Platte County wrestling opens season with dual win, runner-up showing at tournament

ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo Platte County senior Trey Dockery looks to grab the opposite leg of Raymore-Peculiar’s Shawn Wright during a 126-pound match in a dual Thursday, Dec. 3 at Platte County High School. Platte County placed eight in the top four and nearly won the team title Saturday, Dec. 5 in the Gardner-Edgerton Tournament in Gardner, Kan.

Cody Phippen (106 pounds) Matthew Schmitt (132 pounds) and Ethan Karsten (145 pounds) claimed individual championships, and Johnny Blankenship (160 pounds) finished as runner-up. The Pirates wound up with 210 points and came in second behind Southeast Polk (Iowa), which grabbed one individual title on the way to 221 points.

Platte County was the only team from Missouri in the 16-team field.

Karsten, a senior, pinned all five of his opponents and capped his tournament with a fall in 2 minutes, 33 seconds to beat Manhattan’s Mason Wallace — a defending state champion in Kansas’ Class 5A. Karsten led the tournament with his five pins but did not win outstanding wrestler. Ethan Andersen of Southeast Polk grabbed that honor needing just 6:10 total of mat time to pin his four opponents along with a bye.

Phippen, a sophomore transfer from Basehor-Linwood, Kan., beat four wrestlers from his previous home state on the way to the 106 title. He finished with two pins, two technical falls and a 12-0 major decision against Topeka Seaman’s Dawson Podlena in the championship match.

Schmitt, a senior, needed a major decision in the semifinals to beat Pittsburg’s Wes Jameson before pinning Dodge City’s Clay Weil in the championship match. Both opponents were medal winners at state in Kansas last year with Weil placing third in Class 6A at 126.

Karsten and Schmitt are both two-time defending state champions.

The third member of Platte County’s team with a state championship to his credit, Blankenship made the final but lost 3-2 to Baldwin’s Owen Tuckfield, who placed third in Kansas’ Class 4A last year. Dakota Schmidt (170) and Casey Jumps (220) both finished third, winning their pool but losing to the eventual champion in the semifinals. St. James Academy’s Clay Lautt pinned Schmidt in the third period, while Jumps lasted 1:17 against Andersen in their matchup. Jumps came back to win a 3-1 decision against Pittsburg’s Kayne Hutchison, a third-place finisher in Kansas Class 5A last year.

Austin Kincaid (120) and Trey Dockery (126) advanced to the championship bracket but lost their final two matches to end up fourth.

Other Duals

Platte County 58, Raymore-Peculiar 18

Phippen led off the Pirates’ season-opening dual, debuting early for his new team Thursday, Dec. 3 at Platte County High School.

In a dominant effort, Phippen pinned Raymore-Peculiar’s Coleton Cahill early in the second period. There were no nerves for Phippen, an accomplished wrestler who finished second in Kansas’ Class 4A at 106 pounds a year ago.

ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo Platte County's Matt Boren, front, is turned upside down during a 152-pound match in a dual with Raymore-Peculiar on Thursday, Dec. 3 at Platte County High School.

“I was just pumped to represent the team for the first time and show everyone me wrestling,” he said. “Everyone expected me to be really good, so I had to do my best.”

Platte County won 10 of 14 head-to-head matches in the early victory. Phippen and the Pirates’ trio of previous state champions all scored quick pins, but there were four victories from newcomers that also helped provide the 40-point margin of victory even without Tyler Blankenship, a 2015 state qualifier at 182 pounds currently out with a broken foot suffered in the Pirates’ Class 4 District 8 championship game loss to Kearney in football.

Jake Stathopoulos, sophomore, doubled Platte County’s lead at 113, scoring key reversals to take leads in the second and third period against Zach Brown. Stathopoulos then scored the pin to decide the previously back-and-forth match.

A senior at 152, Matt Boren trailed 2-0 and 6-5 in his matchup with Mason Pratt at 152 before scoring a reversal and a pin in the third period for Platte County. Schmidt, who earned some varsity time last year, also pinned Grant Ardito at 170. Ardito was one of only two returning state qualifiers in the Panthers’ lineup in the opener.

Like Schmidt, Sage Smart filled in at times last season as a freshman, mostly at 285, but he debuted this year at 195 and pinned Clint Herrick in the third period.

“Positive start, what I expect,” Platte County coach Reggie Burress said. “That’s what we like to see. The young guys need to step up and the guys who haven’t been in the lineup need to step up if we’re going to achieve our goals.”

In addition to the wins from newcomers, Dockery — a two-time state qualifier — used a flurry of late takedowns to earn a 12-4 major decision at 126, while Kincaid lost 5-0 to returning Class 4 state medal winner Miles Robinson at 120.

ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo Platte County sophomore Cody Phippen works turn Raymore-Peculiar’s Coleton Cahill during a 106-pound match in a dual Thursday, Dec. 3 at Platte County High School.

West Platte 33, North Andrew 30

Michael Devers won a 9-4 decision at 195 to help the Bluejays stave off a first-year program during a triangular Thursday, Dec. 3 in Weston, Mo.

North Andrew only won one head-to-head matchup but benefited from four forfeits to stay close. Noah Conway (152), Justin Rhodes (160) and Mitch Moppin (182) won by fall for West Platte, while Gavin Davis led 14-5 in his 145 match before winning by disqualification against Brody Herbert.

Dalton Larison picked up the final six points for the Bluejays from a forfeit at 220.

West Platte 36, Wentworth Military Academy 18

Only two head-to-head matches were wrestled in the other dual with the two teams splitting. Rhodes won by fall at 160 for the Bluejays’ lone win.