Anyone who believes wrestling is an anticlimactic sport clearly was not in attendance for Lawrence High’s Senior Night.
In a heart-pounding, come-from-behind effort, the Lions edged Olathe Northwest, 38-36, Tuesday at LHS.
“It was a complete team effort,” LHS head coach Pat Naughton said. “We called on a lot of different guys to do a lot of different things today.”
The victory was very much in doubt during the first half of the dual, as the Ravens burst out of the gate, taking the first five of seven decisions.
Then LHS senior and state qualifier Blake Greenfield defeated freshman Connor Middleton at 145 pounds to get the ball rolling. Freshman Reece Wright-Conklin piggy-backed on Greenfield’s victory and pinned Matt Cantrell in the 152-pound match, bringing the Lions within seven points.
“It’s really a positive influence on the younger guys if you can come out and win on your night,” Greenfield said.
Down seven and desperately trying to hang in the contest, Naughton sent sophomore Ben Seybert, who typically wrestles in the 171-pound weight class, to face ONW’s Rick Haynes at 189 pounds.
“We knew how strong (Seybert) was — he’s always a sound wrestler — and we thought he could at least survive not geting pinned,” Naughton said. “And what he did was save us a major decision that would’ve given them four points and cost us the tie. With him not getting pinned, and then getting a take-down in the end, it saved us on team points.”
In a finish that nearly brought Lawrence’s West Gym down, the Lions’ final two wrestlers, freshman Brad Wilson (215 pounds) and junior Chris Berg (285 pounds), both pinned their opponents to propel LHS to the two-point victory.