Chieftains snag gold at Pleasant Ridge
Members of the Tonganoxie High wrestling team could be the only students at THS who don't need a winter break.
The Chieftains ended 2007 with a victory Saturday at the seven-team Pleasant Ridge Dual Tournament.
THS defeated Jefferson West (54-21), Bishop Ward (75-10), Wellsville (63-6) and Perry-Lecompton (48-30) at Pleasant Ridge High School.
Perry-Lecompton (3-1) finished behind Tonganoxie (4-0) in second place, while Jefferson West (3-1) finished third.
Two days earlier, THS defeated SFT in a dual for the first time in school history, according to THS coach Jeremy Goebel.
Santa Fe Trail is the fifth-ranked Class 4A team in the state, according to the Kansas Wrestling Web site, usawks.com.
Despite the momentum THS gained last week, it won't wrestle again until Jan. 5 at Louisburg.
So here was the question for Goebel: Was there any part of him that thought winter break came at a bad time this year? He started his answer with a laugh.
"I don't know about that," Goebel said. "First of all, I told them to enjoy their break and stay around family. Also, if they could, try to get a 30-minute workout in. Just make sure that all your work to this point doesn't run away from you."
After snow pushed back the Santa Fe dual and the Pleasant Ridge Tournament one week, it was evident the Chieftains were ready for competition.
"(Senior) A.J. (DeMaranville) told me he was so pumped after Santa Fe that if he could, he'd do flips for 30 minutes," Goebel said of the senior, who wrestles in the 215-pound weight class. "Maybe if we get him fired up, he could. He's one of those kids where if you pump him up and give him that competitive fire, he goes out there and carries it with him."
DeMaranville, juniors Matt Brock and Steve Davis, and sophomores Jeremie Maus and Zach Kaighin finished 4-0 for the Chieftains individually.
"It kind of solidifies to the kids that our team's capable of competing with the best and producing on the mat," Goebel said. "Kids kind of have a swagger to themselves now. If you're going to wrestle Tongie, you're going to wrestle for six minutes."
Goebel said he was impressed with the performance of Kaighin, who wrestled in the 189-pound weight class, despite only weighing 169 pounds. Goebel has had discussions with Kaighin on how to make up the 20-pound difference.
"I just tell him to have constant movement on his feet," Goebel said. "Then, if he gets in a shot, he's going to finish it. There's no stopping that kid."
Kaighin improved to 10-8 on the season.
Maus entered Saturday's dual tournament with a .500 record, but improved to 9-5 with his 4-0 showing. Goebel credited Maus for being aggressive, particularly when he was on the floor in the bottom position.
"He gets out and if you can do that, you're going to win every match," Goebel said. "The move we focus on is stand-ups. Then, you have to gain hand control, getting to your feet and getting out. Bottom is all attitude. In the first five seconds, we need to get out."
Senior Travis Adcox has the most individual THS victories to date with 14. He's 14-5 on the season. Other wrestlers with notable records include Brock (12-2), senior Cameron Adcox (12-6), Jeff Ross (12-6), Davis (11-3) and Kevin Hamm (11-7).
The Chieftains have built quite the resume before the break.
Tonganoxie had a strong third-place showing at the Kaw Valley League Dual Wrestling Tournament to open the year. The Chieftains then finished eighth of 24 teams at the Eudora Tournament of Champions without the services of Brock, who qualified for state last season.
"I told the kids before we left to start the second half of the season the same way we ended the first," Goebel said. "Our kids have done a good job of taking initiative to help each other along and pick each other up. They've worked as one unit and now it's paying off."
Team results, Pleasant Ridge Invitational
3. Jefferson West
4. Plesant Ridge
7. Bishop Ward
Tonganoxie dual results
vs. Jefferson West (W 54-21)
vs. Bishop Ward (W 75-10)
vs. Wellsville (W 63-6)
vs. Perry-Lecompton (W 48-30)
THS individual records (season record will follow in parenthesis)
103 Jeff Ross: 3-1 (12-6)
119 Kevin Hamm: 3-1 (11-7)
125 Wally Rachford: 2-2 (7-7)
130 Matt Brock: 4-0 (12-2)
135 Jon Harris: 3-1 (6-9)
140 Travis Adcox: 3-1 (14-5)
145 Matt Ditty: 3-1 (9-7)
152 Jeremy Elliot: 2-2 (8-6)
160 Jeremie Maus: 4-0 (9-5)
171 Steve Davis: 4-0 (11-3)
189 Zach Kaghin: 4-0 (10-8)
215 A.J. DeMaranville: 4-0 (8-6)
285 Cameron Adcox: 3-1 (12-6)