Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wrestler has lofty goals for winter

August 1, 2007

Wyatt Coffin won three wrestling matches his freshman year at Tonganoxie High.

Three years later, the Chieftains senior is expecting to place in this winter's 2007 Kansas Class 4A state wrestling meet.

"It's good for the younger kids to see people like Wyatt and say, 'Wow, that kid works hard to get where he's at,'" Tonganoxie wrestling coach Jeremy Goebel said. "You don't ever have to worry about Wyatt Coffin giving everything he has, because you know he's going to."

Past results suggest Coffin has a legitimate chance to achieve his goal. He rapidly progressed at the end of his freshman season.

Of his three wins as a freshman, two came at the end of the year in regionals matches. He was actually one match away from qualifying for state with a 3-28 record.

He won 15 matches his sophomore year, then participated in the state meet his junior year in Salina. Coffin finished with a 22-23 record last year.

"Next year, I expect to make it to state and place at state," Coffin said. "It's my last year and I'm not having anything after that. I have to leave it all out on the mat. I can't regret anything."

Coffin began his quest this summer. He wrestled in Goebel's camp in June, then participated in the Sunflower State Games in Topeka. He placed second in the 165-172-pound weight class at the July 14 event at Seaman High School.

"It should have been me getting first instead of him," Coffin said of his finals opponent, Wesley Titas. "Second place felt good, but first place would have been a lot better. I had my mind set on first."

After a first-round bye, Coffin dominated his first match and won via technical fall, which means he got 15 points in front of his opponent and automatically won.

Coffin pinned his first opponent four times, but the referee didn't call the match. Coffin still racked up a lot of points.

He started the championship match ahead of Titas, but couldn't maintain the lead at the end. In the last minute of the match, Titas reversed one of Coffin's maneuvers and received two points. It proved to be the deciding move as Titas won, 6-4.

"We were a lot alike," Coffin said. "He would take a shot, then I'd take a shot. He just had a counter for everything and I had a counter for his everything."

Coffin didn't participate in the Sunflower Games last year. He finished 0-2 in the event the summer before his sophomore year.

Coffin has wrestled since age 5. Goebel's seen Coffin wrestle for three years. He said he's already on board with Coffin's expectations for the winter.

"I know he's never out of a match because he's so strong," Goebel said. "He might be down 10-2, but if he can get a kid in a position to pin him, we're in the match the whole time. I'm just thinking, 'When's the thunder going to strike?' He won't give up."

Other returning Tonganoxie seniors for the winter will include Cameron Adcox, Travis Adcox, Sean Gippner, Matt Ditty and Tabitha Carroll.

Coffin, Cameron Adcox and junior-to-be Matt Brock competed at state for the Chieftains last winter. Tonganoxie didn't have anyone place.

"Each match, it seemed like Wyatt got more confident last year," Goebel said. "His freshman year, if he lost, he'd say, 'That's all right.' But now he's saying, 'I should have won that.' He has more expectations for himself now."

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