Black and Blue Tournament Recap

Most local wrestlers got to step on the mat for the first time since February.

The high school Folkstyle season ended with the Missouri State High School Wrestling Championships in late February, but in a little over a month’s time, competitors get a chance to get involved in freestyle tournaments.

Wrestler Interviews:

The first one in the Kansas City area kicked off with the Black and Blue Tournament last Saturday at Olathe West High School. Wrestlers in elementary, middle, or high school competed in individual round-robin brackets and the winners of each one was awarded tournament T-shirts.

The month of April is loaded with freestyle tournaments in the Kansas City area including the Her Circle Duals, Ultimate Freestyle Tournament and the Fight or Flight Tournament, so this one was the first of many.

Below breaks down each bracket of the high cadet, girls, and junior divisions.

Cadet Division

114-119: Odessa’s Liam Shippy competed in his first freestyle tournament, and he couldn’t have asked for a better performance. He won by tech fall in all three of his matches as he cruised to a first-place finish.

“I think overall I did pretty good,” Shippy said. “I just want to get better at wrestling, and I think competing in freestyle is the best way to do it.”

115-117: Liberty’s Calan Manley earn three wins by tech fall and one by forfeit as he went 4-0 to take his bracket.

119-130: Carl Junction’s Caden Groom had four close matches in a tough bracket. He earned wins of 8-5, 12-8, 4-0 and won on a tiebreaker in a 6-6 match over Marko Stephen of Kansas as he grinded his way to first place.

“I tried to stay tough on my feet and score as many points as I could,” Groom said. “If I couldn’t do that, I went defensive and got the job done. I thought I defended my legs well.”

119-123: Blue Springs Aiden Bowman took second place while going 3-1 with his lone loss coming against Tonganoxie’s Beau Underwood in a 14-3 defeat.

124-129: Staley’s Conner Anderson focused on defense and not getting thrown by has opponent. That strategy paid off as he won all four of his matches by tech fall to win his bracket.

“I was trying to stay out of throws and try to get to my stuff and not let him get to his,” Anderson said….

Yes, there's even more!
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Written by Michael Smith

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