Platte County still didn’t have the full lineup in place during Saturday’s Randy Starcher Memorial Tournament in Tonganoxie, Kansas, but the Pirates still showed a glimpse of the roster’s potential.
Finishing third out of eight teams, Platte County put four in the finals with freshman Caden Hulett taking an individual championship at 106 pounds. The Pirates were without junior Eli Rocha — a two-time Class 3 Missouri State Wrestling Championships medalist — and senior Jesse Schillinger, a returning state qualifier.
In addition to Hulett, Platte County senior Hunter Burge (132) and juniors Jared Parsons (152) and Blaine Keuhn (170) reached the finals before finishing second.
Hulett remained undefeated on the season with three pins in his pool to reach the championship match. He then matched up with unbeaten Tyler Lincoln of Shawnee Heights (Kansas) in the finals. The two were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, but Hulett won in sudden victory overtime with a takedown to take a 5-3 decision.
Burge also had three falls in his pool matches before losing a 9-2 decision to Camden Maestas of Lansing (Kansas).
A returning state qualifier, Parsons wrestled his first tournament of the seasoned two pins and a 5-0 decision over Luciano Riggi of Lansing to reach the final. Parsons then lost a 10-1 major decision in the championship bout.
Keuhn, who qualified for state as a freshman but didn’t wrestle a year ago, also saw his first extended action in the 170 bracket. He pinned his way through three pool matches and then lost by fall in the championship match against Jacob McLain of Lansing.
Platte County freshman Jake Fernandez (182) and juniors Ben McDaniel (160) and junior Jaydon Walls also only had one loss on the day and finished third. Platte County freshman Shane Leary went 2-2 in a round robin at 120 and also finished third.
Without Rocha and Schillinger, Platte County was open at 145 and 220 as well as 113. The Pirates totaled 132 points, 26 back of host Tonganoxie and well back of team champion Shawnee Heights.
Platte County swept three duals with Suburban Conference Blue Division foes Smithville and Grandview plus North Kansas City last week in Grandview.
Closer to full strength for the first time this season, Platte County opened with a 47-30 win over Grandview, rolling up points early and never trailing. The Bulldogs gave up four forfeits from 182 to 285 to spot a 24-0 lead, and Hulett followed with a 16-0 technical fall at 106 to make it 29-0.
Grandview then won four straight by forfeit or fall to close within 29-24, and LJ Davenport’s 3-1 decision over Platte County senior Hunter Burge at 138 cut the Pirates’ lead to two. However, Rocha followed with a pin at 145, and the Pirates recovered from Jared Parsons’ 2-1 loss at 152 to take a forfeit at 160.
Platte County senior Drake Lacina then closed the dual with a second-period pin at 170.
Up next, Platte County held off Smithville for a 44-30 win. The Pirates stacked their upper weights in a move that paid off when Fernandez (195) and Walls (220) won by fall — Walls in 19 seconds — to open up a 12-0 lead. Schillinger then earned a 5-2 decision over Warriors junior Mason Crim at 285.
Platte County’s lead maxed out at 19-0 following Hulett’s 12-0 major decision over Trent Hallett at 106.
Smithville then won four straight to take a brief 24-19 lead, but Burge (16-4 major decision) and Rocha (7-3 decision over Andrew Hedgcorth) turned the tide back to Platte County. Parsons then had a fist period pin to make it 32-24, and the Pirates didn’t trail again.
Lacina (170) and Keuhn (182) closed with pins.
Platte County trailed again in the nightcap with North Kansas City but won the final nine matches in a 60-22 victory. Hulett took a forfeit for the Pirates’ only points in the first five matches, but they trailed 22-6.
Three straight forfeits gave Platte County the lead for good, and Rocha (145), junior Ben McDaniel (160) and Fernandez (182) had pins in the closing stretch.