Louisburg wrestlers have good showing at kids state

Louisburg’s Jay McCaskill, of the Rebel Wrestling Club, stands atop of the podium after he won the elementary 100-pound division on Feb. 24 during the Elementary State Tournament in Salina.

SALINA – Several Louisburg kid wrestlers took to the mats on Feb. 24 when they traveled to the Kansas 6-U and Elementary state tournament in Salina and a few were able to leave with some hardware.

Four competitors from the Rebels Wrestling Club, and another from the Wildcat Wrestling Club, left with state medals for their performance. Elementary wrestlers were also competing for a spot on the Kansas dual team that will compete in Iowa in April.

Jay McCaskill, who wrestled with
the Rebels, was the state champion in the elementary 100-pound division. He
went 4-0 on the day as he pinned his way to a state crown.

McCaskill got to the semifinals
and eventually pinned Andover’s Logan Wilkens in the semifinals and pinned
Preston Hagel of the Kansas Young Guns in two minutes in the first-place match.

Jovani Caudill finished fourth in the elementary 85-pound division as he wrestled seven matches on the day and posted a 5-2 record before falling in the third-place match. Caudill has had a successful season with the Rebels as he won the Tournament of Champions last January in Salina.

At 65 pounds, Tyson Blancarte
finished sixth for the Rebels at the state tournament as he wrestled eight
matches on the day and finished with a 5-3 record, including a pair of pins.

Sawyer Blue was seventh for the
Rebels at 55 pounds as he opened the tournament with a pair of wins and then
won by a 13-3 major decision in the seventh place match to finish his
tournament with a 4-2 record.

Blue has also had a good season as
he won the Tournament of Champions in Salina in January in the 8-and-under

Braddock Tharp, of the Wildcat Wrestling Club, works for a pin during the 6-U state tournament on Feb. 24 in Salina.

Braddock Tharp made history Sunday for the Wildcat Wrestling Club as he became the club’s first state placer. Tharp competed in the 6-and-under tournament at 53 pounds and came away with a third-place state medal.

Tharp won his first three matches
of the tournament, but lost his semifinal match to Osawatomie’s Carson Slayman
by a 9-5 decision. Tharp bounced back to win his next two matches, including a
7-4 decision in the third-place match against Bourbon County’s Kaidden

Also for the Wildcat Wrestling Club, Graeme Finch was 3-2 at 41 pounds and was one match away from placing in the top-6. He lost his last match by a 5-4 decision.

Louisburg’s Kaden Allen (Paola Wrestling Club, green shirt) finished third in the elementary 85-pound division and Louisburg’s Jovani Caudill (Rebels, blue singlet) took fourth.

Louisburg Middle School student
Kaden Allen, who wrestles for the Paola Wrestling Club, also brought home a
state medal. Allen finished third in the 85-pound elementary division and ended
his tournament with a 5-1 record, with his only loss coming in the semifinals.

The Wildcat Wrestling Club also
had a competitor take part in the War of the Roses 2019 Girls Open tournament
last Sunday in McPherson.

Louisburg’s Kynlee Bonham competed
in the elementary third through fifth grade, 65-69 pound division and finished
fourth overall.

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.”

Doles wins kids state wrestling championship

Louisburg Middle School seventh-grader Brandon Doles won a state title at the Kansas State Folkstyle Wrestling Championships on March 26 in Topeka. Doles won his crown in the 12-and-under 120 pound class and capped what was a special season. 


Brandon Doles had been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Doles, a seventh-grader at Louisburg Middle School, began wrestling nine years ago and a state championship has always been on his mind. It was always elusive.

Despite falling short several times, Doles kept working and all that hard work and patience paid off. At the Kansas State Folkstyle Championships, Doles captured that state title in the 12-and-under 120 pound class on March 26 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.

“I felt very confident at state this year,” Doles said. “Going into state I only lost two matches at 120 pounds in Kansas. I was able to beat the second and third place finishers to win the championship.

“When I won state I had so much adrenaline. I was so excited and pumped that I had finally met my goal. It was a feeling that I will never forget.”

Going into the state tournament, Doles had already had a special season. He started the year placing at two national tournaments. Doles was fourth at the Tulsa Kickoff and sixth at the Junior Olympic Championship in Oklahoma City.

