Friday’s first day of the UIL state wrestling tournament was a good one for the Lake Highlands team. Of the four wrestlers LH sent to the tournament, three remained undefeated and in the running for state titles heading into Saturday’s matches.
Isaac Kinsella stormed through the 135 weight class by defeating Nolan Brand of Frisco, 13-4, a major decision. Kinsella (pictured from earlier in the season) then recorded a technical fall in beating Jesus Cantu of Juarez-Lincoln, 22-7. Kinsella faces the No. 1 seed seed from Region 2, Flower Mound’s Austin Riddle, on Saturday morning.
Isaac Grieder also made easy work of his first two opponents in the 160-pound division. He pinned Jorge Ibarra from Rio Grande City in the first period, then beat Azle’s Charles Lockhart, 13-4, in a major decision. Saturday morning’s match of undefeated wrestlers between Grieder and Sawyer Morris from Austin Westlake could prove to be a classic.
Ebrima Njie advanced to Saturday’s semifinals in the 215-pound division. Njie first pinned Barry Brown of Borger, then beat Region 4 champion Jadon Kempers from Leander, 12-6. In a matchup of D-FW locals, Njie faces Joby Bishop of Allen on Saturday morning.
In what is widely considered the state’s toughest weight class, LH’s Brent Bono battled valiantly before losing in both of 189-pound matches. Bono’s opponents had a combined record of 71-3. The 189-pound bracket featured four undefeated wrestlers while no other weight class had more than two.
After two rounds of wrestling, Lake Highlands is in seventh place in the team standings.
"Today went well for us," Grieder said. "All three of us have a good chance to make it to the finals."