February 18, 2023

By Fred Liggett

The post-season has arrived for wrestling teams across the Show Me State and it’s time for them to show they are worthy of qualifying for the state tournament. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18 district tournaments will take place with all local schools being represented. All three Lee’s Summit public schools will be heading south to a class 4, district 3 tournament in Ozark, Mo. St. Michael’s will look to have success in a class 2, district 4 meet held in Excelsior Springs. Summit Christian will compete in the class 1 district 4 tourney taking place up north at Lathrop High School.

Lee’s Summit North head coach Mick Cronk feels the district 3 tourney “is loaded, extremely competitive.” Cronk feels “possibly seven or eight teams could come out on top.” For those heading down to watch the action in person Cronk says to watch out for “Host Ozark, Neosho top three in the large class and Nixa is really though.”

Regarding the Broncos chances of making some noise over the weekend Cronk likes the chances of Charlie Dykes who took fourth at state last year. Dykes enters the post-season at 41-2. The team’s lone senior is Zach Coatzee who competes at the 175 pound level. Zack is 35-5 at the moment and is expected to be a second or a third seed. Cronk feels, “He has a really good shot.” Another Bronco to keep an eye on is Luke Steinbrugge who Cronk feels “has had a really good season.”

St. Michael’s heads north to Excelsior Springs for their two day district tournament and head coach Matthew Infranca feels it’s “a pretty tough district.” Infranca feels “it’s a dog fight” to see who comes out on top. Odessa, Cameron and Mid-Buchanan are all expected to do well. The Guardians will bring top performers Lucas Estes (150), Lucas Berry at 132 weight class and heavyweight Sampson Stilwell. Coach Infranca likes freshman Parker Lutz at 106 pounds saying “he expects to win.” Infranca says at 120 pounds Austin Stevick “may surprise others, his record not a reflection of his talent. Last year the Guardians took seven qualifiers to the state tournament.”

The Summit Christian Academy Eagles are headed north as well to participate in the class 1 district 4 tourney at Lathrop High School. The Eagles are expected to be led by Jeremiah Smith at 157 and John Newton at 175. No matter where they travel to the goal for all teams and individual performers is to advance to the state tournament to be held at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO.