Blue Comets dominate wrestling honors
The winter Kansas high school sports season has ended, and that means it’s time for many of those athletes to be rewarded for their hard work. Local athletes this week have been selected to the 2021 All-SEK teams for wrestling and basketball.
The wrestlers who made the All-SEK team helped the Blue Comets outscore SEK opponents 801-64 in their high school tenure and were selected to the All-SEK team this year because of their fabulous seasons.
“It’s an honor for our athletes to receive post-season awards,” CHS head coach Andy Albright said. “Our athletes should be proud to see their hard work pay off.”
Junior Kolton Misener (113) was second at State and finished with a 32-1 record. Senior Trent Clements also finished second and ended the year with a 33-1 record.
Sophomore Trey Dillow (126) culminated the year with a 28-6 record and placed fifth at State. Junior Kedric Emling, honorable mention, had a 25-8 record and advanced to Sub-State this past year. Senior Colton Seely (138) had a 25-8 record and placed second in State.
Sophomore Ty Leedy (145) had a 28-5 record and became a State champion in Salina. Senior Brayden Dillow (182) ended the season at 30-4 and won back-to-back State titles.
Sophomore Bryan Jackett (195), ho honorable mention, recorded 12-16 and qualified for Sub-State. Junior Tuker Davis (220) was 24-6 on the year and also advanced to Sub-State.
Junior Nathan Cunningham (285, honorable mention, cemented a 19-10 record and placed third in State.
In total, Chanute advanced 12 wrestlers to Sub-State. Albright was very proud of all his athletes.
“The class of 2021 (Clements, Seely, and Brayden Dillow) left an impressive mark on CHS wrestling,” Albright said. “(These senior) boys combined for 11 first-team honors and one Honorable Mention league honor in our conference (in their high school careers).”
Selected first-team All-SEK was senior point guard Kori Babcock, who led the team to a 15-7 record and the Sub-State championship game for the first time since the 2018-19 season, averaging 17.4 points, 4.7 assists, six rebounds and 4.2 assists.
CHS head coach Dustin Fox thought about Babcock’s effect on the team, leading the Lady Comets in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
“Kori was our engine,” Fox said. “She made us go and found so many ways to contribute. ... Over the past four years, no one in our program has put in more time on their game than Kori. She is completely deserving of every honor she receives, and I anticipate this will be the first of many post-season awards she earns.”
On the second-team All-SEK this year is senior forward and guard Mattilyn Cranor, who posted 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
“Mattilyn has improved so much each and every year,” Fox said. “She went from a kid who traveled almost every time she touched the ball to a kid who had some of the best inside footwork in the league. As much as she grew as a player, she grew even more as a person. The increased confidence and belief in herself was key in her taking another step as a player. We were a different team when she was at her best. She was the inside presence we needed when outside shots were not falling.”
This year, under the new voting rules implemented by the SEK, no more than 35 percent of the league’s starters were eligible for All-SEK (12 total), which meant the league had just six first-team, six second-team, and no Honorable Mention this year.
In the past, this would have opened the door for senior guard Brianna Waggoner, who put up seven points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals this season.
“She meant so much to us. Her shooting, her defensive effort, and her energy were all things we relied upon all year,” Fox said. “We are losing a group of seniors who had a tremendous impact on our program. There will certainly be some big shoes to fill.”
Representing All-SEK second team are junior guard Kam Koester and freshman point guard Carter Coombs, who both helped the team to an 11-7 record and the Sub-State Championship game for the first time since the 2018-19 season. Koester averaged 15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, while Coombs was at 12.6 ppg, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
“All the guys were huge pieces,” CHS head coach Devon Crabtree said. “So proud of what they and we accomplished this season.”