrestler for the University of Missouri, and Division I coach, Mark Ellis and asked if he would come and work with his team for the four day session. It worked out well for the Wildcats as Ellis was able to teach the wrestlers both on and off the mat.

“He’s been coaching at the D1 level for a while, and has recently been named Director of the Greater KC Area and Midwest Region for FCA Wrestling,” Bovaird said. “He did a little clinic for us last summer, and he’s followed the high school team’s successes over the past couple of years. I asked him to come talk to the team right before regionals last season, and he agreed. When he got here, he said the right things at the right time — working on getting kids into the right mindset for the end of the season. I love the message of positivity that he brings.

“One of the main things he preached was the idea of “Life and death and the power of the tongue.” While that’s from Proverbs, it’s absolutely a great way for anyone to approach life. The words you use, the things you say are powerful tools. They can bring great positives or they can lead to horrible negatives. He asked the guys on the team if they were ‘life givers’ or ‘life takers.’ That’s such an important message.”

Ellis also talked with the Wildcat wrestlers about his experience on the mat and his road to becoming an NCAA champion. It was a road that was filled with ups and downs.

“Wrestling is a tough sport as it is, and a positive mindset goes a long way and can truly make the difference in how a kid’s season goes,” Bovaird said. “I’ve seen it happen year-in and year-out — great wrestlers struggle to reach their goals because they’re ‘burned out’ or unable to see beyond the negative. With the ups and downs of the sport, the mixed signals from parents, coaches, and season rankings, it’s tough to stay focused.

“Mark shared a lot of great stories, and he kept revisiting these messages throughout the week. Mark has become a good friend and supporter of the program, and he’s excited to see how we continue to succeed down the road. He’s said that he’ll definitely be back to visit and work with the team.”

Along with the advanced session, Bovaird also held a beginner’s camp that had 22 wrestlers and he was glad to see such a good interest in the program.

Bovaird even tried to change things up and created a little more competition with the beginner group.

“I copied and adapted a couple ideas from something my son experienced with the British Soccer Camps this summer,” he said. “I split the beginners camp into five groups, each assigned an NCAA team name (Iowa Hawkeyes, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and Mizzou Tigers). Throughout the week, they competed for team points that were awarded based on good behaviors, doing well with the techniques, winning competitions, and more.

“On Wednesday, I had the wrestlers wear their teams’ colors, and then on Thursday, I had them make something creative for their team mascot (drawings, sculptures, paintings, etc.). In the end, Team Mizzou were the champs, and the kids really got into the excitement of earning points for the team competition.”

Mark Ellis gives instruction to a pair of younger Wildcat wrestlers during the camp held at Louisburg High School earlier this month.

As far as the high school level was concerned, several wrestlers have been working hard over the summer. They have attended open mat sessions that were provided and have also attended a few camps in the last couple of months.

Most recently, Louisburg had 10 wrestlers compete in the Sunflower State Games in Topeka and a lot of them found success.

In the high school division, sophomore Cade Holtzen, who is a returning state medalist, finished second in both folkstyle and takedown. Fellow sophomore Ryan Owens was third in folkstyle and fourth in takedown.

Freshman Aiden Barker was second in takedown in his weight class to go along with a third place finish in folkstyle.

In the 14-and-under division, Kaven Bartlett earned first place in takedown and fourth in folkstyle. Jay McCaskill was third in folkstyle and third in takedown for the 12-and-under group, while Canaan Clayton was third in takedown and fourth in folkstyle for his weight class.

Josiah Clayton was second in takedown and third in folkstyle at 8-and-under, while Bo Ballard was third in the folkstyle and third in takedown.

LHS alums Chris Turner and Shea Cox also competed in the 29-and-under division. Turner was fourth in takedown and Cox was fourth in folkstyle.

“It was great mat time for them all. That’s the thing, whether you win or lose, if you compete in the off-season, you’re already a step ahead of your opponents who are doing nothing on the mat,” Bovarid said. “Each year we’ve encouraged kids to do the Sunflower State Games, the kids who take up the challenge really show improvements the next season.”

As the summer is coming to a close, Bovaird has liked what he has seen from his group. He has seen wrestlers from the high school level on down, that have committed themselves to the sport.

“We’ve had a number of guys on the mats in different ways since school got out,” Bovaird said. “Cade Holtzen, Gabe Bonham, Anthony Davis, and Hayden Hoy attended the “24 Hours with God” camp at Raymore-Peculiar, which was hosted by Mark Ellis and sponsored by FCA Wrestling. They got to learn from premiere clinicians like 4-time NCAA finalist Isaiah Martinez, Mizzou head coach Brian Smith, and Baker University head coach and NCAA D2 champion Cody Garcia.

