Varsity wrestlers open
Tonganoxie varsity wrestlers spent more time on their backs than they would have liked in the first week of competition. But the young team has shown flashes of promise in this still-young season.
The Chieftains lost to Hiawatha and Royal Valley at a dual Thursday in Hiawatha. The team also placed fifth Saturday at the Onaga tournament.
At Hiawatha, the Chieftains started the evening well against the home team.
Bruce Walker, 103 pounds, and Steve Adcox, 145 pounds, had pinned their Hiawatha opponents. Josh Ferris, 119 pounds, and Curtis Newman, 130 pounds, had decisioned their opponents.
The team score was tied, 24-24, after Jake Cobb, Tonganoxie freshman, pinned Jared Lock, Hiawatha freshman, in the 152-pound match.
Then, John Schilling, Hiawatha junior, pinned Andrew Miller, Tonganoxie freshman, in the first period of the 160-pound match.
Even more devastating was the 171-pound match. Chuck Riddle, Tonganoxie freshman, led 7-4 after the first period and 10-6 after the second period. Leading 13-6 in the third period, he got pinned.
"We haven't been able to compete with any of these teams for a long time," said Bill DeWitt, Tonganoxie wrestling coach.
Tonganoxie was unable to overcome the team deficit despite a 4-0 win by Chris Calovich in the 215-pound match.
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It was pin or be pinned against Royal Valley. The Panthers stuck the Chieftains, 57-24.
Walker and Ferris pinned their opponents to begin the match. Tony Miller pinned his opponent to end it. And in between, Royal Valley wrestlers pinned every Chieftain except Calovich. He lost a 5-3 decision.
DeWitt said that Royal Valley took advantage of the Chieftains' lack of experience.
"They can smell freshmen," he said of the veteran wrestlers.
"We just made a lot of mistakes that I attribute to being freshmen."
DeWitt was also pleased with how the team competed at the Onaga Tournament. Four varsity wrestlers made the finals, and six varsity wrestlers placed.
Walker placed first in the 103-pound division. Ferris, Newman and Mike Andrews placed second, Willy Altman placed third and Riddle placed fourth.
Tonganoxie's final dual of 1999 will be against Piper and Santa Fe Trail tonight at the high school (not Thursday as previously reported). The dual is the Chieftains' only home dual and will be parents' and senior night.
DeWitt said both teams will be tough. Tonganoxie wrestles Santa Fe Trail, which has two state champions on its squad, first at 5:30 p.m. Santa Fe Trail then wrestles Piper. Tonganoxie will wrestle Piper to finish the evening.