Wrestling holds off Helias


Junior Josiah Kline snuffs out his Helias’ opponents shot attempt with a well timed sprawl. Photo by Madelyn Stewart.

Derek Wang

Tonight the RBHS wrestling team got back into action on the mat with a dual against rival Helias after the long winter break. The Bruins were last in action at the Lee Summit Christmas Invitational on Dec. 20, in which they claimed two individual titles.
The dual started quickly for the Bruins with junior John Flanegin receiving an open at 106 and sophomore Brock Davis recording a quick fall at 113 to put the Bruins squarely ahead 12-0.
“It felt good to get out there and knock some of the rust off,” Davis said. “As a team we performed really well.”
At 120 pounds Helias capped off a dominant victory with a tech fall but sophomore Henry Cleavinger fought valiantly to avoid being pinned and surrendering a key team point.
Following the defeat at 120 pounds the Bruins put up a crooked number with junior returning state champion Josiah Kline winning by fall in the third period after a dominant performance, followed by sophomore Bo Blomenkamp receiving an open at 132.
“I loved being able to compete again,” Kline said. “It was a little bit weird wrestling against other people that aren’t teammates but it was nice to get out on the mat again.”
In a critical swing match at 138 sophomore Isaac Lage recorded a major decision. Then at 145 pounds Daquan Harris received another open which put the Bruins ahead 34-5.
Helias would narrow the gap with falls at 152 and 160 closing the disparity between the teams to 34-17 . At 170 pounds senior Graham Ratermann got the Bruins back on track with a quick pin giving the Bruins a 40-17 lead.
Although to the casual observer a 40-17 lead seems secure the Crusaders were guaranteed 12 points from forfeits at 195 and 220 and with pins at 182 and heavyweight would be able to steal a victory 41-40.
This thrust freshman Don Hammers into the spotlight. With a win Hammers could end Helias’ chances of a comeback or with a loss by pin or technical fall open the door to a Crusader comeback.
Hammers heard the knock and promptly slammed the door with an impressive decision effectively sealing the dual for the Bruins.
“Without [Lage and Hammer’s wins] we would have been 12 points down,” Davis said. “And without the way that they have practiced and worked as hard as they have, they might not have gotten those wins, so really how hard they work in the practice room directly translates to the way our team does as a whole.”
At 195 and 220 Helias received forfeits and at heavyweight junior Jujuan Chambers put on an impressive display of explosiveness and offensive firepower, taking his opponent down with three blast double legs before finally ending the dual 49-29 with a pin.
Chamber echoed the sentiment expressed by Davis and offered high praise for his younger teammates.
“They’re both great,” Chambers said. “And have improved so much over the season. They both really contribute a lot night in and night out.”
The Bruins are next in action tomorrow in a tri-dual against Battle and Hickman at Battle with wrestling set to begin at 6:00 p.m.