Stories by Michael Buhler
Tigers take second at Emporia Winter Classic
The Emporia Winter Classic has been good to the Eisenhower Tigers wrestling team in recent years.
That proved true again last Saturday, as the Tigers took second at the event with 157 points, eight points ahead of third-place Burlingame. Host Emporia won the tournament with 194 points.
Two Tigers won their weight classes at Emporia. Taylor Matthews pinned Atchison County’s Mason Scholz in the finals to win at 132 pounds, while Mason Levin downed Christian Rodriguez of Hutchinson by a 4-3 decision in the finals to win at 170.
Chance Holmgren (138 pounds) and Trey Wiliams (120) both finished second, while Lainie Burkhart (106) and Dakota Cook (160) each finished third. Joseph Ensz (126), Noah Doud (152), Noah Packard (195) and Cade Cook (220) all finished fourth, while Israel Garza (145) took home sixth.
Eisenhower is slated to be back on the mat Jan. 9 at Salina South.
Indians fourth in Marion
The Clearwater Indians wrestling team finished 2020 with a solid performance at the Hillsboro site of the 11th Annual Marion County Dual Tournament last Friday, taking fourth at the event.
The Indians went 2-3 on the day. Clearwater won two of its three matches in the Gold Pool, downing Wellington 40-29 and Halstead 34-24, but losing to Republic County 66-12. In the semifinals, Minneapolis-Bennington downed Clearwater 51-21, while Buhler defeated the Indians in the third-place match.
Against Wellington, Jacob Finney (138 pounds), Ethan Luckner (152), Cole Carothers (160) and Damon Donaldson (170) all won with pins, while Nick Foley (132) won by major decision. Finney, Gavin Luckner (113 pounds) and Ashton Gillespie (126) each won by pin against Halstead, while Donaldson won by major decision.
Ethan Luckner got his second pin of the day against Republic County in the match’s highlight for Clearwater, then in the semifinals against Minneapolis-Bennington, Carothers and Finney each won by pin, while Gillespie won by decision.
The Indians are slated to return to the mat on Jan. 14 in a dual with Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division IV rival Mulvane.
Owls down Cardinals, fall to Chaparral
The Garden Plain Owls wrestling team played host to the Cheney Cardinals and Chaparral for a pre-holiday triangular last Thursday and came away with a split, beating the Cardinals 30-18 but losing to the Roadrunners 36-24.
In the evening’s other match, Chaparral downed Cheney 42-12.
“It is different this season having a longer break [after this triangular] and only having the month of January for regular season matches,” Garden Plain coach Joseph Gassmann said. “We are going to have to come off break and work hard to stay in shape and get some quality matches in before an extended postseason.”
The Battle of U.S. 54 between the Cardinals and the host Owls was the final match of the night. While six of the matches were open-class forfeits – four of which were won by Garden Plain – the two schools split a pair of matches where they both faced off. Jensen Hoeme pinned the Owls’ Josiah Nowak at 120 pounds, while Thane Stuhlsatz pinned Josiah Elder at 160.
Last Thursday’s opening match between Garden Plain and the Roadrunners was a bit of a mirror image of the Owls-Cardinals contest, as Chaparral won four out of six open-class forfeits against the hosts. However, Gabe Gordon did record a pin at 170 pounds for a highlight for the Owls.
In the evening’s middle match between the Cardinals and Chaparral, the Roadrunners picked up four forfeit wins. Of the Cardinals’ two wins, Elder recorded a pin at 160 pounds, while Peyton Becker won by forfeit at 285.
The Owls and Cardinals are back in action Jan. 9 at a tournament in Ellsworth.
“We should see some good competition when we come off break at Ellsworth,” Gassmann said.
Colts sixth at Bishop Carroll
The Campus Colts finished the pre-holiday portion of their schedule with a solid performance at the Bishop Carroll Invitational last Saturday, taking sixth in the 16-team field.
“Our varsity boys wrestled tough last weekend at the Bishop Carroll Invitational, where we competed against some of the best teams in the state,” Campus coach Dalton Miller said in a Facebook post in the team’s official Facebook group. “These boys are working hard and moving in the right direction. Their efforts show that they are improving every week.”
The Colts finished the day with 107 points, placing six wrestlers in the top four at the event. Leading the way were three third-place finishers – Elissio Martinez at 120 pounds, Nathan Bowen at 152 and Barrett Roads at 195. Both Martinez and Roads won their final matches by pinning their respective opponents, while Bowen won by major decision in his third-place match.
Jacob Rymer (132 pounds), Aiden Williams (220) and Michael Trimmell (285) each took fourth, while Dylan Sheler (126) and Ryan Mortinson (145) both took sixth. Eric Spangler (113 pounds) took seventh, while Kylar Poort (138) and Saul Walgren (160) both finished eighth.
Last Thursday’s dual with Maize was called off because of COVID-19.
The Colts are slated to return to action on Jan. 9 at the Derby Invitational.
Short-handed Lions drop pair at KMC
It is a rare thing for the Goddard Lions wrestling team to lose a dual – much less two of them in one day – but this is 2020, after all.
With several players out of the lineup, the Lions dropped both of their duals at Kapaun-Mt. Carmel last Saturday, losing to Manhattan 57-21 and host Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 37-31.
“This season has been a challenge with injuries and COVID exclusions keeping many of our guys out of the lineup,” Goddard coach Brett Means said. “However, the guys we had last weekend battled and competed. That experience will help get them ready when their time comes. Hopefully, after the break we will get some guys healthy and avoid the COVID exclusions due to close contact and household positive tests.”
Several Lions did have strong days last Saturday. Jayden Miller (113 pounds) pinned both of his opponents, while Logan Davidson also won both of his matches – one by pin and the other a 1-0 decision over Kapaun-Mt. Carmel’s Nathan Fury. Isaiah Holmes (138 pounds) won both of his matches by decision – one of them was a 17-3 major decision – while Levi Glover also went 2-0 last Saturday. Zachary Wessley (132 pounds) and Isaac Tatro (152) each recorded pins against Kapaun-Mt. Carmel.
“I was proud of the guys that wrestled last Saturday,” Means said. “They didn’t back away from the opportunity – and as a coach, that is all you can ask.”
The Lions are slated to be back in action on Jan. 8, when they head to Geary, Okla. for a tournament.
“It is going to take some luck and prayers to stay healthy,” Means said. “I believe if we can get all our guys in the lineup at once, we will be pretty tough.”