February 24-25, 2012
Austin Hood makes history, wins championship #3!
The 2012 4A State Tournament saw several things go down in the record books of Louisburg High School wrestling. Senior Austin Hood won an unprecedented 3rd state championship, going 40-0 this season and notching win #150 in the state finals. Junior Cullen Hood (120 lbs.) and senior Austin Caskey (145 lbs.) both came up short, but performed marvelously and represented the Wildcats well. LHS came out with a combined record of 5 wins and 4 losses to bring us to a 20th place finish as a team. It was a tight race for the team championship, but Andale prevailed with 99 points, followed by Colby with 96.5 points and Bonner Springs with 92.5 points.
In his final state tournament appearance, Austin Hood delivered a performance that makes a strong argument for him to be the 4A Senior Wrestler of the Year. He opened the tournament with a technical fall over his Clearwater opponent. In the quarterfinals, Austin faced a familiar foe in Smoky Valley’s Alex Wolf, whom he had defeated Wolf 5-2 in the state finals in 2011. This time, it wasn’t even a close match, with Austin winning by fall in the 3rd period. In the semi-finals, Austin once again tech falled his opponent, this one from Rose Hill. In the finals, another familiar opponent stood in the way of his 3rd state championship: Baldwin’s Bryce Shoemaker. This would be the 4th time these two would meet this season, with Austin winning the previous three encounters. Facing a great deal of pressure, Austin stepped up and rose to the occasion. Scoring two takedowns and an escape, while only giving up one escape himself, Austin finished his high school career with a 5-1 decision and a gold medal.
Cullen Hood had what was arguably one of the toughest weight classes in the entire state. He opened with a 2nd period fall against his Circle opponent, but his next match would be a tough one. He would have to beat Dustin Reed, the defending state champion from Colby. It was a tight match for most of the bout, but Reed scored a takedown to go up 2-0. Late in the 3rd period, Cullen looked like he may have scored the tying takedown, but the officials called it out-of-bounds and penalized Reed for fleeing the mat. With the score being 2-1, Cullen was unable to score the winning points as time ran out. On the back side of the bracket, Cullen faced a returning state medalist from Buhler. It went into double-overtime, and Cullen was unable to escape, losing the match 1-0. Four returning state medalists from last year, including Cullen, left Salina empty-handed.
Austin Caskey had a great season, winning 38 matches and qualifying for state, but he saw his dreams of a state medal disappear early in the tournament. In his first match, Caskey faced a Hugoton wrestler who would eventually take 4th at state. Caskey couldn’t defend against his opponent’s attacks and lost by fall in the 2nd period. On the back side of the bracket, He ran into a solid wrestler from St. James Academy. Caskey fought him off as best as he could, but his opponent was just too overpowering and dominated his way to a 10-1 major decision over Caskey.
The Wildcats finished the season with three 4A State Qualifiers. Austin Hood won his 3rd state championship, Cullen Hood went 1-2, and Austin Caskey went 0-2. It has truly been a great season – thank you for all of your support!
120 lbs. – Austin Hood (sr.) 4-0, 1 fall, 2 tech falls, 1st place
126 lbs. – Cullen Hood (jr.) 1-2, 1 fall
145 lbs. – Austin Caskey (sr.) 0-2
Team Placing: 20th out of 64 teams