Doles then finished first at the Kansas Tournament of Champions in Salina leading up to the state tournament.

“Once I won that, it gave it me a ton of confidence,” Doles said. “I knew wrestling a lot of tough tournaments was going to give me an advantage this year. Winning state this year was definitely a goal I accomplished. I started wrestling nine years ago as the youngest wrestler in the club and now this year I was the oldest for our club.”

Before the kids season started, Doles took first in the Sunflower State Games last summer for the fourth consecutive year and also won a Frontier League title in middle school this past season.

With all his accomplishments, Doles was awarded the Most Outstanding Wrestler award from the Louisburg club and finished the season with 22 pins.

At the state tournament, Doles opened with a pin and then defeated Plainville’s Kyle Werner by a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinals. In his semifinal match, Doles downed the Bobcat’s Ethan Cunning by a 6-3 decision that set up an intense championship match.

Doles faced off with Iola’s Trenton Jones in the finals and earned a 2-1 decision to finish a dream season.

“I’ve been wrestling for nine years and have made it to state every year,” Doles said. “I’ve finished fifth twice and fourth once. I’ve been close to making it to the finals twice – losing in overtime one year and by one point another. I’ve worked extremely hard the past few years and I worked hard over the summer with the high school. It all paid off.”


Doles was one of four wrestlers from the Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club to earn state medals. Xander Lucas finished third in the 10-and-under 190 pound class. Ashton Moore took sixth in the 10-and-under 95 pound division, while Kaden Allen was sixth at 10-and-under and 64 pounds.

Tyson Blancarte, Jay McCaskill, Brayden Yoder and Harrison Kalinka also competed for Louisburg, but finished just short of a medal.

Another pair of Louisburg Middle School students also fared well at the state tournament. Eighth-grader Cade Holtzen finished third in the 14-and-under, 100-pound class for the Olathe Southside team, while Ryan Owens also qualified for the state tournament.

LKWC places three at kids state tourney

Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club state placers (from left) Hunter Bindi and Mason Koechner hold up fellow placer Tyson Blancarte following the kids state tournament Saturday in Topeka. Bindi and Koechner finished third overall and Blancarte medaled fourth. 


TOPEKA – The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club ventured to the Kansas State Folkstyle Championships at the Kansas Expocentre with high expectations.

The Wildcats brought 10 wrestlers who qualified on the district level and they left Topeka on Saturday with three state medals. Hunter Bindi (14-and-under, 105 pounds) and Mason Koechner (high school, 250) each finished in third place, while Tyson Blancarte (8-U, 49) came in fourth.

Six of the 10 wrestlers won matches over the two-day tournament and the Wildcats finished their kids wrestling season with a strong showing. All three of the state placers were one victory away from wrestling in the finals.

Bindi ended the tournament with a 4-1 record and won his first two matches when competition began Friday. He opened with a pin of Valley Center’s Chase Faimon and then won a 7-3 decision over Marysville’s Joey Bockin.

Those wins put Bindi in the semifinals against Silas Pineda of the Greater Gold Wrestling Club and Bindi lost a tough 4-2 decision. However, he bounced back with a pin of Bonner Springs’ Anthony Ferguson in the consolation semifinals and then battled to win a 2-0 decision over Newton’s Grant Treaster for third place.

Koechner found himself on the same path as Bindi. After he received a bye in the first round, Koechner pinned Salina’s Tristan Harder in the first period, but fell to Hoisington’s Landen Urban in a 7-5 decision in the semifinals.

He responded with a third period pin in the consolation semifinals and then pinned Topeka’s Trent Smeltzer in 1 minute and 42 seconds in the third place match.

Blancarte finished his tournament with a 3-2 record, but started the tournament off strong with a 4-2 decision over Mulvane’s Jonah Yates and then a 3-0 decision over Liberal’s Julian Orrantia. Blancarte then found himself on the wrong side of a tough battle as he lost a 2-0 decision to Rose Hill’s Trenton Richwine.

Blancarte used that experience to defeat Colt Bowers, of the Brawlers Wrestling Club, to get a 2-0 victory to put him in the third-place match. He faced off Beloit’s Brogan Monty, but came up short in a 6-2 loss.

