Preps notebook: LHS practice partners prepared for 6A state wrestling meet

LHS freshman Kevin Honas (red) works a pinning move on Free State's Ben Mellenbruch (white) at the Sunflower League Meet at FSHS on Feb. 9, 2019

It only makes sense that sophomore Logan Farrell and freshman Kevin Honas are headed to the state tournament together.

After being practice partners all season, the Lawrence High wrestlers will represent the program, along with senior EJ Jewsome, at the 6A state tournament this weekend in Park City. All three wrestlers are trying to net podium finishes in their respective weight class after doing so at a tough regional meet in Garden City.

“This is the first time on a big stage for a couple guys,” LHS coach Pat Naughton said. “It is a bigger facility, that’s about it. During the season, we try to have them prepare for each match as the same. We want to have the same routine, it gets you in that same mindset.”

Honas enters his first state meet with a 31-10 record in the 106-pound weight class. He’s ranked No. 4 in Class 6A in his weight group via the final poll by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association.

Prior to his rookie campaign, Honas had a goal of netting 25 wins. He has since surpassed that after notching four wins at regionals last weekend en route to a fourth-place finish. Now, Honas has every intention of finding the podium this weekend.

“I’ve passed my goal, but I’m not done yet,” Honas said. “My goal is to place at state. If I wrestle how I wrestle, and I prepare the night before, then I can place.”

Honas’ impressive freshman campaign is a credit to his commitment in practice.

Farrell, who competes in the 113-pound weight group, has served as Honas’ practice partner all year. Honas and Farrell are completely different wrestlers, which has helped them both improve throughout the year. Farrell has a 22-10 record, and notched sixth at the regional meet last weekend.

Logan Farrell (red shoes) tries a pinning move on Olathe West’s Cole Newport in a dual meet at Lawrence High School on Jan. 17.

“I have better shot defense, because he likes to shoot a bunch,” Farrell said. “I’ve gotten better at finishing my shots, and not reaching out on my shots since he’s smaller and stronger. I’ve worked a bunch on top, since he’s really good on bottom.”

Farrell is the lone LHS wrestler with state experience, as he went last season. Still, that doesn’t appear to be an issue.

Both Honas and Jewsome have experience with big tournaments, and have thrived in several different meets this season. Jewsome, who is 26-9 this year, placed third in the 285-pound weight class at regionals last weekend. Jewsome is also ranked No. 3 in weight group in Class 6A.

“The Garden City regional is incredibly tough,” Naughton said. “We went down there with the mindset that if you get through it, then you have about a 70 percent chance of placing at state.”

Firebirds have huge expectations

Free State is sending six wrestlers to the state meet this weekend after placing seventh at regionals.

Because the Firebirds were also at the Garden City regional meet, head coach Mike Gillman has lofty expectations for his squad. Gillman expects FSHS (No. 9 in Class 6A) to have multiple wrestlers medal in the final meet of the season.

“That is probably one of the hardest regionals you are going to go to,” Gillman said. “The kids that did qualify are pretty good. We are excited where we sit.”

Some state titles could even be up for grabs this weekend, as both Elijah Jacobs and Lou Fincher are coming off first-place finishes at regionals.

Fincher, a junior, has a 31-5 record and is ranked No. 2 in the 126-pound weight class. Jacobs, meanwhile, has posted a 23-4 record in his senior season. Jacobs (145-pound weight class) is one of six 6A wrestlers to be ranked No. 1 all season.

Elijah Jacobs (green) works to take down a Shawnee Mission Northwest’ wrestler during a dual meet at Free State High School on Jan. 16.

“Elijah has been doing a fantastic job as a leader,” Gillman said. “We don’t talk about rankings, Elijah is one of those kids that doesn’t care. He’s just going to go out there and wrestle. He’s just been on a roll.”

Senior Devin Beers is one of three Free State wrestlers with 30 wins this year. Beers is 30-7 and ranked No. 4 in the 182-pound weight class. Junior Joey Eddis, who is 31-5 on the year, is also ranked No. 4 in the 170-pound weight group.

“Devin Beers is one of our seniors, and he is one of our leaders, and he does a fantastic job,” Gillman said. “He loves the sport more than anything, and it’s going to be a sad day when his wrestling career is over this weekend. We look forward to him placing, it is one of his big goals this year.”

Sophomore Caleb Streeter has a 26-12 record in the 132-pound weight class, while freshman Trey Shanks had posted an 18-14 clip in the 113-pound weight group. Shanks is the lone Firebird with no prior state tournament experience.

The first round is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Hartman Arena in Park City.

First-round matches

106: Kevin Honas (31-10), LHS, vs. Abel Perez (12-19), SMNW

113: Trey Shanks (18-14), FSHS, vs. Brady Pellman (38-10), Olathe NW; Logan Farrell (22-10), LHS, vs. Tyler Johnson (29-18), Olathe South

126: Lou Fincher (31-5), FSHS, vs. Graham Miller (18-26), Blue Valley West

132: Caleb Streeter (26-12), FSHS, vs. Vlad Honc (22-19), Olathe NW

145: Elijah Jacobs (23-4), FSHS, vs. Nick Carlson (8-10), Olathe East

170: Joey Eddis (31-5), FSHS, vs. Angel Gallardo (19-16), Harmon

182: Devin Beers (30-7), FSHS, vs. Nate Kenny (37-15), Blue Valley NW

285: EJ Jewsome (26-9), LHS, vs. Ben Freeman (21-13), Blue Valley West

City bowling teams split triangular

Both Free State and Lawrence High came away with a victory during Tuesday’s triangular with Gardner-Edgerton at Royal Crest Lanes.

The Lawrence High girls bowling team secured a first-place finish with 1,992 points as a team. Emilie Rodman led the way for the Lions, rolling a 523 to finish as the top individual scorer in the varsity girls competition. Sydney Jordan of Free State finished second with a 510, as FSHS claimed a runner-up finish with a score of 1,858.

On the boys side, the Firebirds took first place out of the three-team event with 2,218. Joey Taylor led Free State with a 588 series score, which was good enough for second place. Jayden Cress of LHS actually posted the top mark with a 606 series score. As a team, the Lions claimed second with a 2,118.

Both teams will return to action Friday for the regional meet at West Ridge Lanes in Topeka. The girls are slated to start at 10:05 a.m., while the boys competition will take place at 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday at Royal Crest Lanes

Varsity girls: 1. LHS 1992; 2. Free State 1858; 3. Gardner 1682

LHS results: 1. Emilie Rodman, 523; 3. Jojo Blackwood, 478; 5. Ashley Dykes, 458; 8. Skyler Scrivner, 436; 9. Alexis Foster, 435; 10. Lana Chiey, 434.

FSHS results: 2. Sydney Jordan, 510; 4. Hannah Schenkel, 464; 7. Lexie Lockwood, 453; 11. Gabbie McCurdy, 413; 17. Rena Stoupakis, 301; 18. Raegan Finkeldei, 297.

Varsity boys: 1. Free State 2218; 2. LHS 2118; 3. Gardner 1933

LHS results: 1. Jayden Cress, 606; 6. Rhett May, 500; 7. Sebastian Daniel, 493; 12. Josh King, 447; 13. Andrew Flynn, 446; 17. Lorenzo Dan, 422.

FSHS results: 2. Joey Taylor, 588; 3. Porter Neido, 562; 4. Mike Tennyson, 541; 5. Bayn Schrader, 524; 8. A.J. Baker, 484; 18. John Hamer, 320.


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