Chanute High School accomplished a monumental feat for the first time in head coach Andy Albright’s tenure as the head wrestling coach.
On Saturday at CHS, the Blue Comets won the SEK Invitational with 248.5 points.
Other programs with top-five finishes were Arkansas City (207), Shawnee-Mill Valley (164), Wichita-Bishop Carroll (134) and Frontenac (115.5) high schools.
The following CHS wrestlers placed in their respective weight classes:
Junior Trent Clements (106 pounds, record: 29-1) defeated Shawnee Mill Valley’s freshman Eddie Hughart (27-9) by a decision of 11-4 to place first; sophomore Kolton Misener (113, 28-4) by technical fall in 5:17 over Arkansas City junior Samuel Dickey (14-7) to finish first; sophomore Trey Dillow (120, 19-11) by decision 7-1 over Shawnee-Mill Valley senior Cole Moberly (23-17) for third; junior Colton Seely (126, 18-8) by major decision 9-0 over Wichita-Bishop Carroll freshman Sam Duling (17-11) for first; freshman Ty Leedy (132, 21-6) fell by decision 12-6 to Shawnee-Mill Valley senior Zach Keal (28-5), who is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in all Kansas weight classes, to leave with second place; senior Tyler Davis (138, 15-5) fell short to Wichita-Bishop Carroll senior Matt Gottschalk (31-5) to come up fourth; senior Logan McDonald (145, 25-7) lost by sudden victory 8-6 to Augusta sophomore Garrett Davis (22-8); senior Brady McDonald (152, 26-6) fell short by decision 7-2 to Frontenac senior Wil Jameson (28-2) to claim second place; senior Parker Winder (160, 29-3) by fall in 2:35 over Independence senior Ian Lawson (24-5) to place first; junior Brayden Dillow (182, 29-1) suffered his first loss of the year by 10-5 decision to Arkansas City senior Gavin Lough (27-10); sophomore Tuker Davis (220, 15-15) fell short in a decision to Topeka-Seaman senior Ezra Shove (25-14); and sophomore Nathan Cunningham (285, 16-12) was defeated by fall in 36 seconds to Topeka-Seaman junior Ewan Mills (17-9), though he earned his first varsity medal at a tournament this past Saturday.
Albright said he was absolutely elated by his athletes’ performances.
“It was a good day for the fact that we had 12 kids place in the top 6, so that’s good day when 12 of the 14 kids bring home a medal, so we can’t complain there; that’s exciting,” Albright said. “It was a really good day. It’s not really possible without having good support in the community. I have Brian Campbell and Zack Murry (who) were extremely helpful. And my moms and dads just made it a great day by helping at the concession stand and running the hospitality room. It’s a class-act tournament.”
Albright is pumped that Clements, Misener, Seely and Winder continue excellence. He said he also saw the tournament as a big stepping stone for Seely.
“I couldn’t be happier for the kid,” Albright said. “His hard work is starting to pay off.”
Leedy’s work has been paying off, too. To even compete versus the No. 1 ranked wrestler in all Kansas weight classes (Keal), Leedy needed to defeat the No. 1 ranked wrestler in Class 4A in Creach, and he did so by ultimate tie-breaker 6-4.
Focusing on some other high-level wrestlers, Albright noted a few occurrences from the SEK Invitational.
“Brady McDonald got beat in the finals. (We) just need to make a few changes and fix some mistakes, I think he’ll be okay,” Albright said. “Brayden Dillow lost, and he lost to a good kid from Ark City (Lough) who he had beaten earlier this year at Perry, and he made a couple mistakes. But you know, I definitely think it’s a good time to suffer a loss, if that makes sense, for the fact that we can make adjustments and get ready for regionals and state. Trey Dillow had a great day and obviously Trey just keeps on improving more and more and that’s because of his workout partners. I mean Trent Clements, Kolton Misener and Colton Seely, those guys work out every day, so it’s paying off. Logan McDonald and Tyler Davis and Tuker Davis, and I don’t think they finished the way they wanted, but they still had a good day. Overall, I was really pleased.”
Winder, 18, is one student-athlete who had a sensational day, and proved it by culminating all four of his matches with pins.
“Everything went pretty well yesterday. I wrestled well,” Winder said. “But I still have a lot to improve. Got to keep working, got to keep my conditioning up to what it was, but overall I think I wrestled well. I got to keep my mentality for the rest of the year and continue to perform for the state tournament.”
Misener, 16, is another Blue Comet setting his sights on staying focused on the bigger task at hand.
“I was just trying to stay focused and score as many points as they scored, just keep going and just stay calm,” Misener said. “I feel like I’m improving a lot, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Chanute (18-1) will next compete in the Rose Hill Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8, at 11 am, while the Lady Blue Comets will gear up for the SEK Invitational Feb. 11 at 5 pm at home.