Platte County had five finalists and took second at the Platte County Invitational this past weekend.
The weather forecast earlier in the week had raised questions if the event could be held, but on Friday, Jan. 18, 12 teams took arrived at Platte County High School to start the first of five rounds.
Due to forecasted weather, all of the pool matches were held on Friday and all but two teams showed up. Seneca had to skip due to a conflict with a conference tournament and will not return to the tournament. Olathe North couldn’t attend due to administration ruling with the weather.
Platte County coach Reggie Burress was glad his team got a chance wrestle.
The week prior the team was slated to go to Blue Valley (Kan.) Northwest but weather called that off. The prospects of going two straight weekends without a tournament wasn’t one Burress, or any coach, would want to face this late in the season.
“I was happy everybody held off making a decision beforehand,” the Pirates coach said. “I thought they might cancel it but we waited. We were canceled last week and (two in a row) would’ve been a bummer.”
On Saturday, Jan. 19, bracket matches were held and that led to two champions and three runners-up. The only change was the field didn’t have Oak Grove back for the second day.
Platte County scored 255 points, coming in second behind Smithville, which had 286.5 points. The top five was rounded out by Kirksville, Helias Catholic and Rolla.
Nolan Saale and Jaydon Walls picked up championships for Platte County.
Saale went a perfect 6-0 in the 160-pound class, winning three of them by pins. He got a fall against Carthage’s Trulyn Kendrick in the semifinals and then posted a 3-2 decision against Helias Catholic’s Dustin Luebbert in the championship.
Walls got a 1-0 win against Brandon Crow of Carthage in the 170 finals and in the process avenged his only loss in the tournament. The freshman got an escape in the second period and kept his foe from scoring in the last period.
Crow posted a 5-2 decision over Walls in round three of pool matches, his only setback to go with three wins by pins. In the semifinals, Walls won by a pin in 1:53 against Morgan Wilcox of Kirksville. Walls made the jump down from 182 to 170 and had found more success there, Burress noted.
Eli Rocha (120), Hunter Burge (126) and Nick Filger (138) all were second for the Pirates.
Rocha, a freshman, lost by a late takedown in overtime by Rolla’s Alexander Sederburg — ranked No. 2 —falling 6-4.
Filger, ranked No. 1 in 138, won his first five matches before falling to Smithville’s Mitchell Bohlken, 7-0. His five wins included a 3-2 decision against Helias Catholic’s Randall Salaz, ranked No. 3.
Burge, wrestling for Platte County JV, reached the finals at 126. He lost to Helias Catholic’s Alexesey Salaz in the first-place match by a pin. It was his second loss to Salaz in the tournament.
“We had a good tournament,” Burress said. “We felt we couldn’t won another match or two in the finals.”
Nick Maddux, back from an early season injury, took third for the Pirates at 126. He lost in the semifinals by a pin to Salaz, but beat St. James Academy’s Dany Feist, 6-3, for third. Burge got two wins against Feist.
During practice on Monday, Jan. 21, Burge and Maddux took part in a wrestleoff for a spot on varsity with Maddux winning.
Vincent Cesaro (106) took fourth place, falling to Carthage’s Braxdon Tate by an 11-3 major decision in the third-place match.