“I had over 30 different kids come to open mats this summer, too. They ranged from veteran high school wrestlers to some of our 1st and 2nd year wrestlers from the club level. Right now, four of our wrestlers — Holtzen, Kaden Allen (6th grade), Kaven Bartlett (8th grade) and Aiden Barker (9th grade) have earned at least 100 points to become this summer’s “Ironman” award winners, and there are 3-4 more wrestlers in the chase. They’ve gone to various club practices, wrestled in the Sunflower State Games, and attended a few local camps.”

Bovaird also believes the success the Wildcats had last season in qualifying six wrestlers for state, along with the work over the summer, will lead to even bigger things this coming season.

“The summer has been successful so far — busy and time-consuming at times, but it’ll be rewarding in the winter,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the help I’ve gotten from LHS assistant coach Brandon Ott and from Wildcat Wrestling Club coaches Shawn Crossley, Jon Clayton, Adam Noll, Sam Campbell, James Auth and Janson Lanier. We’re really coming together as a vertically aligned program, and in future seasons, we’ll be seeing the difference at the high school level. The coaches are great with the kids, they’re excited to work with both the youth and the high school wrestlers, and they’re committed to making Louisburg wrestling better.

“It’s tough getting kids to buy in to the idea of off-season wrestling, especially when a lot of them are playing summer baseball or getting ready for fall football. Wrestling season is still pretty far away for most of them. We’re building a wrestling culture here in Louisburg, and I think we’re building it the right way — and we’re building it to last.”




Moore named Louisburg Sports Zone Male Athlete of the Year

No matter the sport, Austin Moore didn’t back down from a challenge and it was evident whenever he took to the field, the wrestling mat or a track runway.

Moore was an all-league and all-state player on the football field, found himself one victory away from a state wrestling medal and improved throughout the season in the javelin.

It was his success in those athletic avenues that earned him the 2018 Louisburg Sports Zone Male Athlete of the Year honor.

The award, which is in its first year, is to recognize an outstanding Louisburg High School student athlete. Louisburg Sports Zone asked the head coaches at LHS to submit nominations and those nominations were then organized and submitted back to the coaches for a vote.

The coaches then submitted their top three choices and the number of votes were added up, which decided the winner.

On the football team, Moore was named a captain and had success on both sides of the ball. As a running back, he recorded 1,215 yards and 15 touchdowns. Defensively, he tallied more than 70 tackles from the linebacker spot.

Moore, a junior, was named to the all-Frontier League first team on both sides of the ball and was an honorable mention all-state selection by the Topeka-Capital Journal. He was also named an all-state, all-purpose player by K-Preps. Moore was also selected as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and recipient of the BAC Award.

“Austin is a great leader and is always looking to improve himself and his game,” Louisburg football coach Robert Ebenstein said. “He is an extremely dedicated athlete to the program, but the most impressive thing about him is how he puts the team before himself all the time. Austin is not a real vocal kid, but actions speak louder than words and Austin is always leading by example.”

Pictured (from left) is Louisburg boys track coach Andy Wright, football head coach Robert Ebenstein, Austin Moore and Wildcat wrestling coach Bobby Bovaird.

On the wrestling mat, he was also a team captain where he earned a 43-7 record and eclipsed the 100 career win mark. Moore was a state qualifier at 195 pounds and was a regional runner-up to go along with a Frontier League title. He won the team’s Workhorse Award and set a program record with 38 pins. Moore also had the highest GPA on the team.

“Austin has been a pivotal part of our team’s success since he joined us as a freshman,” Louisburg wrestling coach Bobby Bovaird said. “He has a phenomenal work ethic in the practice room, and he is a relentless warrior in competitions. He knows how to set goals and pursue them with all his heart. He doesn’t panic in adverse situations and he finds a way to prevail. No one wants to wrestle him twice. He’s all about competitiveness, dedication, improvement and honor.”

Moore threw the javelin for the Wildcat track and field team as recorded a season best throw of 151 feet in the regional meet and finished eighth.

With all he accomplished during the 2017-18 season, Moore will get another crack at it all when he competes for the Wildcats in his senior season.




2018 Male Athlete of the Year Nominees

For the past two years, Louisburg Sports Zone has given out Athlete of the Week awards during each of the three sports seasons. I do it to recognize special athletic achievements and highlight them a little bit. So this year, I wanted to take it a step further.

