Preps notebook: Top area wrestling standouts from December
photo by: File photo
It remains to be seen if any area wrestlers will come home with a state title in 2020.
But the first month of the season could be a sign of things to come. Several area wrestlers earned some hardware in December, a stretch that featured a number of competitive tournaments.
As a result, plenty of area wrestlers are already ranked in the top-six in their respective weight class entering the break. That meant it was tough to narrow this list down, but here is a look at the top standouts from the first month of the 2019-20 campaign:
Caleb Streeter, Free State
Streeter sent a statement in his final showing before winter break, ensuring his spot as one of the top wrestlers from the opening month of the season. Streeter pinned his way to a first-place finish in the 138-pound weight class during the Emporia Winter Classic. He won by fall within two minutes in all three matches.
On the season, Streeter is now 9-1 to lead the way for the Firebirds. No other FSHS wrestler has notched more than seven wins through the early portion of the season under first-year head coach Steve Burns. On the girls side, Madyson Gray has had a strong start to the year as well. She is currently 4-0 and ranked No. 3 in the 136-pound weight class via the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association.
Kevin Honas, Lawrence High
Honas has picked up right where he left off last year. After placing fifth at the state meet last season, Honas is off to a 9-2 start to the 2019-20 campaign. Honas ended the first month of the season with an individual title in the Emporia Winter Classic, placing first in the 120-pound weight class. He pinned two of his three opponents in the final tournament before break.
The showing came one week after Honas won his weight class in the Eudora Tournament of Champions. In that event, Honas also pinned two of his three foes and defeated the same wrestler in the championship match. Honas also netted a runner-up finish in the 31st annual Leavenworth Challenger on Dec. 7.
Baldwin’s junior duo
A pair of Baldwin wrestlers netted a milestone just before winter break to make this list. Junior Josh Broyles and junior Toby Thomas both notched their 50th career win during the first month of the season. Broyles is now 13-2 on the season, while Thomas has a 12-3 clip to help lead the way for the Bulldogs.
In addition, Nakos Benton has had an impressive start to his sophomore campaign. Benton is 13-3 on the year ahead of the 2020 portion of the schedule. Senior Bailey Vesco has just one defeat, posting an 8-1 record in December.
A pair of EHS wrestlers are ranked in their respective weight class following the first month. Senior Cael Lynch is listed at No. 5 overall in the 145-pound weight class. Junior Holden Andrews is currently ranked No. 6 in the 138-pound weight class. So both should be competing for hardware in the Class 4A state tournament at the end of the season.
Both wrestlers have had their moments already, including in Eudora’s own tournament. In the Eudora Tournament of Champions, Lynch finished with an individual title in his weight class with a pair of decisions in the semifinals and finals. Andrews fell in the first-place match but picked up a pair of wins en route to his runner-up finish.
Grayson Sonntag, Tonganoxie
Sonntag has his sights set on a state title, and that has been evident from the start. Sonntag won all five matches, defeating Honas of Lawrence High, to earn first place in the 120-pound weight class of the 31st annual Leavenworth Challenger. Sonntag won by fall in four of those five matches and has continued to be just as dominant to start his sophomore campaign.
As a freshman, Sonntag placed third in the 106-pound weight class. He set a school record for wins with a 43-5 record during his rookie season. So far this year, Sonntag is ranked No. 2 in the 120-pound weight class in Class 4A. THS senior Connor Searcy, who won a state title last year, is ranked No. 1 in the 220-pound weight class as well.