Grapplers miss first place by a pin
THS now making trips to Chapman, Hiawatha and Sabetha this week
A Chieftain wrestler was head over heels anticipating a tournament championship.
Unfortunately for Tonganoxie, so was an Atchison grappler.
Competing Saturday in the 275-pound division in the Atchison Dual Tournament, Tonganoxie senior Andrew Miller and Atchison's David Browning were deadlocked. The wrestlers were perpendicular to the mat as both had their legs straight up in the air. Browning, though, managed to shift his weight over on Miller, and he registered the pin. A Miller pin would have put Tonganoxie High up 36-33 and sealed a tournament title. Instead, Atchison won, 39-30, and the Chieftains had to settle for second.
"They barely beat us, but overall, the kids went out and competed and performed hard," THS coach Jeremy Goebel said. "That tournament set the tone for the season. I could tell we were in better condition."
Tonganoxie breezed through the rest of the Atchison Tournament. The Chieftains defeated their four other opponents by a combined score of 228-90, handling Hiawatha (54-27), Maur Hill (66-15), Center (54-21) and Gardner-Edgerton (54-24).
Sophomores Hunter Samuels and Ross Starcher and junior Chad Starcher finished the tournament with perfect 5-0 records, while Garrett Palmer finished the day 4-1.
Palmer's performance against another Atchison wrestler caught Goebel's attention. Trailing 13-6 at one point, Palmer clawed his way back into the match and won, 17-15.
"That's the way wrestling is supposed to be," Goebel said. "He went nonstop for six minutes.
"That was a big win for Garrett. I was ecstatic."
Palmer led the team in takedowns (9) and reversals (3) in the tournament.
Of 13 wrestlers competing, 11 finished with winning records. Along with Palmer, Corey Doughty, Matt Weyer, James Hartshorn and Chuck Riddle went 4-1. Shawn Everhart, Brad Nickle and Andrew Miller finished at 3-2, while Jerry Hartshorn ended the day 2-3. At 160, Brian Price came up empty-handed, going 0-5.
Goebel is hopeful his first tournament carries over to this week. The Chieftains will be racking up miles on the bus, as THS is on the road for three competitions this week. After a long trip Tuesday west on Interstate 70 to Chapman, Tonganoxie heads north for Hiawatha on Thursday. On Saturday, the Chieftains compete in the Sabetha Tri-State Classic.
"It's going to be a tough week for us," Goebel said. "We just have to keep plugging away."