This year Louisburg Sports Zone will be handing out an Athlete of the Year honor to a male and female athlete at Louisburg High School. I wanted the opportunity to recognize those who exemplify what it means to be an “athlete.”

Although I am giving out the award, I wanted the process to subjective, so I asked the head coaches at LHS to help me out. I asked each coach to send me nominations of who they thought exemplified the Athlete of the Year honor. They will then vote for their top 3 male and female and then I will tabulate the results and determine the winner. In the next couple of weeks, I will announce this year recipient.

Below are the male nominees for this year’s award in alphabetical order by last name. Congrats to all those who were nominated and best of luck!

2018 LOUISBURG SPORTS ZONE

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

 

Blue Caplinger – Junior – Football, Wrestling, Track and Field

Caplinger played a big role for the Wildcat football team as he shared quarterback duties to start the year and then moved over to the tight end spot, but his biggest impact came on defense where he earned honorable mention all-Frontier League honors. He finished the season with 32 tackles and two interceptions from his secondary spot.

On the wrestling mat, Caplinger was a state qualifier for the Wildcats at 160 pounds and finished his season with a 34-14 record. He won titles at two different tournaments and holds the team record with most career reversals with 71.

Caplinger also fared well on the track where he ran sprints and relays for Louisburg. Caplinger was a member of the 4×400-meter relay team that finished seventh in the state in Class 4A, and also ran on the 4×100-meter relay team that qualified for the Kansas Relays.

 

Cade Holtzen – Freshman – Cross Country, Wrestling, Track and Field

Holtzen thrived on the wrestling mat this past season as he earned the Wildcats’ lone state medal. He finished sixth overall at 113 pounds and became the second freshman in school history to place at state with a 45-6 record.

He also broke two team records in the process. Holtzen currently holds the mark for most wins in a season (45), most nearfall-2 (23). He also led the Wildcats in five other statistical categories.

Holtzen was a Frontier League and regional runner-up and won tournament titles at four different competitions.

He also ran on the Louisburg varsity cross country team and ran distance races for the Wildcat track team.

 

Austin Moore – junior – football, wrestling, track and field

On the football team, Moore was named a team captain and had success on both sides of the ball. As a running back, he recorded 1,215 yards and 15 touchdowns. Defensively, he tallied more than 70 tackles from the linebacker spot.

Moore was named to the all-Frontier League first team on both sides of the ball and was an honorable mention all-state selection by the Topeka-Capital Journal and Wichita Eagle. He was also named an all-state, all-purpose player by K-Preps. Moore was also selected as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and recipient of the BAC Award.

On the wrestling mat, he was also a team captain and recorded a 43-7 record. Moore was a state qualifier at 195 pounds and was a regional runner-up. He won the team’s Workhorse Award and set a program record with 38 pins. Moore also had the highest GPA on the team.

Moore threw the javelin for the Wildcat track and field team as recorded a season best throw of 151 feet in the regional meet and finished eighth.

 

John Wyatt Reece – Senior – Cross Country, Track and Field

Reece became the first state cross country medalist in several years for Louisburg High School. He finished 11th overall at the Class 4A meet in Wamego to earn a medal and also earned all-state honors for his effort.

He also finished runner-up in the Frontier League meet and currently holds the third fastest time in school history. He earned first-team all-league honors. Reece also competed at the CCCNC National Race where he medaled individually and was a part of the second place team.

In track, Reece qualified for state in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs and finished ninth at state in the 3,200. He was also a regional runner-up in both events.

Reece was a Kansas Relays qualifier and medalist in the 2,000-meter steeplechase and currently holds the school record.

Reece has signed with Southwest Minnesota State next season and will run for the Mustangs starting next fall.

 

 

Madden Rutherford – Sophomore – Football, Basketball, Baseball

Rutherford took over the starting quarterback role as a sophomore for the Wildcat football team and became a dual-threat athlete at that position. He finished with 670 yards through the air and had eight touchdowns. On the ground, he racked up 318 yards and two more touchdowns. His performance helped him to a second-team honor on the all-Frontier League team.

On the baseball diamond, Rutherford was the Wildcats’ top pitcher on the season and also did his job out on in the field as he earned second team all-Frontier League honors as an outfielder. Rutherford started six games this season and pitched 28 innings with a 5.12 earned run average and struck out 23 batters. At the plate, he finished the season with a .408 average, three doubles, a triple, a home run and had 10 RBIs. He also ended the year with only three errors in 19 games.

