EHS wrestlers receive end-of-year honors
It's always hard to say goodbye to your seniors, but wrestling Coach Ron Abel found it especially difficult this year.
Six of his seven grapplers have been in his program all four years of high school and five of them have lettered all four seasons.
"These young men have been a tremendous asset to our program. We've been pretty successful in the last three or four years due to the leadership of our senior class and those who followed," Abel said at the awards ceremony Monday evening at Eudora High School.
The Don M. Abel Inspirational Leadership Award was presented to Brian Harris. Don Abel's son, Kevin, awarded it. The award was created in 1998 in memory of Abel, who gave so much to the community in coaching kids wrestling.
Harris, a nephew of Don Abel's, richly deserved the award. He posted a 119-27 career record for Eudora, ranking him second all-time in victories. Harris holds the school's career record and single season record for takedowns. The four-time state qualifier finished third at state in 2001 and placed two previous years. He placed in 27 tournaments during his high school career with 15 championships.
Harris and Brett Becker shared the Cardinal MVP award.
Becker, who holds the school record for most pins in a season and the career pin record, finished with a 106-34 record, putting him in fourth place in all-time career wins. He qualified for state three times and placed twice. Of his 24 tournament placings, 12 were championships. Becker was also a first-team selection to the 2001 Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic team.
Another four-time state qualifier, Dustin Crowe, placed in 23 tournaments taking the gold six times. He posted a career record of 82-41 for a winning percentage of 67.
Sam Campbell and Zac Hamlin also each lettered all four campaigns. Campbell placed in nine tournaments, while Hamlin placed in eight.
Neil Dunavin stuck with wrestling all four years and lettered twice while placing in three tournaments.
Justin Sorenson placed in one tournament in his single season of wrestling and participated to improve himself before joining the military.
The season was also special to Coach Abel as the team posted its best dual record, 11-2, in his five years as coach, outscoring its opponents 630-303.
Other highlights included an 11th place showing at state, taking first at Eudora's own tournament by more than 50 points and having a top four finisher in every weight class at the Immaculata tournament.
Other wrestlers who earned letters were juniors Matt Linzer, Jason Marmon, Ronnie Morelan and James Snow; sophomores James Barr, Shane Grant, Mike Paxton and Luke Powers; and freshman Mark Lister.
Provisional letters were awarded to Carl Holz, Jason Lister, Chris Pittman, Austin Roberts and Brandon Werst.
Mike Howell, Bo Hopson, Tyler Wingebach and Sorenson each received a certificate of participation.
Managers Kelly Campbell, Kendall Hudson and Parker Laws also lettered.
Other awards given at the reception were: Brian Harris and Brett Becker, Captain Awards; Austin Roberts, Most Improved Non-Letterman; Mark Lister, Freshman Wrestler of the Year; Jason Marmon and Mike Paxton, Most Improved Returning Letterman; Dustin Crowe, Brian Harris, Brett Becker, Jason Marmon and Shane Grant, State Wrestling Certificates; Brian Harris, Brett Becker, Jason Marmon and Dustin Crowe, Lawrence Journal-World All-Area Team; Brian Harris, KC Metro All-Area Team, finalist for the KC Metro Area Outstanding Wrestler and Wicina Award; Brett Becker, KWCA All-Academic First Team; and Brian Harris and Sam Campbell, KWCA All-Academic Team, honorable mention.