Several other wrestlers tasted victory last weekend. Noah Caudill (8-U, 64), Brayden Yoder (8-U, 80) and Kaden Allen (10-U, 58) each won a match for Louisburg.

Nick Beidelschies (8-U, 40), Jay McCaskill (10-U, 70), Brandon Doles (12-U, 130) and Austin Moore (high school, 160) also wrestled for the Wildcats.

LKWC qualifies 10 for state tournament

Louisburg’s Kaden Allen was one of 10 wrestlers in the Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club to qualify for this weekend’s state tournament in Topeka. Allen finished second at last week’s district tournament.


The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club will be well represented at the Kansas State Folkstyle Championships this weekend thanks to its performance at last Saturday’s district tournament.

Louisburg had 10 wrestlers finish in the top four to qualify for the state tournament at the District 1 Championships at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka.

The Wildcats also had three wrestlers win district titles. Tyson Blancarte finished first in the 8-and-under, 49 pound division and a pair of Louisburg High School students also took home top honors. Hunter Bindi was first in the 14-and-under, 105-pound class and Mason Koechner won the high school division at 250 pounds.

Blancarte opened his tournament with a pair of pins and then recorded a 10-0 major decision over Ethan Fishe of the Bobcat Wrestling Club in the semifinals. He ended his tournament with a convincing 6-2 decision over Ottawa’s Logan Courtois in the finals match.

Bindi pinned his way to a district crown at 105 pounds. He recorded three pins in a combined 4 minutes and 15 seconds to start the tournament and then pinned Bonner Springs’ Anthony Ferguson in 41 seconds to take first.

Koechner also earned a pair of pins to win his title. He pinned Lawrence’s Kevin Nichols in 1:14 in the semifinals and then followed that up with a pin of Topeka’s Michael Mattox in 3:04 in the finals.

Kaden Allen was one win away from a district title himself. Allen finished second in the 10-and-under, 58-pound class.

After losing a 2-0 decision to start the tournament, Allen responded with an 8-4 decision against Bonner Springs’ Frankie Garcia, a pin of Topeka’s Parker Reling and then pinned Turner’s Colby Cross in 2 minutes to end his day on a good note.

Brayden Yoder (8-U, 80 pounds), Jay McCaskill (10-U, 70) and Austin Moore (high school, 160) each finished third and responded with big wins after tough losses.

Yoder lost his semifinal match in a 5-2 decision, but came back to pin Broderick Desch of the Jr. Wildcats Wrestling Club in the consolation semis and then pinned De Soto’s Cooper Born in 2:39 in the third place match.

After falling in the semifinals himself, McCaskill defeated Tonganoxie’s Kade Riedel in a 6-2 decision and then pinned Lawrence’s Andrew Bonebrake in 2:56 to take third.

As for Moore, he won two matches before falling in the semifinals to Osawatomie’s John Diediker. Moore responded to record a 10-0 major decision over Nicholas Arend of the Southwest Timberwolves Club and then defeated Arend’s teammate Evan Ludwig in a 4-1 decision in the third-place match.

Nick Beidelschies (8-U, 40), Noah Caudill (8-U, 64) and Brandon Doles (12-U, 130) also earned state bids as they finished fourth. Doles and Caudill each finished with a 2-2 record on the day and Beidelschies also picked up a win to get into the state tournament.

The state tournament begins Friday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka and will end Saturday.

LKWC places four at Salina tourney

Louisburg kid wrestlers (from left) Brayden Yoder, Tyson Blancarte, Nick Beidelschies and Casen Miller pose with their trophies from the Salina Tournament of Champions. The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club sent several to the tournament and Yoder led the way with a second-place finish.


SALINA – The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club took some of its most experienced wrestlers to the Salina Tournament of Champions on Saturday and a few of them returned with some hardware to show for it.

Louisburg placed four wrestlers in the top five in what is considered one of the more difficult kids tournaments of the season. Brayden Yoder, Tyson Blancarte, Nick Beidelschies and Casen Miller all placed for the Wildcats.

