February 15, 2020

By Fred Liggett

The 2019-20 High School wrestling season has seen its share of ups and downs for the three teams in the Lee’s Summit LSR7 school district. Recent success has seen the Lee’s Summit Tigers perform well at last week’s Seckman Invitational held in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers Nathan Wishne at 106 weight class finished first. Lorenzo Turney at 126 weight class finished second. The week before the Lee’s Summit North Broncos did well at the Lydia Lights event held at Blue Springs South. Trey Robinson at 138 lbs. finished in first place as well as Aaron Barnhill at 185 lbs.

Now all three teams will be searching for success on the state level beginning with the district meets. This weekend both Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit North head north to Staley for districts. Lee’s Summit West Titans travel farther as their district meet is in Jefferson City.

LS North Assistant Wrestling Coach Ray Williams says, “Goals have always been just get better every single day,” Williams adds, “Focus is on that.”

One of the Broncos expected to score well at the district meet is Senior Mark McGhee who competes in the 285 pound class. McGhee says he will not do anything different this week than he has all season saying, “Just wrestle my match” and “Do what I do.” Helping McGhee have success is the fact he is, “familiar with my opponents” after having gone up against them in regular season matches. Having athletic success in his senior season is nothing new for McGhee who recently signed to play football at Missouri Western.

Other Broncos whose names could be called are Tristan Jones (160), Hunter Ross (152), Zane Ragland (182), Aaron Barnhill (195), Cayden Switzer (120) and David Spiller (132).

Also competing in the district tournament hosted by Staley High School is the Lee’s Summit Tigers. Tigers wrestling head coach Jay McGovern says, “The Staley district is tough but you can’t control that, all we can do is focus on getting better throughout the season so our team can perform at their best during districts.”

A couple of Tigers expected to do well this weekend are Nathan Wishne (106) and Lorenzo Turney (126). Coach McGovern said, “Nathan Wishne has had a great season with a record of 32-4. Last year he was small for his weight class but put in a lot of hard work this off season to get better.” Like many successful teams the Tigers have a saying they live by to get better and obtain the results they are working for. McGovern says his team’s saying came from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. That saying is “1% improvement each day.”

LS West head wrestling coach Adam West commented on his district meet at Jeff City saying, “Our district is not as tough as the district up north there are many ranked wrestlers in our district and all of the weight classes have many quality opponents.” “These quality opponents will make it a challenge to qualify for state.”

One Titan wrestler already headed to state is Kaylee Harker who qualified by getting second last week at a girls district meet at 103 lbs. Coach West on his team this season, “the team has worked hard this year and has continually gotten better as they year has progressed.”

Coach West likes his senior leaders in Roman Bushek (170), Jake Callahan (182), Thomas Brown (195) and Rocky Juarez. Other potential qualifiers are Drew Stanfield (120), Brock Donnelly (132), Jimmy McGovern (152) and Thomas Graham at 160. Coach West feels “They all have to win some tough matches if they hope to qualify and eventually place.” Coach West likes Jimmy McGovern a freshman saying, “has been competing well lately as has Ruben Miller at 145 who has started to figure it out this year as a second year wrestler.”

Both district wrestling meets will be held Friday and Saturday. The action at Staley High School begins at 4 p.m. on Friday and continues on Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m. For those teams and individuals who qualify for the State meet this year’s event will take place Feb, 20-22 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.