Starcher nabs another gold, hits 30 wins
Ross Starcher needed to keep Santa Fe Trail's Travis Eden in his grasp for just 30 seconds.
But a half-minute in wrestling can be an eternity.
Facing Eden in the finals of the 145-pound class Saturday at the Baldwin Invitational, Starcher had to contain Eden for 30 seconds in the second overtime. If he accomplished the requirement, he won gold. If Eden slipped out of the hold, Eden was the champion.
Eden nearly escaped Starcher, but the Chieftain junior held on just long enough for his third tournament title of the season. He now sits at 30-2 on the year.
"I was just holding on for dear life," Starcher said.
The first overtime begins in the neutral position, but the second overtime has one person on top in the offensive position and one down in the defensive position. The first person to score in the match chooses which position he wants.
Eden chose defense.
Starcher, like many grapplers, prefers being in the defensive position in second overtimes, but Starcher gladly accepted his first victory against Eden. Last year in Wichita, Eden placed third in the 145 class.
"That was a tough match," THS coach Jeremy Goebel said.
Starcher now is the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the state in Class 4A. He also defeated opponents from De Soto, Mill Valley, Marysville and Abilene before defeating Eden. The junior now has 20 pins this year and has been pinned only once.
Garrett Palmer placed fourth after losing to Royal Valley's Bud Terry, 2-1, in the third-place match in the 135 class. Matt Weyer placed fifth in 171 after defeating Lansing's Brett Wessel, 8-4, while Justin Smith (112), Hunter Samuels (119) and Jerry Hartshorn (160) all placed seventh.
Chad Starcher, Alan Athon and Aaron Adcox did not wrestle because of injuries.
Overall, the Chieftains struggled in Baldwin. THS went 19-32 on the day and although they registered 14 pins, the Chieftains were pinned 19 times.
Tonganoxie finished ninth out of 11 teams Saturday, scoring 137 points.
Santa Fe Trail won the tournament with 296, leaving defending state champion Abilene close behind with 285. Royal Valley finished third with 257, while Lansing, which won the Holton Invitational a week before, finished fourth with 247. Baldwin (202), Mill Valley (179.5), De Soto (171.5), Marysville (169) Tonganoxie, Council Grove (111) and Holton (31) rounded out the field.
Tonganoxie has a dual meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Bonner Springs against BSHS, Lansing and Mill Valley, but the Chieftains won't have another tournament until the KVL Meet on Feb. 14 in Bonner Springs.
A week later, the Chieftains head to regionals in Hiawatha and finish the season Feb. 28 at state in the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita.
The junior varsity will have its next tournament Saturday with the Atchison County Tournament in Effingham. The tournament begins at 9:30 a.m.
At Saturday's JV meet at Pleasant Ridge, Justin McDaniel placed first in the 171 class, while Jacob Ferris finished third in the 130 class and Jonathan Ferris was third in 135. Kyle Cobb placed fourth in 125.
Ben Dobbins also wrestled well at the meet with a 3-2 record.
Goebel said Dobbins wrestled tough and might be the most improved wrestler this year.