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Lions, Firebirds ready for Saturday wrestling regional at FSHS

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Some of the names on the roster might be different, and their team ranking isn't as high, but Lawrence High's wrestlers enter today's Class 6A regional at Free State — 9 a.m. start — undaunted.

The Lions, now No. 10 after a pre-season No. 4 ranking, have just two wrestlers ranked among the state's top six in their weight classes. Still, coach Pat Naughton said 182-pound senior Andrew Denning and 170-pound freshman Alan Clothier aren't the only LHS wrestlers planning to finish in the top four today and move on to next weekend's state tournament, in Wichita.

"We want to try and qualify everybody," Naughton said. "Our goal hasn't changed from the beginning of the season. Our goal is to win the whole thing. We're gonna need some help doing that, but it's definitely within our grasps, as long as everybody comes in with the right plan in mind, stays focused and everybody does their job."

Lawrence's wrestlers will have to contend with opponents from No. 9 Shawnee Mission East, Free State, Kansas City, Kan.-Wyandotte, Olathe Northwest, Shawnee Mission North, Shawnee Mission Northwest and Shawnee Mission West at the regional.

For the most part, the same Lions who wrestled at the Sunflower League Championships last Saturday, will be in action today: Xavier Kenney (106), Jhon Jacob (113), Tim Thongone (120), Garrett Girard (126), Cy Burghart (132), Caden Lynch (138), Ryan Bellinger (152), Jeff Wescoat (160), Clothier and Alex Jones (285). Additions from last week are Will Dalager (145), Denning, Stevin Hays (195) and Malik Davis (220).

Competing for Free State are: Quailan Fowler (106), Sid Miller (113), James Wensel (126), Maurice Jacobs (132), Colton Steele (145), Ben Soukup (152), Sam Skwarlo (160), Nick Vidoli (170) and Sterling Ozark (285).

For those who can't make it over to Free State High to watch the regional in person, keep up with it via trackwrestling.com.

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