Schmitt named outstanding wrestler in Bobcat Classic for third-place Platte County

DAVID BREDESON/Special to The Citizen Platte County senior Matthew Schmitt earned outstanding wrestler honors at the Bobcat Classic in Basehor, Kan. this past weekend. He won the 132-pound bracket. Three individual champions and five finalists weren’t quite enough for Platte County on Saturday, Jan. 16 in the Bobcat Classic at Basehor-Linwood High School in Basehor, Kan.

Matthew Schmitt kept his perfect record on the way to winning the 132-pound bracket and earned most outstanding wrestler. Cody Phippen (106) and Ethan Karsten (145) also won titles, but the Pirates ended up with 206 points — a half point back of Smithville for second and 15 behind champion Goddard (Kan.).

There were 36 teams total at the tournament.

Platte County finished with seven medalists, including runner-up showings for senior Johnny Blankenship (160) and junior Casey Jumps (220). Sage Smart won the fifth-place match at 195, while Tyler Blankenship improved to 7-8 since his return from a foot injury by placing seventh at 182 for the Pirates.

DAVID BREDESON/Special to The Citizen Platte County senior Johnny Blankenship, rear, lifts up St. James Academy’s Sammy Cokely during a 160-pound semifinal Saturday, Jan. 16 in the Bobcat Classic at Basehor-Linwood High School in Basehor, Kan.

A sophomore, Phippen enjoyed a successful return to his former school. He finished as state runner-up in Class 4A last year while wrestling for Basehor-Linwood, and he took the 106 title Saturday.

Phippen (24-1) cruised to the championship match before winning a 3-2 decision in the final against Olathe South (Kan.) sophomore Jace Koelzer, currently ranked No. 1 in Class 6A according the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association. Koelzer won a decision in the semifinals against Kansas’ top-ranked 106 in Class 5A.

Schmitt beat one of Phippen’s former teammates in the 132 final.

A 2014 state champion and two-time Class 4A finalist in Kansas, Nirschl couldn’t keep up with Platte County’s two-time state champion in the championship. Schmitt won a 10-1 major decision for his Karsten improved to 26-1 on the season with three pins and a 9-3 decision in the 145 final. He beat Kameron Frame of Goddard in the championship after winning his first three matches in the first period, including an 18-second fall against Zack Martinez of Mountain Range (Colo.), a two-time state medalist ranked No. 2 at 145 in Colorado’s largest classification according to

Platte County split its final four place matches.

Johnny Blankenship won decisions against Goddard’s Troy Fisher (9-6) and St. James Academy’s Sammy Cokeley (3-2) to reach the finals, beating Class 5A’s No. 3 and No. 2 ranked wrestlers at 160. Matt Malcom of Glennwood (Iowa), a three-time state qualifier, took the 160 crown with a 4-3 decision in the final.

DAVID BREDESON/Special to The Citizen Platte County's Sage Smart, right, fought back from a first-round loss to win a medal in the Bobcat Classic this past weekend in Basehor, Kan.

Jumps again found himself working extra at 220.

In his semifinal, he won 3-2 with an escape in triple overtime to beat Goddard’s Cory Atkins (24-3), ranked No. 3 in Class 5A. Jumps then met up with Jake Katzer of Baldwin (Kan.), ranked No. 2 in Class 4A in the championship. That matchup also went to triple overtime with Jumps unable to get away in the 30-second tiebreaker period.

Smart lost his opening match on a takedown in overtime and then won four straight to reach the medal rounds at 195. He dropped a second decision in the consolation semifinals before winning 3-1 in overtime to beat Jake Stonebarger of Chapman (Kan.) in the fifth-place match.

Stonebarger is No. 2-ranked in Class 5A.

Tyler Blankenship also lost his opener at 182 by decision and won three straight before falling into the seventh-place match. He pinned Chris Truesdale of Riley County (Kan.) in the second period to take seventh.

Capital City Invitational

Park Hill edged the field in the final 12-team standings Saturday, Jan. 16 in Jefferson City, Mo. with four of the top teams in Class 4 in competition.

Despite wrestling without Sean Hosford, the Trojans placed nine in the top four, seven finalists and five champions. They totaled 320 points to beat out Jefferson City (273½), Holt (267) and Lafayette (Wildwood) (262½) — all expected to compete for top-four trophies next month in the Missouri State Wrestling Championships.

Devin Winston, a freshman, won the 160 title and upset Fort Osage’s Jesse Reser in a 7-6 decision along the way. Winston beat the two-time Class 4 medalist and 2015 state runnerup with a 48-1 record during pool wrestling and didn’t have to see him again.

In the semifinals, Winston edged Jefferson City’s Jacob Brune to reach the final, and Winston pinned Holt’s Austin Keller in the second period of the championship.

Park Hill’s Josh Steele, a sophomore, scored another impressive win in his budding season, beating Raymore-Peculiar’s Miles Robinson 5-4 in the 113 championship, while Weston DiBlasi (28-1) needed a 5-4 decision to beat Holt’s Mike Brown in the final. Both wrestlers for Park Hill entered the championship matches against opponents ranked in front of them according to

Ranked No. 1 in Class 4, Kelvin Eblen topped the 106 bracket for the Trojans with four pins and a technical fall in the final. Canten Marriott, Park Hill’s other top-ranked wrestler beat No. 2-ranked Logan Moriarity in the 170 final in a potential state final preview.

Blake Hopson (138) and Jacob Sobbing (195) were Park Hill’s other finalists, while Thomas Lisher came in third at 152 after a 12-6 loss to Tim Bogar of Lafayette (Wildwood) in the semifinals. Carter Goslee rounded out the medalists with a fourth-place finish at 132.

Park Hill didn’t have a wrestler at 145 without Hosford, who was knocked unconscious during a dual match with Platte County’s Ethan Karsten on Thursday, Jan. 14 — a day before the team traveled to Jefferson City.

Western Missouri Tournament

Park Hill South placed one wrestler in the top four of the Gold Division during the 20th Western Missouri Tournament held Saturday, Jan. 16 in Kansas City, Mo. Andrew Mikuls won three of five matches in a round robin at 126 to place fourth.

In all, the Panthers only had three competiting in the top tier of the tournament, and Ring Deng was injured in a 4-0 loss to Savannah’s Jeremiah Glise before medically forfeiting his final four matches at 182.

Zak Horton went 5-0 to win the Gold Division bracket at 138 for Park Hill South.

Plattsburg Invitational

West Platte finished 17th out of 17 varsity teams Saturday, Jan. 16 in Plattsburg, Mo., scoring 45 points with just four wrestlers in competition.

At 152, top-ranked Justin Rhodes suffered his first loss of the season in the championship match, losing a 6-3 decision to Mason Doll of South Harrison, who now has a 26-3 record. Rhodes dropped to 22-1 on the season.