Yoder, who wrestled in the 8-and-under, 80-pound division, got all the way to the finals and finished second overall. He was involved in two tight matches as he outlasted Salina’s Tyrus Young in the quarterfinals for a 2-0 decision in overtime.

Yoder then defeated Russell’s Brayden Suchy in a 2-1 decision in the semifinals and advanced to the championship match. He ended up falling to Isaiah Wilson of the Brawlers in a 2-0 decision.

As for Blancarte, the 49-pounder wrestled in five matches in the 8-and-under division and came away with third place. Blancarte opened with a pin of Arkansas City’s Kolby Quint and then won a 4-2 decision over Kieran Akerson of the Nebraska Boyz.

In the semifinals, Blancarte went up against Rose Hill’s Trenton Richwine and suffered his lone loss in a 4-0 decision. However, he rebounded to win a 7-2 decision over Leo Kriegler of the MWC Wrestling Academy and then defeated Akerson again for a 6-4 decision in the third place match.

Beidelschies and Miller found themselves pretty familiar with each other as both not only competed in the 6-and-under division, they also competed in the same weight class. The two squared off in the 37-pound weight class and both were able to come away with at least two wins.

After losing his quarterfinal match, Beidelschies responded to pin Fort Riley’s Cody Rich in the first round of consolation and then defeated Miller in the consolation semis in a 13-1 major decision. The win put Beidelschies in the third-place match, where he was pinned by Josiah Borge of MOKWC and went on to finish fourth overall.

Miller started off his tournament strong with a pin of Dodge City’s Maxton Roths, but would get pinned by Adin Wessley of the Kansas Young Guns and then would fall to Beidelschies. Miller wrestled in the fifth-place match and again pinned Roths to end his tournament on a good note.


Wildcats shine at Fort Scott

On Jan. 23, the Louisburg program also traveled to the Fort Scott Open/Novice Tournament and came away with several top-four finishes.

In the 6-and-under division, Casen Miller (37 pounds), Sawyer Blue (43B) and Colten Miller (46B) took first-place. Royce Ulrich (52A) came in second while Brooks Rankin (37) and Bo Ballard (43B) took third. Nick Beidelschies (40) finished fourth overall.

At 8-and-under, the Wildcats had two wrestlers finish one win shy of a title. Bronc Noll (61-64) and Brayden Yoder (80-88) both came in second, while Wyatt Tharp (61-64) and Caden Miller (55-58) took third and fifth, respectively.

The Wildcats also had a pair of wrestlers finish runner-up in the 10-and-under class. Beau McCorkendale (73) and Kaven Bartlett (76-80) took second overall. Traden Noll (76-80) came in third.

Aiden Barker (100) and Matt Madison (120-130) each finished fourth in the 12-and-under division and Hunter Millbern (130-135) was third at 14-and-under.

In the novice division, Aiden Dickey (55-58), Lucas Swartz (73) and Jonas Briley (80) all finished second in the 8-and-under class. Dakota Cummins (95-110) came in fourth.

LKWC wins 11 individual titles at home meet

Louisburg’s Tyson Blancarte squeezes his opponent for a pin Saturday during the Louisburg Wildcat Classic at Louisburg High School. Blancarte, who wrestled in the 8-under division, was one of 11 champions on the day for Louisburg.


The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club put together a memorable home performance Saturday at Louisburg High School.

During the Louisburg Wildcat Classic, the Wildcats won 11 individual titles and five more finished runner-up in the open portion of the tournament. In all, Louisburg placed 28 wrestlers in the top four of their respective weight classes in the 28-team tournament.

Leading the way for the older group was Collin Hamilton and Ryan Owens.

Hamilton, who wrestled in the 14-and-under, 130-135 pound class, finished first overall. He defeated Olathe Northwest’s Alex Baiza in an 8-4 decision in the championship match and went 3-0 on the day.

Owens also won all three of his matches in the 12-U, 72-76 pound division. He defeated Kevin Honas of the Sunflower Kids Club by a 6-0 decision in the first-place match.

In the 8-and-under division, the Wildcats crowned three champions. Tyson Blancarte (49-55 pounds), Jovani Caudill (64) and Jack Armstrong (67-73) ended their day undefeated.

