Platte County senior KayLyn Munn works to pin Liberty North senior Kate Grundy in District 4's 194-pound championship bout Saturday at Oak Park High School. ROSS MARTIN/PC Preps Extra

Munn heads up program-record group of 3 state qualifiers

Call, Humburg make it a trio of seniors finishing in top 4 at District 4 in weekend tournament filled with history, milestones.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No stranger to establishing precedent, KayLyn Munn knew what a perfect run through the 194-pound bracket at District 4 would mean.

Platte County senior Audrey Call bridges off her back during District 4’s 135-pound championship match Saturday at Oak Park High School.

Platte County’s senior team leader still made a rule: no distractions until she finished the job. Munn delivered in a big way with a second-period fall against Liberty North senior Kate Grundy in their championship bout Saturday at Oak Park High School to cap a memorable two-day tournament for the Pirates.

From there, Platte County teammates and managers found their way to the edge of the mat and produced a bouquet of balloons and signage to commemorate Munn’s 100th career win. Indeed, she made more history worth celebrating as the first for the Pirates to reach that milestone while also becoming their first four-time qualifier for the Girls Missouri State Wrestling Championships, and second two-time district finalist and champion.

“I knew there was a chance that I was going to get (No.) 100, and I knew they were planning stuff,” Munn said afterward. “After my match, I looked over and was like, ‘I totally forgot about that.'”

Platte County senior Elizabeth Humburg works to take down Smithville sophomore Noellie Parrott in a District 4 125-pound consolation match Saturday at Oak Park High School.

Platte County turned in the best postseason showing in the program’s short four-year history, placing fifth out of 50 teams. The Pirates will have a three state qualifiers for the first time with seniors Audrey Call (135) and Elizabeth Humburg (125) earning their first berths.

Platte County qualified two for state each of the past three seasons.

Call became just the third district finalist in program history, joining Munn and 2021 graduate Sarina Bertram. Humburg navigated the deepest and perhaps most difficult bracket in the tournament to reach the third-place match and finish fourth. Prior to this season, only the top three in each weight class advanced.

Unsurprisingly, Munn’s poised leadership and obvious skill led the way, but Platte County also benefitted from a filled-out roster including rapidly developed talent and an eclectic group of first-year contributors to rack up 97 points, just 22 behind team champion Staley. Eight of 11 wrestlers won at least one match, and in addition to Call and Humburg, third-year junior Haley Burge (115) and first-year senior Victoria Geddes (141) came up just one win shy of adding to the Pirates’ state qualifier total.

“I think it means a lot,” Munn said of Platte County’s roster, easily the largest in her four years. “I’ve said it before, we haven’t really been able to compete, but now that we can compete and to see that this program is excelling the way it is is really special since this is my last year. And I know I’m leaving it with a great coaching staff and great wrestlers, as well.”

Platte County senior Audrey Call squares off with her District 4 135-pound semifinal opponent Saturday at Oak Park High School.

Humburg and Call became the fourth and fifth individual qualifiers in program history, following Munn (2019-22), Avery Krahenbill (2019) and Bertram (2020-21).

Call clinched her spot first from her spot as the top seed in the 141 bracket. She blew through her first three matches with three first-period falls that lasted just more than 2 minutes combined to set up a showdown with Blue Springs senior and No. 2 seed Rhian Kempf (28-9).

In a back-and-forth match that featured both wrestlers put to their back on multiple occasions, Kempf ultimately prevailed. She took the first takedown, but in an action packed close to the first period, Call reversed her to her back for five points but also ended up reversed to her back.

Kempf led 8-6 after the first two minutes and then earned an escape to open the second period. Call then caused an audible gasp from some in the crowd with a text book lat-drop throw that sent Kempf from her feet to her back for five points but couldn’t get the fall.

After escaping, Kempf came up with the match’s final throw and pinned call at the 3:53 mark and only 7 seconds left in the second period.

“(Call) is going to be a real difficult out for people ,” Burress said of Call (33-5), just a second-year wrestler. “They don’t realize how dynamic she can be. You slip up one time and she’s maybe going to put you away.”

A third-year wrestler having made big strides each season, Humburg (27-9) ended up as the No. 8 seed at 125 in a crowded field, putting her in the same quarter of the bracket as No. 1 seed and eventual district champion Madison Leverknight (43-2) — a junior now three-time state qualifier from Winnetonka.

