Jags 3rd at Kaw Valley League meet
The Mill Valley High School wrestling squad enjoyed a school record three individual league titles last weekend at the Kaw Valley League tournament in Perry.
Senior Justin Broadbent (125 pounds) won his third consecutive league title; junior Tyler Williamson won for the second year in a row at 103 pounds and sophomore Brett Delich (119 pounds) won his first league title.
The three helped Mill Valley wrestle its way to a third place finish behind Sante Fe Trail and Lansing.
That's all fine and dandy in the eyes of Mill Valley coach Travis Keal, but in his opinion, the real action begins this weekend at the regional tournament at Bishop Miege.
"We want to do good at league but we don't want to be satisfied with that," Keal said. "You don't get to go to state by doing good at league; you have to do good at regionals."
Keal calls every tournament and match the Jaguars have wrestled in this season "practice." If that's the case, the Jaguars had a solid practice Saturday at Perry-Lecompton. Eight wrestlers medaled for the Jaguars including their three league champions.
Sophomores D.J. Normile (112 pounds) and Chad Mauzey (160 pounds) both finished second. Senior Matt Westin (140 pounds) finished third, losing for the second time this season to Sante Fe Trail wrestler Lorenzo Mundy, who he defeated the previous week in Baldwin. Sophomore J.R. Logan (145 pounds) and junior Matt Nelson (215 pounds) rounded out the medalists for the Jaguars with fourth place finishes.
Broadbent, who won all three of his matches by pins Saturday, became the first Jaguar to ever win three league titles for Mill Valley and with 114 career victories, Keal said he is the most accomplished wrestler in school history to date.
Last season Broadbent -- who wrestled at 112 pounds last year and 103 pounds his sophomore season -- won his regional and finished second at state.
Keal will prepare Broadbent and his teammates this week with imitating as much of their matches as possible to have them prepared for whatever adversity they might have to face this weekend.
"Every situation that you can encounter in a wrestling match, we put them through it," Keal said. "We put them in those situations technique-wise, with live wrestling and we do it in their heads, too."
This week Keal will sit down with every one of his wrestlers individually and try to prepare them with a visualization technique that his coaches used to use with him when he wrestled in high school and college.
"I talk them through a perfect wrestling match where everything is positive," Keal said. "If they can see themselves doing the moves, they know what's next without thinking."
The Jaguars will put Keal's head games to the test Saturday starting at 9 a.m. The tournament is at Bishop Miege.
The regional field includes Saint Thomas Aquinas (last year's 6A state champion), Paola, Gardner, Ottawa, Blue Valley West, Pittsburg and Bishop Miege.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class qualify for state.