Rutherford also saw a lot of varsity time for the Wildcat basketball team as he played in 17 games.

 

Grant Ryals – Senior – Soccer, Golf

Ryals led the Louisburg boys soccer team as he garnered first team all-league and all-state honors this past season. He served as team captain the past two seasons and scored seven goals and had 11 assists from the midfield spot.

His 11 assists put him fourth in the all-time Louisburg single season record and his 23 career assists place him second all-time.

Ryals will continue his soccer career at William Jewell College next season.

Ryals was also a member of the Louisburg varsity golf team and was a part of several runner-up team finishes with the Wildcats.

 




Allen, Owens win kids state wrestling titles

Two Louisburg wrestlers recently won kids state titles in Topeka. (Left) Kaden Allen jumps into the arms of his father Ken after winning the 12-and-under, 68-pound state crown, while Ryan Owens (right) captured the high school, 100-pound title on March 25.

 

A pair of Louisburg youth wrestlers ended their season as one of the best in the state.

Kaden Allen (12-and-under, 68 pounds) and Ryan Owens (high school, 100 pounds) each captured a state title on March 25 during the USAWKS State Folkstyle Championship in Topeka as they were a part of 16 Louisburg wrestlers who qualified for the state event.

Allen, who competes with the Rebel Wrestling Club, worked his way through a tough bracket that included an opponent he had lost to on a couple different occasions.

He opened with a pin over Derby’s Nolan Tauer and then won by technical fall in the quarterfinals over Burlington’s Isaiah Moss. Allen got a pin over Newton’s Eddy Southern in the semifinals before squaring off with Andrew Honas of the Sunflower Kids Club.

Allen wrestled a difficult championship match but came away with the title after winning a 2-0 decision to win his first state championship.

“Kaden did great,” Rebels coach Matt Blancarte said. “He beat a kid in the finals who he had lost to multiple times. He got his head right and took care of business. He wrestled a very smart match in the finals.”

As for Owens, who wrestles for Olathe Southside and is a freshman at Louisburg High School, he rattled off three consecutive wins for his championship in the high school division.

Owens opened with an 8-4 decision over Derby’s Cody Woods and then outlasted Kassidy Leiszler of the Con Kids Club for a 4-1 win. In his final match, Owens dominated Hoisington’s Nataliz Galza as he won by a 17-2 technical fall.

Owens just finished his high school season in which he was named the Junior Varsity Wrestler of the Year after he finished the season undefeated. He also saw some time on the varsity level too as he spent a majority of his time pushing senior Thad Hendrix, who was a Class 4A state qualifier.

“It will be a big boost for his confidence,” LHS wrestling coach Bobby Bovaird said of his kids title. “This year it was just kind of unfortunate where he was at being a freshman behind a senior. Then throw in the fact that Ryan has grown up with Thad and being a buddy of the family. They wrestled like four times and all but one of their matches they were within one point of each other. It was great how he pushed Thad and Ryan didn’t stop wrestling hard.”

A pair of other Louisburg wrestlers also made their way to the medal stand.

Nick Beidelschies, who wrestled in the 8-and-under, 43-pound division, took third place overall after he finished with a 5-1 record. Beidelschies, who wrestles for the Paola Wrestling Club, recorded two pins and one major decision.

Xander Lucas, who also wrestles for the Rebels, finished fourth in the 12-and-under, 215-pound class. Lucas pinned Columbus’ Kanyen Smith in his final match to secure his fourth place finish.

“Xander was wrestling up an age group and wrestled very tough,” Blancarte said. “He did not get down after a tough loss and wrestled better than he had all year in his last match. I am proud of all my kids and the improvement made this season.”

Other Louisburg kids to qualify for the state tournament were Colton Blue, Jackson Rankin, Brooks Rankin, Sawyer Blue, Brandon Doles, Brayden Yoder and Tyson Blancarte, who all wrestled for Rebels, and Owen Ebenstein, who competed in the Paola Club.

Wildcat Wrestling Club state qualifiers are (from left) Gabe Bonham, Bronc Noll, Canaan Clayton and Hunter Day.

The newly formed Wildcat Wrestling Club also had a footprint at the state tournament as they sent four wrestlers to state in its first season.

Canaan Clayton, Bronc Noll, Gabe Bonham and Hunter Day also earned spots at state after finishing in the top four at districts. It was a big step forward in the program’s development according to Bovaird, who is the club president and assistant coach.

