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).
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.