Blancarte, who is a defending kids state champion, went 4-0 with a pin, a technical fall and two major decisions. Caudill won all three of his matches by major decision, while Armstrong captured first-place with three straight pins, two of which were in 30 seconds or less.

Louisburg had six champions in the 6-and-under division.

Louisburg's Jacob Meador works for a pin during a match Saturday at the Louisburg Wildcat Classic.

Louisburg’s Jacob Meador works for a pin during a match Saturday at the Louisburg Wildcat Classic.

Brooks Rankin (37), Nick Beidelschies (40), Keegan Cooley (46), Cavan O’Brien (55), Jacob Meador (58) and Brody Campbell (61-64) each came away with first-place honors.

Rankin won the two matches he wrestled, while Beidelschies came in first with a 3-1 record, including a pair of pins and a major decision. Cooley was 3-0 with two pins in 10 and 28 seconds.

O’Brien had a big day for the Wildcats as he recorded four pins and didn’t spend a lot of time on the mat. He recorded pins of 16, 18, 29 and 8 seconds.

Meador was 3-0 with a pair of pins and a major decision, while Campbell also went 3-0 with a pin and two wins by decision.

Also in the 6-U division, Casen Miller (37), Sawyer Blue (43), Bo Ballard (43A) and Colten Miller (46) came in second. In the 8-U division, Brayden Yoder (76-80) finished runner-up as well.

Bo Ballard tries to put an opponent on his back Saturday during a match at the Louisburg Wildcat Classic at Louisburg High School.

Bo Ballard tries to put an opponent on his back Saturday during a match at the Louisburg Wildcat Classic at Louisburg High School.

Gavin Griggs (55) came in third, while Jacob Johnson (49A) and Braddock Tharp (40A) took fourth to round out the top four placers in 6-and-under.

In the 8-and-under class, Colton Prettyman (76-80) and Bronc Noll (58-61) came in third. Caden Miller (49-55) and Wyatt Tharp (64) finished fourth.

Kaden Allen (58-61), Jay McCaskill (73-76) and Kaven Bartlett (79) each finished third in the 10-and-under division and Ethan Showalter (88-92) came in third in 12-U.

Hunter Millbern (130-135) and Anthony Davis (120-125) took third and fourth, respectively, in the 14-U division.

Louisburg also had several placers in the novice portion of the tournament.

Many of those placers came in the 8-U division as the Wildcats had four wrestlers finish runner-up. Tanner LaBrie (52), Jonas Briley (76-80), Johnny Hendrickson (88) and Nate Capuro (95-110) each took second, while Lucas Swartz (70-73), Aiden Dickey (52) and Dakota Cummins (95-110) came in third.

Landon Shaffer (40-46), Will Showalter (55) and Myke McKitrick (58A) finished fourth overall.

At 10-U, Griffin Whisenhunt (150) was third, while Matt Madison (120-140) and Nathan Hamilton (88-96) came in second and third, respectively, in the 12-U division.

Minor wins state title, LKWC places four

Louisburg Middle School eighth-grader Bret Minor captured his first kids state wrestling title Sunday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. Minor, who wrestles in the 14-and-under, 90-pound division, finished with a 4-0 record.


TOPEKA – Bret Minor has made so many trips to the Kansas Kids State Folkstyle Championships he is running out of fingers to count them on.

This season was Minor’s ninth time advancing to the state tournament in Topeka, and as it turns out, it was his most memorable one.

Minor, an eighth-grader at Louisburg Middle School, won the 14-and-under 90-pound state crown Sunday at the Kansas Expocentre with a 4-0 record wrestling for Slyterdome. He has now earned state medals for every place in his near-decade long state tournament career.

The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club also had a strong showing at the state tournament last weekend as the Wildcats placed four of their 15 participants. Ashton Moore (8-and-under, 80 pounds), Harrison Kalinka (10-U, 90) and Mason Koechner (high school, 220) all medaled fourth place. Brandon Doles (10-U, 110) came in fifth overall.

Two other Louisburg Middle School students also participated in the state tournament. Eighth-grader Hunter Bindi (14-U, 85), who wrestles for Heartland Youth, medaled third. Sixth-grader Cade Holtzen finished with a 1-2 record with Olathe Southside.

