With last year’s tournament being canceled after the quarterfinals, the girls sought out for revenge this year. Led by seniors Bailey Wilborn and Jaden Newfarmer, the Jags started off hot with a high-scoring Substate game against Kapaun, winning 73-64. The Jags outlasted Maize in a 56-52 intense thriller. Semifinals were scheduled against Salina Central, a team the Jags had already faced twice during the regular season and won in both meetings. The championship game was deemed to be the most difficult going up against St. Thomas Aquinas. The Jags fell to Aquinas 52-44.
Scholars Bowl has grown a history of excellence in recent years and this year proved to extend that. Regionals were held at Bishop Carroll and the Jags were victorious. State was held at DeSoto High School. Four seniors and two juniors took the road to state for Central. Central beat DeSoto by one ques-tion in the championship contest. “The key to our performance was staying calm. There was definitely tension in the high pressure rounds when we faced competition. I wouldn’t say it was overwhelming because we all trusted each other to do our best, but I was definitely nervous,” senior Kate Paulsen said.
Placing fourth in last year’s meet by only a hand-ful of points, the Jags were out for redemption. Already, the Jags made significant milestones start-ing with winning League and then winning State this year. The Jags’ main competition was Kapaun and the two were virtually head-to-head the entire meet. It all came down to the last event, the 400 Freestyle Relay. The nerves were high. “The turning point was right before the 400 Free Relay we were looking at the points and I was freak-ing out,” freshman Jackson Lee said. Final results of the meet had Central come out on top by a slim, yet overly incredible margin.
The Jags took two guys and two girls to State this year. Notable competition included sophomore Bronx Wood placing 4th. Wood’s draw was not ideal to start the tournament due to his first match being face-off against a wrestler who would later be crowned champion. “I had two pretty tough matches, but next year I should be number one because everyone who was above me were all seniors,” Wood said. “I started off the season late and was behind everybody. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose.” With two years behind Wood, and two years to go, the future is bright for the wrestling program.