Blue Valley Southwest High School has been open for just three years, but already the Like family has put its stamp on the sports programs at the school at 175th and Quivira.
Hunter Like was the Class 5A state champion at 160 pounds in the school’s first year of existence. He was the first Timberwolf state champion.
This year, three members of the Like family are dominating the winter sports scene.
Junior Sawyer Like is one of the top wrestlers in Kansas, with a 32-3 record. He is ranked No. 3 at 132 pounds in the 5A Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association rankings.
Sisters Brityn and Rilynne are starting for the Timberwolves basketball team that has already won the most games in the school’s history. And this will be the only year that the sisters will be able to play on the same team, since Brityn is a senior and Rilynne is a freshman.
There is no rivalry among the siblings.
“Surprisingly, there’s not a whole lot of rivalry,” Sawyer said. “My sisters both play basketball. The sports are just so different you can’t really compare them. My brother (Hunter) and I do have a friendly rivalry.
“We all put our best effort forth and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.”
The Like sisters are enjoying the chance to play on the same team.
“I absolutely love playing with my sister,” Brityn said. “I feel like we bring out the best in each other and push each other to be the best players and teammates possible.”
Rilynne added, “I’m so excited I have gotten the chance to share her senior year with her.”
The sisters have a special bond.
“We’ve been playing and watching each other for so many years, I feel like I know what she’s thinking and will do on the court,” Brityn said. “We’re both so close I feel like we both know what the other one does.”
Rilynne added, “Because I have lived with her, I know what she is thinking on and off the court. It helps a lot because when we play together, it just flows right.”
As for Sawyer, he has quickly established himself as one of the school’s top wrestlers.
“Sawyer has some of the biggest wins for our program in our short history … beating No. 1-ranked wrestlers in 3A and 6A recently,” coach Cody Parks said. “His hard work and attitude is was separates him from others. At practice and meets, he has the exact same approach. He gives 100 percent in everything that he does all the time. He takes no breaks.”
The junior has won tournament titles at the Fort Scott and Anderson County tournaments and placed second at the Johnson County Classic.
“I’d say my strength is that I won’t ever stop working,” Sawyer said. “It doesn’t matter who I’m wrestling. I wrestle every match my hardest. I take pride in the fact that I can push myself mentally and physically farther than other people are willing to go.”