As for Minor, he was basically untouchable through much of the tournament. He opened action Saturday with an 11-0 major decision of Larned’s Kristopher Nolde and recorded a 15-0 technical fall over Jackson County’s Kolby Roush in the quarterfinals.

Minor then followed that up with a 10-0 major decision over East Kansas’ Larry Gulley. Then in the championship match, Minor defeated Freddy Maisberger of the Thunderbirds by a 7-0 decision.

Bindi hoped to join his classmate in the championship round, but came up one victory shy. Bindi won his first two matches of the tournament, but fell in the semifinals. He responded to pin Rose Hill’s Kyle Sackett in the consolation semifinals and then won a tough 2-0 decision over Lucas Glover of the Kansas Young Guns.

LWKC’s Moore, Kalinka, Koechner and Doles also had strong outings. Moore, Doles and Koechner each finished the day with 4-2 records and Kalinka was 3-2.

Moore had to wrestle on the backside of the bracket most of the tournament after losing his first match. He responded to record four straight victories, including a 3-1 decision over Pratt’s Damien Quint in the consolation semifinals to put him in the third-place match, where he would fall to Dodge City’s Holden Kite.

Kalinka won his first two matches of the tournament on pins over Hutchinson’s Karsen Scheuler and Pittsburg’s Matthew Smith. After a loss in the semis, Kalinka pinned Jace High in the consolation semifinals before losing a tough 2-0 decision of Team Lightning’s Sam Elliott.

In the high school division, Koechner was busy wrestling six matches. Koechner opened with a 4-2 decision of Colyn Gugelman of Colby, but lost a 14-9 decision to Burlington’s Nathan Vander Linden in the quarterfinals.

Koechner responded with three straight victories, including two pins that put him in the third-place match. He lost by a 7-3 decision to Corey Atkins of the Kansas Young Guns to take fourth.

Doles got his tournament started with a pin in just 28 seconds before falling to Caden Ross of the Young Guns in the quarterfinals. Doles battled back to capture a 9-1 major decision over Great Bend’s Breanna Ridgeway and a 4-1 decision against Ulysses’ Justin Degollado.

After falling in the consolation semis, Doles bounced back to win the fifth-place match by a 4-0 decision over Clay County’s JW Jackson.

Also participating in the state tournament for the Louisburg Kids Club was Tyson Blancarte (2-2 record, 8-and-under, 46 pounds), Kaden Allen (2-2, 8-U, 52), Jay McCaskill (0-2, 8-U, 64), Brayden Yoder (0-2, 8-U, 67), Gage Gilliland (0-2, 8-U, 73), Ryan Owens (1-2, 12-U, 68), Brayden Dame (1-2, 12-U, 92), Blue Caplinger (0-2, 14-U, 135), Austin Moore (2-2, 14-U, 145), Nathan Keegan (2-2, high school, 120) and Ryan Adams (1-2, high school, 145).

LKWC has record number of state qualifiers

Louisburg’s Mason Koechner works for a pin during the USAWKS District 1 wrestling tournament Saturday at Blue Valley Southwest High School. The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club set a record with 15 state qualifiers Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Penny McCaskill


OVERLAND PARK – The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club (LKWC) made sure it was going to be well-represented at the upcoming state tournament.

At the USAWKS District 1 tournament Saturday, the Wildcats qualified 15 of their 20 wrestlers for state and put nine in the championship finals, including four champions. Louisburg finished with a 44-29 overall record and had 19 pins at Blue Valley Southwest High School.

The 15 state qualifiers is also a LKWC record and gives the Wildcats nice boost heading into this weekend’s state tournament in Topeka.

Tyson Blancarte (8-and-under, 46 pounds), Brandon Doles (10-U, 110), Brayden Dame (12-U, 92) and Ryan Adams (high school, 145) all earned district titles.

Brayden Yoder (8-U, 67), Ashton Moore (8-U, 80), Harrison Kalinka (10-U, 90), Blue Caplinger (14-U, 135) and Nathan Keegan (high school, 120) finished runner-up to earn state bids.

