16 min read
By Michael Smith
The Liberty Blue Jays looks like a runaway freight train that can’t be stopped.
The No. 1-ranked team in the state according to the MissouriWrestling.com poll looks like the clear favorite to win the state title. After being on quarantine for two weeks due to COVID, the Blue Jays got healthy enough to field a near full team at the Class 4 District 8 Tournament.
In a district that features two other Kansas City powerhouses in Park Hill and Staley, Liberty proved its still the top dog in the area. Liberty cruised to a first-place finish, earning 262.5 points. Staley was second with 177.5 points and Liberty North was third with 130.
“I felt like we wrestled well today,” Liberty coach Dustin Brewer said. “We just have to go back and make some adjustments for the guys who lost. Even our guys who won, we have to keep making adjustments and keep getting better. We have a couple more weeks to get where we want.”
The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to sectionals.
The defending state champions had nine wrestlers take first, while four others qualified for the Class 4 Sectional 4 Tournament on Feb. 20. Those who won individual championships include Hunter Taylor (106), Christopher Coates (120), Easton Hilton (126), Jude Axsom (132), Kage Lenger (138), Kyle Dutton (145), Wentric Williams III (182), Jack Horn (195) and Jeremiah Cabuyaban (285).
Other Blue Jays to qualify all finished second. They were Cooper Rider (113), Logan Rathjen (152), Jeremiah Halter (160) and Jacob Lynn (170).
This district tournament had several marquee matches that could easily end up being championship matches at the state tournament on March 13 at Cable Dahmer Arena.
Below is a summary of each weight class:
106: Taylor, ranked No. 2 in his weight division in Class 4, earned a 18-1 tech fall victory in the semifinals and moved on to pin No. 5 ranked Michael Domino of Liberty North in the finals in 2:57.
“I dumped him and got the power half and got the pin,” Taylor said of his match with Domino. “I am staying focused on that state title.”
- 1st: Hunter Taylor, Liberty
- 2nd: Michael Domino, Liberty North
- 3rd: Dylan Taylor, Park Hill South
- 4th: Tristan Supernaw, Oak Park