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.
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.”
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 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.”
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.”
2018 KSHSAA 4A Championships Results for Louisburg
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)