Thursday, Dec. 20 2012 11:04AM
Locking it down
Young LSN team takes down Fort Osage
By Stephen Bubalo
Special to the Journal
For the most part of the wrestling dual between Lee’s Summit North and Fort Osage Dec. 18, it was youth vs. youth.
Of the 18 wrestlers that saw the mat, only two were seniors, one for each team.
But the Indians were even younger than the Broncos, sporting five freshmen. Add that to go along with four open weight classes and North cruised to a 56-15 win.
“We want to win those matches,” Broncos head coach Cameron Clover said of facing a young team. “There were a couple of close matches where I thought we wrestled well. For the most part we wrestled OK.”
In no place were the Broncos younger than at 106 and 113 pounds, with freshmen Austin Hanson and Ethan Nielson facing older opponents.
Hanson – who recently took two years off wrestling – was locked in a tight match after one period but started to pull away in the second despite Fort Osage’s Jeremiah Reynolds getting a late reversal and pulling within 9-5.
After the period, Clover looked at Hanson and told him to “clean it up.”
“I was just trying to put him away,” Hanson said. “I got to high on a spladle. I just missed it.”
He ended up putting him away in the third with a major decision, 14-5.
“I had to keep at it on the mat,” Hanson said of his mindset in the final period.
“He wants to tests things and see what he can get and gives up things maybe he shouldn’t give up,” Clover said of Hanson. “We have to clean up his positions so that he understands that you can’t let people get out in front of you.”
Nielson was in control of his match in the second period when he was nearly pinned before the period ended. Up 5-3, he bounced back and earned a pinfall with 1:06 left in the match.
“Nielson competes year round. He’s been doing a good job,” Clover said. “ … I didn’t know how many growing pains they might have wrestling varsity versus kids club. And when a kid takes two years off you don’t know what he’s got. I’m pleased so far. They’re doing OK for this time of year.”
Junior Kyle Rampetsreiter picked up the first win of the night for the Broncos, a 7-1 decision.
The next five matches North won were all in dominating fashion.
Evan Weidner didn’t have any trouble at 160, claiming a major decision. After him senior Maverick Tapscott didn’t waste any time in earning a first-period pin.
“It was good to get him in the lineup. He came back for the first time (Monday) night,” Clover said of Tapscott. “Hopefully, he can help fill that spot. It’s nice having a fuller lineup.”
Three straight open weights by Fort Osage was followed by Hanson and Nielson’s victories as the Broncos began to pull away.
Luke Lepper and Keegan McCormick – both state-ranked at 126 and 132, respectively, closed the dual with wins. Lepper picked up a pin in the third period, while McCormick battled to a 5-2 decision over freshman Jesse Jeffries.
“That kid is a good, tough kid,” Clover said of Jeffries. “There aren’t many freshmen that can jump in and give Keegan and real good match like that.”
But Lepper and McCormick do more than just win matches for the Broncos. Both have state tournament experience and while they’re still figuring out being leaders in a vocal way, their work ethic speaks for itself.
“Those guys are doing it on the mat,” Clover said.
Added Hanson, “Keegan is always one to follow with the conditioning and Luke is one of the hardest workers during the drills.”
After a grueling stretch of duals and tournaments to begin the season, the Broncos don’t have another competition until the calendar hits 2013. And frankly, Clover doesn’t mind at all.
“We’re still lacking in some areas I’d like to clean up,” Clover said. “We’re competing and our conditioning has paid off. As we get into other competition we’re going to have to rely on conditioning and clean up little areas we need to work on. That’s what Christmas break is for. It’ll be nice to not be competing and focus on some areas.”