Free State High’s wrestling team won six of eight victories by pin on its way to a 45-27 dual victory over Topeka on Thursday at FSHS.
“I thought we did really well,” Firebirds coach Mike Gillman said. “There were some really good things, and there were some really bad things that we need to fix, but overall I’m pretty impressed.”
The dual served as the Firebirds’ senior night, and seniors Tyler Sampson (285 pounds), Colton Steele (160) and Maurice Jacobs (138) all claimed victories.
Sampson, who finished his final home dual with a pin, said the night as a whole was something he cherished.
“Having my mom come out here and giving her a flower and giving her a hug, it means a lot,” Sampson said. “I want to thank her for everything she’s done throughout my high school career, actually my whole sporting career and my life. She’s sending me to college, so it is kind of like a thank-you gesture.”
Although Sampson pinned Topeka’s Alan Perez early in the second period, he said it wasn’t an easy match.
“I was kind of nervous because he was shorter than me, and he was a little more built length-wise,” Sampson said. “He kind of had tree trunks for legs, so that kind of worried me a little bit, but not enough to ruin my confidence.”
Jacobs, who normally wrestles at the 132-pound weight class, was bumped up to take on Topeka’s Brady Paelcard in the 138-pound matchup.
“Maurice Jacobs is a guy I’ve had for four years. He’s done really well for me,” Gillman said. “He’s a great kid. He’s a tough kid in the room and was a tough kid tonight.”
Steele, meanwhile, had one of Firebirds’ most impressive victories as he pinned Topeka’s Garrett Smith in just 28 seconds.
Gillman said Steele’s quick pin didn’t surprise him because of how well the 160-pounder practices.
“Colton Steele is the toughest kid that we’ve got,” Gillman said. “He’s the hardest worker and the leader in our room for sure.”
The three seniors set the tone Thursday, but five Firebirds sophomores followed in their footsteps. Cameron Shanks, Sid Miller, James Wensel, Kelvin Suddith and Sam Skwarlo won their matches.
The Firebirds will face stiff competition on Saturday when they travel to Shawnee Mission East for the East Kansas duals.
“We’re looking to place top two, for sure,” Gillman said. “That is where our goal is, but we just want to wrestle tough and be a team.”
FREE STATE 45, TOPEKA 27
106 pounds: Cameron Shanks, FS, pinned Josh Hanilca
113: JP Gallegos, T, def. Quailan Fowler, 3-2
120: Sid Miller, FS, pinned Johnny Thomas
126: James Wensel, FS, pinned James Beine
132: Open vs. Open
138: Maurice Jacobs, FS, pinned Brady Paelcard
145: Kelvin Suddith, FS, def. Michael Malleck, 8-6
152: Daniel Stous, T, pinned Tyreik Gooch
160: Colton Steele, FS, pinned Garrett Smith
170: Sam Skwarlo, FS, def. Open
182: Lais Perez, T, pinned Sky Carey
195: Austin Tillman, T, pinned Matt Stalkfeet
220: William Van Buskile, T, def. Nick Eddis
285: Tyler Sampson, FS, pinned Alan Perez
FREE STATE JV 45, TOPEKA 24
160: Sam Hambleton, FS, pinned Justice Mitchell
285: Truman Andreas, FS, pinned Derek Brobst
120: Arlo March, FS, pinned Chesyn Campion
113: Robert Leach, T, pinned Dylan Ediger
145: Wyatt Stevens, FS, def. Octavious Mann, 6-3
160: Nick Jacobs, FS, pinned Alex Allen
220: Shaan Samo, T, def. by injury forfeit Crispin Jones
160: Sam Hambleton, FS, pinned Gabi Hunter
120: Ben Hill, FS, pinned Chesyn Campion
113: Robert Leach, T, pinned Aiden Easley
120: Sentrell Buckley, T, pinned Ellen Dalager
285: Luke Winchester, FS, pinned Derek Brobst