THS wrestlers stuggle against loaded field
Tonganoxie was the odd team out Saturday at the Kearney Invitational in Kearney, Neb.
THS was the only team at the wrestling meet that was not from Nebraska. And against stiff competition, the outsiders placed 10th out of 10 teams.
Chieftain coach Jeremy Goebel knew the Kearney Invitational would be a difficult meet, but he wants his players to improve by taking on tough opponents early in the season.
"Going into the tournament, I just wanted to be competitive," Goebel said. "I'm pleased with their effort."
And the fourth-year Tonganoxie coach wants his wrestlers to gain valuable experience at marquee tournaments such as the Kearney event.
Although the Chieftains were young last year, the 2005-06 squad is even younger -- of 14 varsity wrestlers, 11 are freshmen or sophomores.
That, however, doesn't concern Goebel.
"This group is the hardest-working team I've ever had," Goebel said. "Just like anything, it's not going to be instant."
Tonganoxie had two wrestlers place at Kearney. Kevin Hamm and Jacob Ferris each finished sixth at the tournament.
Hamm went 1-3, while Ferris went 2-3 in varsity competition.
For his efforts at Kearney, Ferris was named the team's wrestler of the week.
"This is the best I've ever seen him participate in a tournament," Goebel said about Ferris.
Ryan Stockman and Johnathan Ferris also registered victories at the tournament.
In junior varsity competition in Kearney, the Chieftains saw five wrestlers medal. John Harris (1-1), Travis Adcox (2-1) and Wade Garrison (1-1) each took second, while Shawn Roberts (1-2) and Trey Brumbaugh (1-2) each won third-place medals.
The Chieftains will be back in action Friday and Saturday -- much closer to home. Tonganoxie will compete at the Eudora Invitational. The tournament will begin at 4 p.m. Friday and will continue at 9 a.m. Saturday in Eudora.
Goebel said he's ready for his team to get back on the mats.
"I tell them every day not to put their noses down," Goebel said.
Kearney 224, Columbus 206, Lincoln Southwest 191, Lincoln East 182.5, Alliance 144, Bellevue West 115, Platteview 113, Grand Island 113, North Platte 96, Hastings 68, Tonganoxie 26.