With the many successes of all of Baylor’s winter programs this year it has been easy for people to overlook the growing successes of the Baylor Wrestling Program.
As the regular season comes to an end, Baylor has amassed an unblemished dual record of 16-0 while also claiming strong showings in several individual tournaments. The latest Red Raider dual victory came in Baylor’s Jimmy Duke Arena over rival McCallie Blue Tornadoes. This match-up served as an opportunity for the Blue to avenge their 54-23 loss to the Red Raiders in the Cleveland Al Miller Duals semifinals.
However, the opportunity would be squandered by the boys from the Ridge as they lost handily to Baylor 45-26. The match started fast with pins from Barrett Chambers (160) and Mason Reiniche (170) both coming before the halfway point in each match. McCallie would bounce back, however, with state champion Thomas Sell pinning Santeri Valpas in the 182 lb. weight class. State Champion Connor Duffy of Baylor would go on to fight a hard fought match against McCallie’s Chase Looper in the 195 lb. weight class before winning the match by a 4-2 decision. Baylor Grapplers David Harper (220) and Matthew Smith (285) would go on to pin their blue opponents with Smith fighting from a 2-0 deficit in the third period for a reversal to a pin over opponent Austin Gentle.
With a resounding 27-6 lead midway through the dual it seemed as though Baylor would repeat as champions over the Ridgers this season. Baylor would go on to pickup wins from Jackson Bond at 106 (dec. 10-5), Noah Horst at 126 (fall 1:10), Garrison Dendy at 138 (dec. 7-4), and Andrew Pace at 145 (fall 1:01).
Baylor would go on to win the dual 45-26 on senior night, and the final dual before the state tournament. Baylor has also recorded dual victories over D-II rivals Father Ryan and Montgomery Bell Academy, while also dominating AAA powerhouses Blackman, Bradley Central, Arlington, Wilson Central, and top-ranked Cleveland. In addition to a superb dual record, Baylor captured the Al Miller duals championship as well as placing a record sixth in the nationally recognized Kansas City Stampede. Baylor will travel to the Williamson County Exposition Center, or the “Cow Palace”, February 1-2 for the state dual tournament where the Red Raiders hope to capture their first championship since 2015.