The 2014-15 wrestling season, at least for Kansas high schools, ended a little after 7 p.m. Saturday. Norton ended up on top again of the Class 3-2-1A statndings, overtaking Hoisington in the consolation semifinals. The championship is the Bluejays’ third in a row, fifth in the last six years, and eighth since 2004 under Bill Johnson. Norton has won 14 championships all-time, the first six between 1959 and 1973 under Hall of Fame coach Jake Durham, the namesake of Norton’s tournament.
The Mid-Continent League produced only one champion, Smith Center’s David Hileman at 126 pounds. Hileman trailed most of his bout vs. Wabaunsee’s Riley Tubbs, but with under a minute to go, he reversed Tubbs to narrow the gap to 8-7, and he scored a three-point near fall. That would have been enough to win the bout, save for a reversal by Tubbs, but Hileman got the shoulders down enough to earn the fall with 40 seconds left. Hileman is Smith Center’s first state champion in four years, and seventh since 2006 under Brock Hutchinson.
The MCL has not exited a state tournament without an individual champion since 1977, the year before Norton and Smith Center joined the league. The Redmen and Bluejays have won team championships during that time as well, as have Phillipsburg, Plainville and Stockton.
This year’s tournament was free of trouble. And for once, it started and ended on time. I was very relieved to leave Gross Memorial Coliseum, but this time, I could look back and say there weren’t problems like in past years.
I spent Sunday being lazy. And there was no afternoon nap, even though my mother cooked lasagna. Usually her Italian food, while delicious, puts me to sleep. Not yesterday for some reason.
It’s now time for sub-state basketball. First up is Russell’s girls game at home vs. Norton at 6 p.m. This is the first time in 12 years Norton will play a basketball game in the Amos Morris Gymnasium. The last time, the Lady Broncos defeated the Bluejays in 2003. I’ve got a lot of friends from Norton coming down. For once, they’re making the 117-mile drive, not me.
Tomorrow I’m riding to Scott City with Russell athletic director Sean Spoonts. The game is at 6, so I should be home by 10:30, which should give me time to get some work done and be on time for my appointment in Hays Wednesday at 8 a.m. with Crista Geyer. That will be fun.
After Wednesday, it’s up in the air. Depends on who’s left as to where I go Thursday, Friday and Saturday.