Platte County senior Elizabeth Humburg works to avoid being thrown in a headlock while securing a takedown in a District 4 125-pound consolation match Saturday at Oak Park High School.

This set up a daunting task to earn a state berth. Humburg responded with three straight victories, starting with a redemption win over Smithville sophomore Noellie Parrott and concluding with upsets of the Nos. 5 and 6 seeds to reach the third-place match.

Parrott won an overtime decision between the two in last year’s district tournament to end Humburg’s season. This time around, Humburg came up with an early double-leg takedown and dominated in a 10-1 major decision.

“To have (Parrott) first thing this morning at districts and take care of her, that gave (Humburg) some confidence,” Burress said.

Humburg then trailed Gallatin senior Makayla Rainey 4-2 in the first period, having allowed the first two takedowns to the No. 5 seed. Humburg scored the next four points to take an initial lead before seeing the score tied 6-6 on a takedown that caused an injury scare.

After being assessed by medical, Humburg continued and went on to a 16-11 decision win. She then topped No. 6 seed Josie Briant, a sophomore from Lawson, in the consolation semifinals after trailing 6-4 late.

After an escape, Humburg came up with a five-point move for the match’s final scoring and a 10-6 decision victory. She ultimately finished with a loss by first-period fall in the third-place match against Park Hill senior Tayrn Johnson — the No. 4 seed coming off a loss to Leverknight in the semifinals and a third-place state medalist in 2021.

Platte County senior Victoria Geddes works to secure a winning takedown in sudden victory of a District 4 141-pound consolation match Saturday at Oak Park High School.

“What I liked with what (Humburg) does is if you can tell her a game plan, she can stick to that game plan,” Burress said. “She knew she would have to dig down deep and figure some stuff out because there’s 26 girls in that bracket and the fourth seed was a third-place finisher (at state) from the year before. That shows you how deep the bracket was.”

Geddes was one of five quarterfinalists for Platte County. One of the first-year wrestlers, she joined the lineup after spending a stint as team manager for the Pirates.

Quickly finding success this season, Geddes lost in the quarterfinals to Mid-Buchanan senior Layson Hafley (33-4) in the 141 quarterfinals. She rebounded with an 8-2 decision over Odessa freshman Brooke Butler, setting up a matchup with Trenton freshman Avery Clark.

Geddes built a 7-4 lead but gave up an escape and takedown in the final 17 seconds of regulation to end up in overtime. However, she recovered to come up with the winning takedown in sudden victory for a 9-7 decision victory.

Needing just one win to complete a somewhat improbable win from matside stat keeper to state qualifier, Geddes lost by fall to fourth-seeded Lathrop junior Sierra Brassfield, who went on to finish fourth behind Hafley as the bracket’s seeds held.

“Winning over 20 matches and making it to the bubble round at the district tournament, man, you couldn’t ask for much more than that,” Burress said. “Her work ethic is great, and wish we had her for one more year.”

Platte County junior Haley Burge has her arm raised after securing a win in the District 4 115-pound consolation bracket Saturday at Oak Park High School.

Burge took another step forward in districts despite an early loss. Drawn in to a tough spot, she lost by fall to fourth-seeded Liberty North freshman Kaydence Grass, sending her to what ended up the wrong side of the consolation bracket at 115.

While injuries to Smithville junior Sophia Boone and Tarkio sophomore Brooklyn Wennihan helped Mid-Buchanan junior Ariana Hartigan reach the third-place match and finish fourth, Burge gutted out a 5-0 decision over Kearney sophomore Bailey Love-Davis with a reversal and three near-fall points in the third period for the match’s only scoring.

Burge then dominated South Harrison sophomore Jaylee Booher in a 12-0 major decision to reach the precipice of a state berth. Instead, Grass stood in her way again after a semifinal loss and earned a second pin in as many matchups between the two in the tournament.

“(Burge) had a great tournament and showed some grit,” Burress said. “She worked on a ocuple of things this week, and it really transferred into her matches. I’m very proud of her effort.”

