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Archive for Friday, March 7, 2003

Athletes of the week

March 7, 2003

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Brett Shoffner

Free State

Class: Junior.

Sport: Wrestling.

The week: Shoffner narrowly missed becoming the school's first state champion -- and the city's first since 1978 -- when he placed second at the Class 6A state tournament Saturday in Wichita. He was edged by Overland Park Aquinas' Drew Ibarra in the 152-pound final, 6-5, despite wrestling with a strained ligament in his knee. Shoffner, who finished the year 26-12, joined FSHS grads Ian Brk and Justin Stevens as the only other Firebirds to reach the finals.

Comment: "He is very dedicated to wrestling. He's always the first one on the mat when we do conditioning and when we start practice," coach Darrell Andrew said. "But the best thing about Brett is that in his efforts to make himself better, he helps everyone else around him. He's a good kid off the mat, and an example of what we want our student athletes to be."

Kyle Flory

Baldwin

Class: Junior.

Sport: Wrestling.

The week: Flory became just the third state champion in the school's history when he beat Columbus' Kurtis Baylor, 12-3, in the 171-pound finals at the Class 4A state tournament Saturday in Wichita. Flory, a two-time Frontier League champ and regional champ, finished 40-6 this season and set school records for takedowns, match points and tied the school mark for technical falls. All six of his losses were to either Kansas or Missouri state champs, two of which he avenged. Along with beating Baylor, he also beat Paola's Nate Payne -- a two time 5A state champ -- in the league finals.

Comment: "He's just prepared enough and wrestling enough that he got better and better each week," BHS coach Kit Harris said. "We got to the end of the season, and he was wrestling his best."

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