It may not sound like a lot, but for the South and Southeast wrestling teams to be vying for third place in the City League symbolizes growth.
Heights and Northwest are firmly entrenched in the top two spots. Kapaun Mount Carmel and Bishop Carroll, two traditional powers, are battling South and Southeast for the third spot.
"Getting to third place is really important, in my opinion," Southeast coach David Tawater said. "It's essentially first place amongst the teams with parity."
The Buffaloes, 3-2 in the league and tied with Carroll for fourth, finished 5-3 a year ago — the school's first winning season. A move up the standings to third place would be another substantial step for Tawater, who along with building his own program is supervising a youth program that will hopefully get younger kids — some of whom who may attend Southeast — into wrestling.
Destiny is certainly in its control, as Southeast closes the season with Carroll, South and Kapaun before the league tournament.
"We came into the season wanting to sustain what we accomplished last season and we have a chance to do that with our closing stretch," Tawater said. "It would be big for our program."
For South, which was once a Class 6A power, it's about getting back to where it once was. The Titans defeated Kapaun — ranked sixth in 5A — and lost to Northwest, ranked sixth in 6A, by 11 points.
"We have five guys who have been through the thick and thin," South coach Mike Atlee said. "We have a wonderful tradition here and we are trying to revamp the past few years to bring back the South High of the past."
The Titans (3-3) most likely need to beat West tonight, then knock off Southeast next week to win at least a share of third place.
"This league is very treacherous," Atlee said. "It's really all about survival of the fittest."
Maize momentum — Fresh off its third-place 6A finish a year ago, Maize is again one of the best in 6A, ranked eighth by the coaches.
Skyler Olsen (sixth at 112), Colby Witten (third at 119), Chase Locke (fourth at 130), Trevor Cox (fourth at 135) and Andy Davidson (sixth at 171) lead what is perhaps the most balanced team the Eagles have had in the past few years.
Maize won the Blue Valley Northwest tournament last week and has three other top-five tournament finishes.
Tonight's highlight — Tied for second in the City League, Kapaun has a chance to move into a tie for first when it travels to Heights tonight.
Heights, the defending league champ, has outscored opponents by 27 points in league duals.