Grapplers take second at tourney
On the heals of a 3-1 record last week, the Chieftain wrestling team headed into one of its biggest challenges of the season last weekend: Defend its home turf against nine other schools.
Although the team won the 13-team Onaga tournament earlier this season, and although it broke a school record two weeks ago when it beat Immaculata 76-0, neither tournament experience nor home success guaranteed the Chieftains success at the 2001 Randy Starcher Invitational Saturday.
But success they found.
Finishing second over-all with 141 points behind Atchison's 195-point performance, the team earned several individual places, including two weight-class championships.
"I don't' know when the last time we placed at our own tournament was," said Coach Bill DeWitt, "Two tournaments two trophies. But the tournaments get harder from here."
Earning championships in their weight classes were Josh Ferris at 125 pounds and Mike Andrews at 160.
For Ferris, the win his first tournament championship ever brought his record to 10-3. Mike Andrews' 2-0 record on the way to the championship brought his record to 10-1, which is tied for best on the team.
The other wrestler at 10-1, Willy Altman, suffered his first loss of the season at the tournament.
Altman put his man on the mat four or five times in the match, but he was never able to pin him and lost the match on points.
Having pinned all his previous opponents, this was Altman's first full match.
"He has no reason to get down about the loss it'll make him better down the road," DeWitt said. "Those losses sometimes make you remember that you have to work hard every day."
Another one of the Chieftains' top wrestlers, 275-pound Tony Miller, had one of his best meets on Saturday.
Going into the tournament seeded fourth, Miller fought hard and finished in second place.
"Tony Miller did a great job," DeWitt said. "He had the toughest weight class of anybody."
Next up for the Chieftains Thursday at Piper and 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Holton.