Wrestling Showdown: Platte County and Columbia Hickman Battle for Blue Springs South Title

Saturday’s Blue Springs South Invitational came down to the wire between Platte County and Columbia Hickman.

The teams were neck and neck for the first-place team title for much of the day, but in the end, unranked Platte County took the team title over the No. 3-ranked Kewpies as the Pirates won the tournament with 357.5 points at Blue Springs South High School.

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Hickman was right behind them in second place with 352 points and Pleasant Hill was third with 306.5.

The Pirates had two wrestlers win their division while five others finished in the top three of their respective divisions. Freshman Jaxson Shute (106 pounds), who is ranked No. 4 in Class 3, caught No. 5-ranked Victor Schmalz of Pleasant Hill in the final match of his round-robin bracket. That win made him 5-0 on the day as he took first.

“I just stayed with my (arm) drags a lot and got to his legs a lot,” Shute said. “His hands were close to his knees so I was able to catch (the cradle) twice.” 

His teammate, senior Caden Hulett (120), has flown under the radar despite being one of the top wrestlers in his weight class. Hutlett won a close match in the semifinals of his bracket, a 5-3 victory against Hickman’s Hogan Benter before ending his day with a pin against Lee’s Summit sophomore Luke Nally in 54 seconds during the championship match.

“Turning it up right before districts is always the best,” Hulett said. “I think I was able to keep the pace up and I was able to outwork some guys.”

Other Platte County wrestlers to finish in the top three were Gabe Wittel (second, 113), Jack Johnson (third, 144), Evan MacCuish (third, 150), Jake Fernandez (second, 215) and Quinn Lightle (second, 285).

Below is a breakdown of the championship matches of the divisions not already mentioned:

113: Two-time state champion and No. 1-ranked Hank Benter ran roughshod over his competition, getting all first-period pins in his matches, including one in Wittel in 1:08 in the first-place bout.

“You always gotta bring you A game in any tournament,” Benter said. “This was a good tournament to try some new things.”

126: No. 2-ranked Charlie Dykes had little trouble against his competition in a round-robin format as he had first period pins in all five of his matches as he took first place.

“I tried to hit stuff I have never hit before,” Dykes said. “I got in a good position to do something new. I hit a leg cradle today.”

132: William Chrisman junior Javarien Jeffries got a clutch reversal and near fall while trailing 9-8 to Hickman’s Brady McMurtry with about 30 seconds left, and came away with a 13-9 victory in the finals.

“I was checking the clock to see if I had enough time and I went to the switch,” Jeffries said. “I just sent it and it provided a good result.”

138: Park Hill South freshman Landen McDowell, ranked No. 4, has had an impressive first year wrestling at the high-school level. He improved to 25-3 following a 19-4 tech fall victory in 4:20 against Francis Howell North sophomore Valentin Ledezma.

145: Hickman sophomore Jordan Fincher had four pins and a tech fall leading up to his championship match with Blue Springs South freshman Cy Wilmes. The No. 2-ranked wrestler from Hickman dominated his match from start to finish and came away with a 19-4 tech fall victory in 5:54.

150: Hickman freshman Shane Oswald, ranked No. 5, ended his match in short order against Pleasant Hill senior Troy Gustin and used a spladle to get a pin in 46 seconds in the championship bout.

“I was a little gassed on the first day but the second day went pretty well,” Oswald said. “The finals match went pretty quick.”

157: No. 1-ranked Lane Snyder proved why he’s a contender to win a state individual title this season. He pinned all of his opponents in the first period, including Lee’s Summit senior Michael Foley in the finals in 1:04 as he earned a spot atop the podium.

165: Lee’s Summit senior Jackson Jones is having a breakout season in 2023-24. On Saturday, he improved to 31-3 after he won a scramble in overtime and got a takedown of No. 3-ranked Luke Hayden of Hickman to win the championship match.

“A big thing we do at Lee’s Summit … We work out conditioning,” Jones said. “In the deep waters of the match in overtime, we are still ready to go. That really helped me with that scramble at the end.”

175: Hickman freshman Beau Waldron had a tough bout with Lee’s Summit senior Roan McCarthy in the championship match, but managed to grind out a 3-0 victory. 

190: Lee’s Summit North junior Noah White was knotted at 1-1 against Park Hill South senior Ethan Saft in the title bout. The match went into overtime, with White getting a clutch takedown to 3-1.

215: Pleasant Hill senior Brayden Bush, ranked No. 1 in Class 2, had a marquee matchup with Platte County senior Jake Fernandez, ranked No. 2 in Class 3, in the final match of his round-robin bracket and ended up squeaking out a 9-6 victory.

285: Blue Springs South senior Callen Smithpeter, ranked No. 5, pinned all five of his opponents, including Lightle in the finals in 1:28 to capture a gold medal.

What do you think?


Written by Michael Smith

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