Journal-World’s 2019-20 All-Area boys wrestling team
photo by: Jennifer Moseley
Wrestler of the year: Connor Searcy, Tonganoxie
The encore by Searcy was perhaps even more impressive. After making history by becoming the program’s first state champion along with another teammate last year, Searcy defended his title to cap off his senior campaign. Searcy went 44-1 and secured a state crown in the 220-pound weight class to become the first back-to-back champion in program history.
Coach of the year: Brett Delich, Tonganoxie
For the second season in a row, the Chieftains had a pair of individual state champions. Prior to this recent run, Tonganoxie hadn’t had a state champion in wrestling. Under Delich’s direction, Tonganoxie claimed fourth at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament. It marked the team’s best finish in school history.
Holden Andrews, Eudora — Andrews found the podium in all three postseason meets to finish out his junior campaign with a 29-8 record. Andrews won the Frontier League title in the 138-pound weight class and was a runner-up at the regional meet. Andrews then closed things out by placing fifth at the Class 4A state tournament.
Jack Elsten, Lawrence High — In just his first season wrestling at the high school level, Elsten ended up with a podium finish at the biggest meet. Elsten ended his freshman campaign with a sixth-place finish in the 106-pound weight class at the Class 6A state tournament. It was a strong finish to a 24-20 season for the rookie wrestler.
Lou Fincher, Free State — Fincher finished off his Firebird career with a prolific senior season. Fincher went 33-9 and served as the team captain, while capping things off with a runner-up finish at the state wrestling meet. Fincher also won a Sunflower League title and a regional title as an individual. Fincher plans to wrestle at Arizona State at the collegiate level.
Kevin Honas, Lawrence High — Making strides in his sophomore season, Honas eventually finished one spot higher than he did last year at the state meet. Honas came away with a fourth-place finish at the 120-pound weight class, posting a 33-10 record on the year. Honas also placed third at the regional meet.
Cael Lynch, Eudora — Lynch locked up some hardware in the postseason to end his junior season. Lynch was a regional champion in the 145-pound weight class, which earned him a trip to the Class 4A state wrestling meet. Lynch was also a runner-up in the Frontier League, finishing the season with a 28-10 record.
Hayden Robb, Perry-Lecompton — After sitting out the first half of the season due to an injury from football, Robb ended up having a memorable year on the mat. Robb paced fifth at the Class 3-2-1A state meet, which was the highest finish by a PLHS wrestler since 2008. Robb went 22-6 in the 220-pound weight class, which included 19 wins via fall. Robb was also a Big 7 League champion and took third at regionals.
Grant Roush, Perry-Lecompton — A football injury also cost Roush the first two weeks of the season, but he hit the ground running to have a strong senior season. Roush went 33-7 in the 152-pound weight class, winning a total of 23 matches by pin. Roush finished with 102 victories in his career, while placing at eight tournaments this year and taking sixth at the state meet.
Caleb Streeter, Free State — Streeter ended up with a pair of third-place finishes in the postseason. Streeter, who went 31-12 on the year, was a team captain for his junior season. He placed third at the Sunflower League meet and came away with another third-place finish at regionals to qualify for state.
Grayson Sonntag, Tonganoxie — After missing out on history last year, Sonntag came back and secured a state title this winter. Sonntag, who placed third last season, was the top wrestler in the 120-pound weight class at the Class 4A state wrestling meet. Sonntag went 44-3 during his sophomore season.
Toby Thomas, Baldwin — As a team captain, Thomas went 2-2 to eventually place at the state wrestling meet. Thomas went 30-12 in the 220-pound weight class during his junior campaign, which was highlighted by a runner-up finish at both the league meet and regional meet. Thomas was the team leader in points (212) and falls (22) for Baldwin.
Mason Bahnmaier, Perry-Lecompton; Gabriel Bailey, Tonganoxie; Nakos Benton, Baldwin; Nolan Bradley, Free State; Josh Broyles, Baldwin; Austin Burenheide, Free State; Lucas Hopper, Baldwin; Trey Medina, Lawrence High; Eric Streeter, Free State.