Jay McCaskill (8-U, 64) and Mason Koechner (high school, 220) finished third overall. Kaden Allen (8-U, 52), Gage Gilliland (8-U, 73), Ryan Owens (12-U, 68) and Austin Moore (14-U, 145) came in fourth to also qualify for state.

Blancarte, who already won a state title in the 6-and-under division, recorded three first period pins to cruise his way to a district crown.

Doles also picked up three wins at 110 pounds. His opening match of the day was his toughest as he won a 2-0 decision over Leavenworth County’s Gabriel Bailey and then pinned Ottawa’s Andrew Spangler early in the second period in round two. In his final match of the day, Doles defeated Tonganoxie’s Conner Cole by a 7-0 decision to get his district title.

Dame opened his quest for a district championship with an 8-1 decision over Atchison’s Jayden Watkins in the quarterfinals. He then pinned Bonner Springs’ Anthony Ferguson in the semifinals before defeating Paola’s Noah Bowden 6-2 in the championship match.

Coming off a state tournament appearance during the high school season, Adams picked up right where he left off as he pinned De Soto’s Michael Lynn in 54 seconds and then followed it up with an 11-0 major decision against Spencer Fortney of the Junior Vikings.

Adams squared off with Osawatomie’s Brendon Chrisjohn in the championship and left with an 11-2 major decision.

Yoder, Moore, Kalinka and Keegan each finished the day with a pin, while Koechner ended the tournament with two pins.

The Wildcats will now prepare for the two-day state folkstyle tournament beginning Saturday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.

LKWC sends 14 wrestlers to districts

DE SOTO – The Louisburg Kids Wrestling Club began its journey to the state tournament Saturday and a lot of wrestlers went along for the ride.

At the subdistrict tournament in De Soto, Louisburg qualified 14 wrestlers for the district tournament after a strong performance. The Wildcats finished with five subdistrict champions and had 11 in the championship finals.

Tyson Blancarte (8-and-under, 46 pounds), Jay McCaskill (8-U, 64), Traden Noll (8-U, 67), Brandon Doles (10-U, 110) and Austin Moore (14-U, 145) all brought home top honors.

Kaden Allen (8-U, 52), Ashton Moore (8-U, 80), Harrison Kalinka (10-U, 90), Ryan Owens (12-U, 68), Brayden Dame (12-U, 92) and Blue Caplinger (14-U, 135) finished runner-up.

Also advancing to the district tournament are Brayden Yoder (8-U, 67) and Gage Gilliland (8-U, 73) as each finished third overall. Bronc Noll (8-U, 49) also advanced to the district tourney after his fourth-place finish.

Blancarte and Doles had an easy time of it — each wrestler received two byes in their bracket to move on to the district round. McCaskill and Noll each picked up three victories on their way to first place.

McCaskill opened with a pin of Kansas City’s Jack Helgerson in just 15 seconds. He followed that up with a pin of De Soto’s Braeden VanDonge in 53 seconds and ended his day with an 11-1 major decision over De Soto’s Jacob Cavendar.

As for Noll, he won an 8-2 decision over Legacy’s Dalton Bollinger and then captured a 5-3 decision over East Kansas’ Jackson Bell. Noll then finished with a close 4-3 decision over Lennox Vann from ATTHD.

Austin Moore cruised to his title at 145 pounds by recording three pins. Moore pinned Kansas City’s Spencer Ralston in 53 seconds and then pinned Linn County’s Bryan Troutman in 1 minute and 15 seconds. In the championship match, Moore pinned Turner’s Shay Stroble in1:09.

The Wildcats will make the trip to district Saturday at Blue Valley Southwest High School.


Minor second at middle school state

Louisburg’s Bret Minor ventured to Lindsborg on Sunday to compete at the Kansas Middle School State Wrestling Championships.

Minor finished second overall in the 90-pound bracket as he finished the tournament with a 3-1 record. He lost a tough championship match to Keegan Slyter by a 6-4 decision.

To start the tournament Minor pinned Fort Scott’s Ty Davison in just under two minutes and then pinned Garden City’s Alexander Herrera in 1:25. In the semifinals, Minor followed that up with an easy 12-2 major decision over Team Lightning’s Adam Whitson.