Up-and-coming Liberty takes down reigning Class 3 state champion Kearney

“It was huge,” Senior Austin Kolvek said. “The state of Missouri, we put ourselves on the map. Beating the defending Class 3 state champs was a big thing. Our freshmen really, really stepped up tonight... From day one walking in, I think we knew we had something special."

December 5, 2018

LIBERTY – The cities of Kearney and Liberty are separated by less than 10 miles. But in terms of high school wrestling programs, they’ve been much farther apart for many years.

That’s until now. The up-and-coming Blue Jays handed the reigning MSHSAA Class 3 state champion Bulldogs a convincing 45-19 defeat in an early season showdown Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Liberty High School Fieldhouse.

“It’s a huge deal,” Liberty junior and team leader Jeremiah Reno said. “Being a young team and beating the defending state champs, that’s huge.”

How huge? Consider this.

Kearney enters the 2018-19 season having racked up 10 all-state team trophies by finishing fourth or better at the state tournament in the past 11 years, highlighted by state titles in 2012, 2013 and 2018. The Bulldogs have placed among the top 10 in the final state team standings in 16 consecutive seasons dating back to 2003.

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