“Our club is brand new,” Bovaird said. “Canaan is a new kid and he first learned to wrestle in the basement of his house with his dad, and in his first competitive season, he qualified for state and took third in his district. Bronc is a fifth grader who has been chasing his goal the last couple years and he made it to state and is wrestling some of the best matches I have seen from him.

“I had two high school kids qualify, and unfortunately due to state rules I couldn’t coach them, but I was there cheering for them. For both Hunter and Gabe that is two additional tournaments that they got, that they other teammates didn’t.”

Although they didn’t leave with any medals, Bovaird considered the first year of the Wildcat Wrestling Club a success as they had 66 kids on the roster this past season and had 41 compete in tournaments.

“My goal is to not only get these kids wrestling, but to get their friends and little brothers coming in as well,” Bovaird said. “My biggest goal from this year to next year, and it has nothing to do with wins or losses or with how many qualifiers we get, it is are we going to get kids coming back.

“As a high school coach, my biggest concern is that our numbers have been dwindling. The last two years, we have finished with 27 kids and we need more numbers. If we can plant the seeds of love for the sport at this young age, and have positive memories of the sport, when they get to high school it will be easier for them to say they will give it a try.”

Bovaird credits the success of the program to his wife Emily, who spent hours organizing and getting the club going and his coaches that included Shawn Crossley, Jon Clayton, Adam Noll, James Auth, Sam Campbell, Trevor Finch, Janson Lanier, Brandon Ott, Bradley Trageser and Chad White.

“They all did phenomenal work with the kids,” Bovaird said. “I think we have a great coaching staff here and do a good job. It was kind of a crazy first year as Emily and I were trying to get this organized and all the kinks worked out, but we think it was a successful first season.”

Bovaird hopes that the club can be a good way to introduce wrestling to a young audience and get them acclimated before they hit the middle school level.

“We are lucky to have a middle school program, but four-and-a-half weeks is nothing to really get them acclimated to the sport,” he said. “My goal is to have the kids club vertically aligned with the high school program. We do that with our schools, why shouldn’t we do that with our youth sports? I am really excited for what the future holds.”




Allen excited for chance to wrestle at Hannibal-LaGrange

Louisburg senior Kyle Allen recently signed his letter of intent to wrestle for Hannibal-LaGrange University, an NAIA program based in Hannibal, Mo. Allen finished with a 24-18 record this season at 126 pounds and qualified for state in 2017.

 

When Kyle Allen walked into the wrestling room at Hannibal-LaGrange University – it felt like home to him.

Allen had always wanted to compete in athletics at the college level and Hannibal-LaGrange wanted to give him the opportunity to make his dream come true.

He didn’t take long to give them an answer.

After verbally committing to the Trojans earlier in the year, Allen made it official on March 15 in front of family and friends at Louisburg High School when he signed his letter of intent to wrestle for the NAIA program.

“I am definitely excited to have this opportunity,” Allen said. “When I took my visit to Hannibal, I went into the wrestling room and they all just welcomed me with open arms. The coaches were great and all of the guys on the team were great as well and that is something that I wanted to be a part of. To have an opportunity to compete at the collegiate level is really is exciting and I am looking forward to it.”

Allen wrestled all four years for the Louisburg program and racked up several wins in the process. He was a state qualifier in 2017 and holds a Wildcat record with all-time career escapes with 85.

On March 15, LHS senior Kyle Allen signed to wrestle at Hannibal-LaGrange. Seated next to Kyle are his parents Kiersten and Ken Allen. Standing (from left) is Hannibal coach Scott Hawes, Louisburg head coach Bobby Bovaird and LHS assistant Brandon Ott.

This past season, Allen was second on the team in technical falls, third in escapes, third in nearfalls and fifth in takedowns.

“I believe Kyle has the mindset to work at getting better every day,” Hannibal-LaGrange coach Scott Hawes said. “I’m excited about having Kyle as part of our wrestling family, and I can’t wait to see how he improves as a wrestler throughout his college career.”

Allen, who wrestled at 126 pounds for the Wildcats this season, will wrestle in the 125-pound class in college and the Louisburg senior is looking forward to the challenge of going up against veteran wrestlers.

“Yeah, I want to go down there and have fun and enjoy my time there, but I don’t want to just wrestle, I want to be able to go down there and compete,” Allen said. “I am not satisfied with just making it this far. I want to improve every year and go down there and help them win some matches. I know that it is going to take a lot of hard work, but I am ready the challenge and we will see where that takes me.”

