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Boys Wrestling Vies for State Title

Olathe Boys wrestling poses after the State Meet, Wichita Kansas, Feb. 24.
Photo courtesy of Josh Price
Olathe Boys wrestling poses after the State Meet, Wichita Kansas, Feb. 24.

As the days turn longer, and the leaves turn green, and the warm breeze returns, there is a sense of change in the air. One thing however, that is always a constant, is the sustained excellence of the Boys wrestling team.
Coached by Josh Carol, Slyder and Pride, the team had another historic season, sending nine different wrestlers to the state tournament.
Olathe North wrestlers tore through the competition, with seven of the nine wrestlers placing at state. This included Sophomores Jaxson Scott and Blake Samuelson, who each took fourth place in their respective weight classes. Scott, is a two time state placer, and despite only being a sophomore, played a crucial role as leader on the team this year. He received the team’s leadership award.
Junior Braiden Frey also placed at state. This was Frey’s first year wrestling on Varsity, as he sat behind State Champion Alec Samuelson the year prior.
“Just watching the way Samuelson and Kael worked( Kael Alderman was a two time state champion wrestler) really helped. They always showed up ready to work and get after it.They really taught me alot, not just about wrestling, but the way they carried themselves and the mentality they had ” Frey said.
Sophomore Taggart Murphy also placed fifth in his first year on varsity, while Senior Trevor Vasquez placed sixth. Vasquez returned to wrestling halfway through this season, after not wrestling last year, and instead getting ready for Football. Meanwhile, his twin brother Jacob Vasquez had very much the storybook ending to his highschool wrestling career.
Jacob Vasquez ended his high school career on top taking home a state championship at 175 pounds. Jacob wasn’t new to placing in state, as a freshman he took home third place honors as well as a sophomore he finished second. Like his twin brother, he took last year’s season off to focus on football. This turned into a massive success as he was second team all Sunflower League Selection(Should’ve been first). Both the twins finished second and third respectively on the team in tackles while playing Linebacker.
“Football really helped me get ready for wrestling. Just staying in shape and working made me a better competition. The hours of hard work and just hitting definitely prepared me for the season” Jacob Vasquez said.

Senior Jacob Vasquez poses with his State Championship Banner

Along With them, Junior Vance Provost finished 3rd at 165 pounds. Provost is a two time state placer, getting fifth as a sophomore. “We work our butts off in practice and we have definitely put in the work to achieve our goal of a state title. I guarantee you there’s not another team out there that’s working as hard as us and pushing each other everyday like we are. There’s no day’s off here” Provost said.
While the team didn’t end up accomplishing their goal of winning a state championship, this mindset is what drove their success.
“They just got after it, they pushed each other every day. There were days when they clearly didn’t want to be there, or they wanted to quit, but that’s when they relied on each other the most. They would pick each other up, and feed off each other’s energy” Head Coach Josh Carrol told me of his team.
Coach Carol went on to tell me that putting them in this situation at practice is what prepares them for the meets.
“People think practices are supposed to be easy, but the opposite is true. If you’re put into harsher conditions and tougher situations in practice, then you’re ready for whatever the match holds. Nothing will surprise you, you know that you’ve been through worse, and you know you can handle the situation”.
While this all sounds like hard, grueling work, Coach Carol always finds a way to make practices enjoyable.
“He always has a joke to tell or a jab to throw. He lightens the mood and makes us enjoy it, despite all the grueling work. He just has a way with words” Sophomore Blake Samuelson told me.
I myself experienced this first hand just last week. I was walking through the hallways after a Baseball practice, and heard yelling and screaming coming from the wrestling room. I do my investigative reporting and low and behold, I see all the wrestlers in there playing dodgeball. They were all messing around having fun and just having a good time. This was just a few days before they left for State, one of the few off days of the year, to let them relax and ease up heading into state. Clearly, this tactic worked. The team returns all but 3 of their wrestlers from this year’s state team.
Whether it’s the hot, long hours of work in the wrestling room, a game of not so two-hand touch Ultimate football out on the field, or Coach Carol’s constantly cracking jokes and lightening the mood, Olathe North Wrestling is truly one special place to be.

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Nate Gunderson
Nate Gunderson, Staff Writer
Nate is a senior and this is his second year on The Chronicle staff.  He loves the newspaper, as he loves to report and express himself, and the newspaper gives him the freedom to do this. His favorite article he’s written is his “Did he do it”, a steroid article about Fernando Tatis, Jr.
 
 

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