High School Sports

High School Sports

Journal-World All-Area Wrestling

The 2011-2012 Journal-World All-Area Wrestling Team, from left, is Colton Bonner, Baldwin; Nick Pursel, Lawrence; Bryce Shoemaker, Baldwin; Reece Wright-Conklin, Lawrence; coach Pat Naughton, Lawrence; Cole Cannon, De Soto; Andrew Morgan, Baldwin; Hunter Haralson, Lawrence. Not pictured from the first team are Zach Callahan, Mill Valley; Tyler Dickman, Mill Valley; and Spencer Wilson, Free State.

The 2011-2012 Journal-World All-Area Wrestling Team, from left, is Colton Bonner, Baldwin; Nick Pursel, Lawrence; Bryce Shoemaker, Baldwin; Reece Wright-Conklin, Lawrence; coach Pat Naughton, Lawrence; Cole Cannon, De Soto; Andrew Morgan, Baldwin; Hunter Haralson, Lawrence. Not pictured from the first team are Zach Callahan, Mill Valley; Tyler Dickman, Mill Valley; and Spencer Wilson, Free State.

March 28, 2012

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Wrestler of the year: Reece Wright-Conklin, Lawrence High senior

Wright-Conklin’s high school wrestling days began back in the 2008-09 season as a 152-pounder. His talent was evident even then, as Wright-Conklin won Sunflower League and regional titles before taking fifth place in his state debut. Since then, he has continued to grow, moving up in weight class each season, and has kept on winning. Wright-Conklin finished an outstanding career with 136 victories, 85 pins, four Sunflower League crowns, four regional titles and three state championships to his name.

Wrestling coach of the year: Pat Naughton, Lawrence High

The Lions spent most of the 2011-12 season ranked at or near the top of the 6A standings, and even though LHS lost some key pieces to injuries, Naughton’s team still finished second at its regional, sent 10 wrestlers to the state tournament and had seven state medalists while finishing third in 6A. State champions Reece Wright-Conklin and Hunter Haralson (126 pounds) were just a part of a loaded roster that included Nick Pursel (170), senior Brad Wilson (220), junior Caden Lynch (132), sophomore Garrett Girard (113) and freshman Tristan Star (106).

First team:

Colton Bonner, Baldwin — The 220-pound senior won four regular-season tournaments and tied a program record with 30 falls on his way to a 44-4 record that featured a Frontier League title a few weeks before he won a Class 4A state championship.

Zach Callahan, Mill Valley — A Kaw Valley League crown was just one highlight for the Jaguars heavyweight, who finished his senior year with a 37-6 mark and a second-place medal at the 5A state tournament.

Cole Cannon, De Soto — One of the senior 182-pounder’s 29 victories gave him a regional title, and he lost just three times all season, with one of those coming in the 4A state championship match.

Tyler Dickman, Mill Valley — In the final three weeks of the season, the 126-pound sophomore only lost twice — once in a Kaw Valley League title match and once in the 5A state championship bout — and finished the year 36-11.

Hunter Haralson, Lawrence — After placing at the 6A state tournament in his first two trips, the 126-pound junior followed 2012 Sunflower League and regional titles with his first state championship, finishing the season with a 39-6 record.

Andrew Morgan, Baldwin — A Frontier League, regional and 4A 132-pound state champion, the senior went 43-9 and finished with the fifth most career victories (126) in BHS history.

Nick Pursel, Lawrence — The 170-pound senior won 36 of his first 39 matches before a recurring left-shoulder injury worsened at the 6A state wrestling tournament. Though unable to compete in his final two matches, he secured a sixth-place medal.

Bryce Shoemaker, Baldwin — The Bulldogs’ 126-pounder went for 40 victories and lost just six matches in a season that featured Frontier League and regional titles, plus a second-place finish at the 4A state championships.

Spencer Wilson, Free State — A 182-pound junior, he set the FSHS record for technical falls in a season with nine, finished 35-4 on the year and took third place at the 6A state tournament.

Reece Wright-Conklin, Lawrence — With just two losses the entire season, the Lions’ 182-pounder dominated throughout his senior campaign, racking up 38 victories, a Sunflower League championship, a regional championship and a 6A state championship.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): Kale Cauthon, Santa Fe Trail; Hayden Chandler, De Soto; Edward Fitzgerald, Santa Fe Trail; Nathan Forbes, Santa Fe Trail; Clayton Himpel, Tonganoxie; Asher Huseman, Tonganoxie; Jesse LaMay, Wellsville; Christian Service, Mill Valley; Matt Soetaert, Tonganoxie.

Comments

grappler1 3 years, 1 month ago

Congrats to all these deserving young men. But the LJW needs to decide whether to cover wrestling or not, as the adage goes - "Anything worth doing is worth doing right". And they have done a half a** job AT BEST in their coverage. To leave Tristan Star, 106 lb, 39-8 record with a 3rd place state finish, Garrett Girard, 113 lb, 23-10 record with a 6th place state finish, Caden Lynch, 132 lb, 33-13 record with a 5th place state finish, & Brad Wilson, 220 lb, 38-7 record with a 2nd place state finish, off of this list (not even honorable mention) is inexcusible. All these young men placed at state in the toughest sport of all. Congrats to them also as they are more than deserving to be on this list, but the lack of coverage from the LJW truly shows their ignorance of the sport, so dont feel bad that the LJW INCOMPETANCE has denied you the recognition you deserve.

WrestlingFan99_us 3 years, 1 month ago

Congrats to those wrestlers on the list. All good wrestlers who deserve to be on an all area team. I guess I am confused why a "Lawrence" paper doesn't recognize our area wrestlers the way they should. Coaches and journalists sitting down and going over each weight and picking out the top kids at each of the 14 weight classes. It'd be very clear why Lawrence High had the "best" team it's ever had (3rd in 6A) and the highest placed and ranked team in the area! I heard there were no arguments or conversation why someone should be on this team between any coaches or reporters. There was in the past and it was to ensure the nest wrestlers are recognized. It's a diservice to those that probably should be recognized for their strong seasons. Wrestling has always been treated as a step child, and this paper makes it clear that they have no interest in promoting this strong sport that makes "men of boys." To bad because there's lots of interest in the area and good wrestlers, as well as a respected assistant, that will keep Lawrence High a wrestling power who will hopefully bring a wrestling state championship to our beloved LHS.

LEAWOODJAYHAWKER 3 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations to the Lawrence Lions wrestling team for their great successes this year! From a former LHS grappler.

ReDployd 3 years ago

I am glad that I checked to see if anyone posted anything regarding this. I was not very happy to say the least when I found out that we had some very good, or should I say best in the area wrestlers left off this list. When I found out how they determine the All Area Wrestlers, I was even more disappointed. Lawrence High finished the best season in school history placing 3rd at State, and had a LHS best ever seven State placers (by far I think). What does the local paper do for them, the hometown paper? Because of the system they have in place, they name three to All Area and zero to honorable mention. If you are going to have an All Area Wrestling team, do your homework. Better yet, do like the TCJ does and have the coaches get together and decide first team, second team and third team for all weight classes. LHS, great job this year, we lost three varsity wrestlers along the way and still managed to finish the best team in school history.

One more plug, Tristan Star was not only the best in the area for his weight class, he was one of the best in the entire state (6A through 3/2/1A). Great job T!

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