Wrestling and academics won’t be the only items on Allen’s agenda when he gets to college. He is planning on majoring in music education and plans to join a HLGU choir and possibly participate in a musical.

“Kyle is a well-rounded individual,” Hawes said. “He has excelled in music competition and has received several awards. He has also competed in track, football and soccer, including a three-time conference placer and state qualifier in wrestling. I have been impressed with Kyle’s work ethic and desire to improve. Kyle’s coaches commented that he has excellent character. This will contribute to his future development as a wrestler.”




Holtzen wins state medal, breaks school record

Louisburg freshman Cade Holtzen was all smiles following his blood round win over Columbus’ Gabe Porter that secured him a state medal at 113 pounds. Holtzen went on to finish sixth overall.

 

SALINA – As the final whistle sounded in his blood round match, Cade Holtzen looked up into the rafters of the Tony’s Pizza Events Center and smiled.

He had finally reached his goal.

Holtzen defeated Columbus’ Gabe Porter by a 6-0 decision Saturday during the Class 4A Kansas State Wrestling Championships in Salina and secured his state medal.

“It is one of the best feelings that I have had in my life,” Holtzen said. “Just knowing that I’m going to place – you just can’t match that with anything else.”

It certainly wasn’t easy for the Louisburg freshman as he faced a win or go home with nothing scenario heading into his match with Porter. Holtzen pulled out the victory and eventually finished sixth overall at 113 pounds to give Louisburg a state medalist for the third consecutive season.

“It is pretty cool,” he said. “I have been working for this all season, so to get a state medal is great. It may not have been as high as I wanted, but any state medal is pretty amazing.”

Holtzen had a special year for the Wildcats as he finished with a 45-6 record and broke the school record for most wins in a single season. He won four different tournaments and was a Frontier League and regional tournament runner-up.

Cade Holtzen finished his season with a 45-6 record, breaking the school record for most wins in season.

To add to his resume, he became only the second freshman in school history to earn state medal – second to only Austin Hood, who would go on to with three state titles.

“I’m so proud of Cade and all he accomplished this season,” Louisburg coach Bobby Bovaird said. “Cade has been putting in lots of hard work. Last season as an eighth grader, he took third at USAWKS kids state, and then he competed at the national duals tournament for Team Kansas. He went to several camps over the summer and was one of our Ironman Award winners.

“He’s living proof that hard work pays off. Combine his work ethic with his athleticism and mental toughness, and you’ve got a kid with lots of potential and a bright future ahead of him.”

Holtzen opened the state tournament with a technical fall win over Tonganoxie’s Hunter Harris, but lost his quarterfinal match to Abilene’s William Stroda as he was pinned in the second period.

He rebounded to win his consolation wrestleback match with a 12-0 major decision over McPherson’s Landon Crews and then followed it up with his win over Porter. Holtzen then lost a close consolation semifinal match to Rose Hill’s Kyle Sackett by a 2-1 decision, before getting pinned by Winfield’s Chris Ray in the fifth-place match.

“I think I was just excited that I placed, so I didn’t wrestle as good as I could have in my last two matches,” he said. “My consolation semifinal match, I wrestled pretty good, but I could’ve moved a little more on bottom and the same with that last match. He (Ray) just caught me and I couldn’t get out of it.”

Junior Austin Moore finished one win shy of a state medal, but he earned his 100th career win with a pin Saturday in Salina and ended his year with a 43-7 record.

The Wildcats nearly had another state placer when Austin Moore reached the blood round and had a matchup with a familiar foe win Tonganoxie’s Connor Searcy.

Moore, who lost to Searcy three times earlier in the year, got a takedown and then an escape to go up 3-0. Searcy would record a takedown of his own in the second period and then got an escape in the third to tie it up. Searcy then got a takedown with just seconds left in the match to get a 5-3 decision.

It was a tough loss for the 195-pound junior, who wrestled well in several matches.

Moore opened with a first-period pin of Wichita Trinity’s Tucker Trevett, but later fell to El Dorado’s Braden Morgan, the eventual state champion, in the quarterfinals. He bounced back to pin Atchison’s Riley Smith in the consolation wrestleback round before falling to Searcy and coming up one win short of a medal.

His pin of Smith turned out to be his 100th career win and will look to add to that total next year.

