Trojans win 7th title in 11 years

About midway through the finals round last weekend at the MSHSAA State Championships, the Park Hill wrestling team needed one more win to secure the Class 4 state championship.  Trojans coach Jeff Davis knew it. He also knew that his squad was in good hands – junior 152-pounder Colston DiBlasi was ready to take the mat in Park Hill’s last match of the tournament. No worries. DiBlasi delivered by pinning Holt senior Lawton Benna in the third round, pushing not only DiBlasi to his second straight state title, but Park Hill to its second straight team championship. The Trojans, who claimed their seventh title in 11 seasons, finished with 132 team points, while Columbia Rock Bridge took second with 126 points. “Colston is a gamer,” Davis said. “I had complete confidence in him. We couldn’t have asked for a better situation for our team.” DiBlasi bolted to a 4-0 lead before surviving a close call in the second period when Benna took him down. But DiBlasi, never one to lack confidence, regrouped and put Benna on his back for the title-clinching pin midway through the third period. “I figured before the match that if I won, we win,” DiBlasi said. “That was the best part — win not just for myself, but the team. We’re a family, man.” DiBlasi, who finished the season 44-3, Beat Eureka’s Ben Schroeder 4-0 in the first round and then pinned his next two opponents — Clayton Collier of Jackson and DJ Brasfield-Thoge, of Lee’s Summit West. His pin of Collier came in a Class 4, 152-weight class record time of 19 seconds. DiBlasi was one of three Park Hill wrestlers who repeated as individual champions. The most notable was junior Ke’Shawn Hayes, who won the 113-pound title last year. Hayes, ranked No. 1 nationally for most of the season, completed an undefeated season by dominating Seckman’s Weston Basler 7-1 for the 126-pound crown. Hayes, 47-0 on the year, said he didn’t’ feel any pressure to complete the perfect season. “There was less pressure this year; I was more relaxed,” he said. “It’s not like it’s in your mind to go undefeated, but with every win, I knew it could happen.” Hayes got little resistance on his way to his second title: he scored a technical fall win over Seckman’s Aaron Beckman in the first round, moved on when Eureka Senior Brendan Krask had to forfeit and topped Holt’s Colby Smith 17-1 in the semifinals. Sophomore Sean Hosford, who won a title at 106 pounds last year, defeated Timberland’s Devan Richter 6-2 for the 120-pound title. Hosford, 37-2, survived a scare when Richter took him down and nearly pinned him.