A trip to perhaps the toughest high school season tournament in the country became even more difficult for Park Hill without Ke-Shawn Hayes.
The Trojans traveled to Ohio for the Walsh Jesuit Ironman but did not have the services of one of three two-time defending state champions on their roster. Hayes, a senior signed to wrestle at Ohio State, was out with an injury and should be back in early January, according to coach Jeff Davis.
An email from Davis declined to give specifics on the injury, but he indicated Hayes hurt himself during a recent practice. That means Hayes likely won’t wrestle at the Kansas City Stampede — another elite multi-state field — this weekend at Hale Arena in Kansas City, Mo.
Without the two-time Ironman finalist, Park Hill finished in a four-way tie for 23rd out of 86 teams with 38½ points this past weekend in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The Trojans were also without Hayes during a 36-34 loss to Lee’s Summit on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
Park Hill and Lee’s Summit won seven head-to-head matches apiece, but the Tigers won all by either fall or major decision while the Trojans settled for decisions at 170 and 182 pounds.
Colston DiBlasi, a senior and two-time Missouri state champion, grabbed the Trojans’ only medal at the Ironman with a seventh-place finish at 152. He went 5-2 and reached the quarterfinals of his bracket before a 5-1 loss by decision to Chris Weiler of Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) sent him to the consolation bracket.
DiBlasi lost another decision, 5-2, to Benjamin Schram of Bellbrook (Ohio) before recovering to beat Lorenzo De La Riva of Folsom (Calif.) in the seventh-place match.
Ethan Koan (120) — a fourth-place finisher at Missouri state last year — also reached the quarterfinals for Park Hill but lost back-to-back matches to finish 2-2. Sean Hosford, a junior and the Trojans’ other two-time defending state champion, started 2-0 but injury defaulted 51 seconds into the third period of his third-round match in the 145 bracket against Zander Wick of San Marino (Calif.).
Hosford then injury defaulted out of his consolation match against Michael Monica of national powerhouse Blair Academy (N.J.).
Seeded second in the Ironman’s 138 bracket, Hayes was also a two-time defending KC Stampede champion (126 in 2013, 113 in 2012) and last year’s second choice outstanding wrestler. He’s the only one on Park Hill’s roster to win the event, which started in 2006 and included a record 39 teams last year.
Forty teams from 11 different states are scheduled for this weekend’s Stampede, which runs all day on Friday, Dec. 19 before concluding Saturday night.
Park Hill won the tournament in 2008 — the only Missouri school to claim the team crown in the tournament’s history — and wound up 11th last year. The status of Hosford and Hayes’ absence will affect the placement this season.
Platte County came in 28th last year with Matthew Schmitt winning the 106-pound championship. The Pirates return to action with a dual Wednesday, Dec. 17 against Winnetonka after an 11-day layoff.
Lee’s Summit North Invitational Park Hill South finished 12th in the 13-team field on Saturday, Dec. 13 in Lee’s Summit, Mo., but the Panthers qualified three wrestlers for the third-place matches.
Ring Deng went 3-1 in his pool at 195, finishing second, before losing a 9-5 decision to Cameron’s Colby Gerber in the semifinals of the medal rounds. Deng beat Warrensburg’s Bryar Sproat in a 3-1 decision in the third-place match to claim Park Hill South’s best finish.
Park Hill South’s Dylen Propes (170) won his pool with a perfect 5-0 record but lost a pair of decisions in the medal rounds. That included a 9-6 loss to Dustin Carstens of Gardner-Edgerton (Kan.) in the third-place match, reversing the result of a 15-5 major decision during pool play.
Carter Thomas (113) went 4-3 overall also lost both of his medal-round matches by fall for Park Hill South, which finished with 56 points and came in ahead of only St. Joseph Central (42½).
Park Hill South wrestles next at this weekend’s Lee’s Summit Christmas Invitational individual tournament. The Panthers dropped to 1-4 in duals with a 42-30 loss to Lee’s Summit West last week in their regular-season dual opener.
West Platte went 1-4 on Saturday, Dec. 13 with a shorthanded lineup.
Justin Rhodes, a junior and 2013 Missouri State Wrestling State Championships finalist, went 5-0 on the day at 152 but wrestled only two matches. His wins included a 1-0 decision against Mason Doll, a fifth-place finisher at state last year (138).
Davis Piloni (160) and Michael Devers (182) were both 4-1. Devers’ mark included three head-to-head wins. West Platte’s lone win came against South Harrison. The teams split four head-to-head matches, but the Bluejays prevailed 33-12. They were without heavyweight Dalton Larison.
Lafayette County, Hamilton, Cameron JV and Platte County JV were all victorious against West Platte.