“It’s got to be frustrating for Austin, seeing that earlier in the season he’d pinned the kids who took 5th and 6th place,” Bovaird said. “That’s the way state works sometimes. You get bad draws, and it looks like other kids get good draws. In the end, you’ve still got to show up and wrestle. Austin did that — he showed up and wrestled his heart out. Unfortunately, he had a couple of tough opponents standing in his way. Three of the top six placers at 195 came from our regional, and Austin was right there being competitive with the best of the state.

“He’s going to be much more driven next year, that’s for sure. And it’s hard to imagine Austin Moore being even more driven than he already is. I know it’s a tough way to end the season, but I’m pretty proud of how Austin has done. His pin against his Atchison opponent was his 100th career win, and he’s just a junior. There’s plenty more victories to come next season.”

Senior Ryan Adams finished the state tournament with a 1-2 record at 145 pounds and a 33-8 mark on the season.

Senior Thad Hendrix (106 pounds), senior Ryan Adams (145) and junior Blue Caplinger (160) all finished two wins shy of a medal as they each lost their consolation wrestleback matches. Senior Tucker Batten (138) finished the tournament 0-2 despite wrestling two difficult opponents.

“We’re getting more and more competitive at the state tournament,” Bovaird said. “A few years ago, it was a huge relief just to qualify a group. Now, we’re going down looking to score points and bring home medals. It’s really a mindset thing. A kid can have all the best physical preparation, but if he’s not ready psychologically, a lot can go wrong.

“That’s been a focus of ours this year, the psychology of being successful in wrestling. More and more of our kids are buying into it, and you can see the results at the state level. Thad, Ryan and Blue all went 1-2 at state. All their losses came to state placers. Blue lost both matches by 2 points. Tucker had some tough opponents, too, but he battled pretty hard in each of his matches.”

Junior Blue Caplinger was 1-2 in state tournament action at 160 pounds, which gave him a 34-14 record on the year.

In the end, a Louisburg wrestler found his way to the medal stand for the third consecutive year, but Bovaird believes his team’s season was a successful one in its own right.

“We had a great season, one full of successes,” Bovaird said. “We won 18 duals (the second most single-season dual victories in a season), we took first at three tournaments (Prairie View, Topeka and Parsons), and we had six wrestlers with 30-plus wins this season. There have been some rocky times with Louisburg wrestling the last couple of years, but I feel like we’re on the right track to establishing our community as a powerhouse in the sport — at all levels.”

Senior Thad Hendrix was 1-2 at 106 pounds, but ended his season with a 31-17 record.

 

2018 KSHSAA 4A Championships Results for Louisburg

106

Thad Hendrix (31-17) place is unknown and scored 1.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Gabe Fox (Augusta) 37-11 won by major decision over Thad Hendrix (Louisburg) 31-17 (MD 12-2)
  • Cons. Round 1 – Thad Hendrix (Louisburg) 31-17 won by decision over Jordan Zimmerman (Hays) 25-15 (Dec 10-6)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Isaac Novotny (Marysville) 31-14 won by decision over Thad Hendrix (Louisburg) 31-17 (Dec 8-5)

113

Cade Holtzen (45-6) placed 6th and scored 9.50 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Cade Holtzen (Louisburg) 45-6 won by tech fall over Hunter Harris (Tonganoxie) 17-23 (TF-1.5 3:05 (16-0))
  • Quarterfinal – William Stroda (Abilene) 43-3 won by fall over Cade Holtzen (Louisburg) 45-6 (Fall 3:48)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Cade Holtzen (Louisburg) 45-6 won by major decision over Landon Crews (McPherson) 30-15 (MD 12-0)
  • Cons. Round 3 – Cade Holtzen (Louisburg) 45-6 won by decision over Gabe Parker (Columbus) 25-16 (Dec 6-0)
  • Cons. Semi – Kyle Sackett (Rose Hill) 35-8 won by decision over Cade Holtzen (Louisburg) 45-6 (Dec 2-1)
  • 5th Place Match – Chris Ray (Winfield) 27-17 won by fall over Cade Holtzen (Louisburg) 45-6 (Fall 1:50)

Senior Tucker Batten was 0-2 at state but finished his season with a 30-14 record.

