Baldwin looms as grapplers heal wounds
Tonganoxie High didn't take a complete squad to the Holton Invitational on Saturday.
In the coming weeks, however, the squad could be short-handed.
Junior Chad Starcher didn't finish the Holton meet because of an injured hip that's bothered him since last month, while sophomore Andy Koontz injured a thumb in Holton.
Starcher could be back in time for regionals, but Koontz's status is still uncertain. Meanwhile, senior Chuck Riddle, who broke his left hand last month, is expected to return in two weeks.
"When it rains, it pours I guess," Chieftain coach Jeremy Goebel said.
Starcher couldn't finish, going 1-1 in the tournament, and Koontz went winless at 0-3.
Other wrestlers did come out of the tournament in better shape. James Hartshorn (3-0) and Aaron Adcox (2-0) both won their weight classes, while Matt Weyer took fourth with a 2-2 record.
Although they did not place, Tyler Truesdell (1-2), Jacob Ferris (0-2) and Alan Athon (1-2) also participated.
Lansing won the tournament convincingly, while Holton came in second and Osawatomie was third. Wichita East, Labette County, Rock Creek and Wichita Southeast placed ahead of the Chieftains. Tonganoxie placed eight out of 13 teams with 72 points, a mark Goebel was satisfied with.
But, with the state tournament less than a month away, Goebel knows the team, even if it is without some of its top players, won't have many chances left to work out its kinks.
"Somebody's got to take the initiative and get things done," Goebel said.
Tonganoxie continues its tournament tour with an invitational in Baldwin. Abilene, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, will be in attendance, while the host school is No. 9 in the same class.
Other schools at the invitational include Council Grove, Sumner, Bishop Ward, Lansing, Marysville, Mill Valley and Royal Valley.
Goebel viewed the Salina South Invitational last month as a tougher tournament with a slew of 6A teams, but the first-year coach is ready for a same-class measuring stick Saturday.
"These are all 4A teams so that's what's good," Goebel said. "They're our class and we kind of know where we're at heading into regionals and the state tournament."