Following those five, Platte County freshman Maggie Assel survived the longest in the 235 bracket and reached the quarterfinals with a pair of early byes. She finished 1-2 overall and came up just two wins shy of a state berth. Pirates freshman EmmaLyn Burnett went 3-2 at 130 in a successful finish to her season after squeezing Sarah Humburg, a first-year sophomore and younger sister of Elizabeth, out of the lineup in a competitive battle for the spot. Hannah Mand, a first-year junior with previous middle school experience, went 2-2 at 130.

Platte County freshmen Adrianna Ciccarelli (100), Caitlyn Roudebush (149) and Alivia Juarez (159) all went 0-3 to close out their freshman seasons.

“I’m very proud of the team effort we gave here,” Burress said. “Everybody has tried to give their best and score points for the team, and they all understand that we’re trying to develop something that can stay for a while here at Platte County.”

Platte County senior KayLyn Munn waits for a restart during the District 4 194-pound championship bout against Liberty North senior Kate Grundy on Saturday at Oak Park High School.

But Munn (31-3) predictably produced the weekend highlights. She recorded a pair of first-period falls to reach the semifinals at 194 where she matched up for the sixth time against fourth-seeded Cameron junior Hollie Hedgpeth (29-7).

Choosing not to go on the mat with Munn, Hedgpeth went neutral in the second period of what ended up a scoreless match through 4 minutes. Munn took down to start the third and gained an escape before adding a late takedown to seal a 3-0 decision victory.

Munn has won all six matchups with Hedgpeth but said the task hasn’t become any more difficult despite the familiarity between the two.

“I don’t really focus on who I’m wrestling,” said Munn, who has pinned Hedgpeth twice and earned four tight decisions in their series this year. “I’m definitely more of a mentality of I’m facing myself and that’s the only person standing in my way so I don’t really go in strategizing for one specific person. I just kind of do my match.”

That set up the fifth meeting in the past two years with Grundy, who has now been pinned all five times in those matchups. That includes losses to Munn in last year’s District 7 and Sectional 4 qualifiers.

Platte County senior KayLyn Munn locks up with Cameron junior Hollie Hedgpeth during a District 4 194-pound semifinal Saturday at Oak Park High School.

Because of last year’s two-tier state qualification process due to COVID-19 protocols, Munn’s 2022 district title meant more than the first, as she matched Bertram’s two district titles with both perhaps historically significantly having one-time sectional crowns. There’s still time to reflect on all of the accomplishments when the time is right.

“Not yet because I’m not done. I don’t think so,” Munn said. “We have state coming up, and we qualified three this year. And I think we as a team can accomplish a lot, and I think I can accomplish a lot in my weight bracket.”

A year earlier, Burge reached the reduced district’s semifinals but missed reaching sectionals by just one victory. Call and Humburg were two wins shy of advancing as Platte County faded from second to eighth in the team standings.

With this year’s three-qualifier showing, Platte County briefly moved into fourth place at points in the tournament before ultimately coming up 13 1/2 points back of fourth-place Mid-Buchanan but four points ahead of Kearney for fifth.

Munn now has a chance to become Platte County’s first three-time state medalist, having finished fifth as a sophomore at 187 and runnerup at 195 as a junior. She and Bertram were the first state finalists for the Pirates a year ago, and Munn could add program’s first state champion to her list of superlatives, although she currently ranks No. 4 according to Missouri Wrestling in perhaps the most competitive weight class in the state.

Central (Springfield) junior Catherine Dutton comes in at No. 1, and she beat Munn in last year’s 195 state final. She also has a loss this season to third-ranked Lebanon sophomore Mariyah Brumley back in December, and she recently lost to No. 2-ranked North County junior Brooke Bennett.

Grundy comes in at No. 5.

Call and Humburg will both be unranked going into their first state tournament. Leverknight is No. 7 at 125, while the District 4 135 bracket did not have a ranked wrestler.

Benton Scramble

Platte County concluded the regular season a week earlier, finishing second to Harrisonville in a 21 varsity-team field.

Divided into tiered round robins, Munn (194) took the Pirates’ only title at the A level, while Mand (120B), Burnett (130C), Geddes (141B) and Juarez (159C) also went undefeated. Burnett’s wins included a pin of Sarah Humburg that helped iron out the only spot in the lineup still not settled.

Call lost by fall to Belton freshman Savannah Franklin, ranked No. 8 at 135, in the 135A round robin, while Elizabeth Humburg was second in the 125A field with al loss to Belton’s Brionna Madden.

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