138

Tucker Batten (30-14) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Darryl Rylant (Clearwater) 42-3 won by fall over Tucker Batten (Louisburg) 30-14 (Fall 2:37)
  • Cons. Round 1 – Jose Lopez (Bonner Springs) 30-18 won by fall over Tucker Batten (Louisburg) 30-14 (Fall 2:05)

145

Ryan Adams (33-8) place is unknown and scored 3.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Kaden Jacobson (Basehor-Linwood) 38-8 won by fall over Ryan Adams (Louisburg) 33-8 (Fall 1:22)
  • Cons. Round 1 – Ryan Adams (Louisburg) 33-8 won by fall over Jonah Clarke (McPherson) 26-15 (Fall 3:16)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Christian Hannon (Andover Central) 16-10 won by decision over Ryan Adams (Louisburg) 33-8 (Dec 10-9)

160

Blue Caplinger (34-14) place is unknown and scored 3.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Storm Slupianek (Marysville) 37-3 won by decision over Blue Caplinger (Louisburg) 34-14 (Dec 3-1)
  • Cons. Round 1 – Blue Caplinger (Louisburg) 34-14 won by fall over Drew Perez (SM-Bishop Miege) 30-10 (Fall 2:57)
  • Cons. Round 2 – Jadon Koehler (Pratt) 31-10 won by decision over Blue Caplinger (Louisburg) 34-14 (Dec 2-0)

195

Austin Moore (43-7) place is unknown and scored 7.00 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 – Austin Moore (Louisburg) 43-7 won by fall over Tucker Trevett (Wichita-Trinity Academy) 24-18 (Fall 1:14)
  • Quarterfinal – Braden Morgan (El Dorado) 40-1 won by tech fall over Austin Moore (Louisburg) 43-7 (TF-1.5 4:10 (16-0))
  • Cons. Round 2 – Austin Moore (Louisburg) 43-7 won by fall over Riley Smith (Atchison) 21-12 (Fall 1:27)
  • Cons. Round 3 – Connor Searcy (Tonganoxie) 43-7 won by decision over Austin Moore (Louisburg) 43-7 (Dec 5-3)



Five of six Wildcats still alive at state wrestling

Louisburg junior Austin Moore gets a pin in his opening round match Friday at the Class 4A Kansas State Wrestling Championships. Moore finished 1-1 on the day at 195 pounds.

 

It was a successful first day for the Louisburg High School wrestling team Friday at the Class 4A Kansas State Wrestling Championships as five of six Wildcats are still alive for a state medal.

Although all five are on the consolation side of the bracket, each of the wrestlers each garnered a victory at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina.

Freshman Cade Holtzen (113 pounds) and junior Austin Moore won their first match of the day and ventured in to the quarterfinals. Holtzen won by technical fall in his opening bout against Tonganoxie’s Hunter Harris, but was later pinned by Abilene’s William Stroda. Stroda is currently ranked No. 2 in the state.

Holtzen (42-4) will wrestle McPherson’s Landon Crews (30-14) to start the day Saturday and will need two victories to guarantee himself a medal.

As for Moore, he pinned Wichita Trinity’s Tucker Trevett in the first period of his opening match. However, Moore went up against El Dorado’s Braden Morgan, the No. 1 wrestler at 195 pounds, and lost by technical fall.

Moore will face off with Atchison’s Riley Smith (21-11) to start the consolation round and he must also win two victories to garner a state medal.

Senior Thad Hendrix (106), senior Ryan Adams (145) and junior Blue Caplinger (160) all suffered losses in the first round, but all three bounced back to win their first consolation match. Like Holtzen and Moore, all three wrestlers will need to win two matches on Saturday to guarantee themselves a spot on the medal stand.

Hendrix (31-16) responded to beat Hays’ Jordan Zimmerman by a 10-6 decision and will wrestle Marysville’s Isaac Novotny (29-12) to start consolation wrestlebacks.

Adams (33-7) was nearly eliminated in his consolation match as he found himself down 7-2 to McPherson’s Jonah Clarke, but opened the third period with the pin after he was pinned in his first match by Basehor-Linwood’s Kaden Jacobson, the state’s No. 3 ranked wrestler. He will face off with Andover Central’s Christian Hannon (15-9) to begin tournament action tomorrow.

Caplinger (34-13) battled hard in his first match against the state’s No.1 wrestler in Storm Slupianek from Marysville and lost by a 3-1 decision. He then found himself down 2-0 to Bishop Miege’s Drew Perez in the second period of his consolation match, but bounced back to record a pin. Caplinger will meet Pratt’s Jadon Koehler (28-9) tomorrow.

Senior Tucker Batten (138) suffered losses in both of his bouts today. Batten was pinned by Clearwater’s Darryl Rylant, the No. 2 wrestler in the state and then was pinned by Bonner Springs’ Jose Lopez. He ended his season with a 30-14 record.

The consolation round will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday.