THS takes third after rocky start
James Hartshorn wins class at KVL; regionals start Friday for Chieftains
The Kaw Valley League wrestling tournament didn't start out as Tonganoxie had envisioned, but the Chieftains came back after the opening rounds with strong results.
Tonganoxie had just three wrestlers reach the finals Josh Ferris (125), Chad Starcher (119) and James Hartshorn (215).
Hartshorn was the Chieftains lone first-place finish, while Ferris and Starcher both took second. THS wrestlers who faltered early, though, came back to wrestle in their consolation matches.
Andy Koontz (103), Ross Starcher (112), Steve Adcox (145), Matt Weyer (171) and Chuck Riddle (275) took third place in their classes, while Lance Thompson (130) and Andrew Miller (189) grabbed fourth-place finishes.
The late-round performances helped Tonganoxie to a third-place finish with 142.5, while Santa Fe Trail (170.5) to getting to the finals," THS coach Bill DeWitt said. "A lot of them should."
Although DeWitt was disappointed with the opening rounds, he was pleased to see his wrestlers come back.
"I think we made up for it on the backside," DeWitt said.
Tonganoxie got a surprise lift in the heavyweight class with Riddle's third-place finish. Although Riddle was a smaller heavyweight, the junior had put on pounds during the season and qualified for the weight class.
In the consolation match, Riddle defeated the larger Marty Below from De Soto.
"When you're that light, speed is your friend," DeWitt said. "I was pleased with how Chuck stepped in there."
The Chieftains will now take their third-place finish into regionals at Basehor on Friday and Saturday.
Tonganoxie also finished the season with a 12-3 dual record after wins against Lansing and Mill Valley last Wednesday.
The Chieftains will see both of those teams, along with Atchison, Basehor-Linwood, Clay Center, Concordia, Hiawatha, Hayden, Holton, Bishop Ward, Piper, Marysville, Perry-Lecompton and Wamego.
DeWitt would like to see Saturday's final rounds carry over into regional competition.
"We can use those last matches as a springboard for next week," the Tonganoxie coach said. "I think we'll put together a good regional tournament."