Frank earns first medal as Chieftains battle powerhouses
Tonganoxie senior Jeff Frank attained a feat he's never achieved as a Chieftain wrestler Saturday at the Baldwin Invitational.
Frank, who placed third in the 275-pound division Saturday, earned his first medal in his high school career. He defeated Brad Terron who defaulted because of injury before the consolation championship match.
"Jeff Frank performed awesome," THS coach Jeremy Goebel said.
The senior went 4-1 on the day with three of the victories coming from pins.
That tournament performance pushed Frank's overall record to 15-16.
Oak Park, a juggernaut in the Missouri high school ranks, again won the Baldwin tournament. Oak Park finished with 459.5 points, including nine champions. Lansing, which ranked No. 6 in Class 5A, finished a distant second with 319.
The Lions had one individual champion -- Casey Caton defeated Santa Fe Trail's Josh Connelly, 13-3.
Abilene, the No. 4 team in 4A, placed third with 256, while Baldwin finished just a half-point behind Abilene in fourth.
Tonganoxie placed 10th out of 11 teams with 72. De Soto finished last with 63.5.
After Frank, Beau Waters was Tonganoxie's highest finisher. Waters placed fifth at 112 after defeating Santa Fe Trail's Chase Wells, 9-3. Kevin Hamm placed eighth at 103, Jacob Ferris eighth at 135, Travis Adcox eighth at 140 and Jonathan Ferris sixth at 145. Shaun Roberts finished 10th at 160 and AJ Demaranville placed eighth at 189.
Goebel would have liked his team to finish higher at Baldwin, but this year's Chieftains scored just four points behind last year's squad, which had two wrestlers -- Garrett Palmer and Ross Starcher -- finished second in their divisions, while Hunter Samuels placed fifth. Those wrestlers graduated last year.
Tonganoxie will have its senior night Thursday with duals against Lansing, Mill Valley and Bonner Springs.
Seniors Jeff Frank and Jacob Ferris will wrestle at home for the final time at the quadrangular.
Matches will begin at 5:30 p.m., and members of the Tonganoxie Predators youth wrestling club also will be recognized during senior night.
The Chieftains won't wrestle again until Feb. 11 when THS travels to Perry-Lecompton for the Kaw Valley League Meet.
During the next week, Feb. 17 and 18, Tonganoxie will compete at regionals in Eudora. State will be held the following week, Feb. 24 and 25, in Salina.
Goebel's ready for a much-needed weekend off this week for his team to prepare for the home stretch.
"It will be good for our team to get ready for regionals," Goebel said. "And get them revamped and get people rejuvenated in two weeks."
For team scores, individual records and other wrestling statistics, look for the scoreboard news on page 2B.