Two champs spur Pirates to second at PC Invite

To say that Matthew Schmitt was on a mission heading into Saturday’s final round of the 42nd Annual Platte County Invitational wrestling tournament is an understatement. Schmitt, a sophomore 106-pounder, left the mat at the Basehor-Linwood (Kan.) Bobcat Invitational Jan. 18 with his first loss of the season after a tough last-second defeat. Victories in dual matches against Lee’s Summit North and Staley last week were OK, but didn’t totally soothe the sting of the Basehor second-place finish. So, Schmitt entered the Pirates annual home tourney with one goal – winning it all. He did that with several pinfall wins en route to the 106-pound title match, where he scored with five seconds left to notch a 4-3 win over Omaha (Neb.) Skutt’s Korbin Meink. Schmitt’s win over Meink was his second in as many weeks – he defeated the Skutt freshman in the semifinals of the Basehor tourney. “Losing at Basehor just made me hungry to come out in front of our home fans and win,” said Schmitt, who improved to 38-1 on the season. “It wasn’t pretty, but I found a way to get it done. He (Meink) is a quality wrestler and a good kid.” Schmitt’s showing helped Platte County to a second-place finish in the 10-team tourney. The Pirates finished with 258.5 points, second to Lawton (Okla.) Macarthur, who won the tourney with 268.5 points. Skutt finished third with 255.5 points and Oak Grove came in fourth with 209.5. Overall, Platte County had four wrestlers in final matches, including junior 138-pounder Caleb Crabtree, who won his first tourney title of the season with a 4-2 win over Tyler Harden of Carthage. “It felt good to win a tournament, especially our tournament,” said Crabtree, who’s previous best tourney finish was second at the Gardner-Edgerton (Kan.) Tournament Dec. 7. “It was a tough match because I didn’t get my takedown early, but it turned out OK.” Also advancing to the finals were senior Matthew Barmann, who took second place at 113 pounds and sophomore Johnny Blankenship, who took second at 145. Barmann lost 7-0 to Macarthur’s Briar Adams, while Blankenship lost 3-1 to Oak Grove senior Bryce Mercer. Another highlight of the tourney for the Pirates was the showings from two of their junior varsity wrestlers. Junior Derek Kincaid, 113 pounds and freshman Zach Rolofson, 120 pounds, both advanced to the semifinals of their respective weight brackets. Kincaid lost to Barmann and eventually finished fourth, while Rolofson lost in the semis and eventually lost to his teammate, Platte County sophomore Jake Marquardt in the 120-pound third-place bout. Other top-five Platte County finishes: Ethan Karsten, third at 132; Matthew Boren, fifth at 152; Louden Bredeson, fifth at 160; Adam Muehlebach, fourth at 182 and Michael Barnett, fifth at 195. Platte County coach Reggie Burress said his team wrestled well and is ready to make the push for the postseason. “As a team it was an awesome weekend for the Pirates,” Burress said. “It was great to have two champions. The team has a few weeks before the district tournament to keep getting better.” Platte County was scheduled to host Liberty North Jan. 28 and will travel to the Blue Springs South Tournament this weekend. The Pirates will compte in the Class 3 District 4 Tournament Feb. 14-15 at Staley High School.