Wrestling squad eager for Saturday`s match
Tonganoxie`s High School varsity wrestling team won`t begin competition until this Saturday at Onaga, which means the team has been practicing for three weeks.
Coach Bill DeWitt said his wrestlers were ready to face an actual opponent and not just a teammate.
"I know that the older kids are getting tired of beating on each other," he said.
Though the varsity wrestling team has yet to compete this year, both the freshman and junior varsity saw mat time last week.
On Wednesday, the freshman team traveled to Lawrence`s West Junior High School and captured several top places, including three firsts.
Those earning first-place medals were Chad Starcher, who went 2-0 at 103 pounds; Matt Ellison, who went 3-0 at 145 pounds; and Matt Weyer, who went 3-0 at 171 pounds.
Travis Andrews finished 2-1 and earned a silver medal at 121 pounds, and Jerry Hartshorn finished 2-1 for a third-place medal at 135 pounds.
On Saturday, the junior varsity team traveled to Santa Fe Trail. Though no team scores were kept and no medals were awarded, several Chieftains did well at the tournament.
Freshman Travis Andrews finished 2-0, sophomore Chuck Riddle finished 2-1, freshman Matt Weyer finished 2-1, sophomore James Hartshorn finished 1-1, freshman Jerry Hartshorn finished 1-1, sophomore Josh Olson finished 1-2 and sophomore Lance Thompson finished 1-1.
DeWitt said that several younger wrestlers still needed some work on fundamentals, such as holds and take-downs, but that he was proud of the aggression the team had shown at the meet.
"They still need to work on developing mat sense," he said. "But they were very aggressive, which is something I can`t teach."
Saturday`s varsity meet in Onaga will be a 17-team tournament. It will begin at 9 a.m.
There will also be a junior varsity meet held simultaneously, so the whole team will make the journey.
All wrestlers will weigh in at 5 a.m. at the high school.