Tonganoxie foursome victorioius in wrestling league challenge
Steve Davis typically wrestles in the 171-pound weight class.
When the junior looked across the mat Thursday, Cameron Adcox waited inside the wrestling circle. Adcox, a defensive lineman for the Tonganoxie football team, wrestles in the 240-pound weight class.
Mission: Nearly impossible.
"You can't really do much because they weigh so much more," Davis said. "You try to get under them because they weigh so much. But they just sit on you. When they're on top of you, you can't do much. It's a lot to handle."
Davis lost the match, but said the mat time was the most important part of the experience. He was one of 42 wrestlers who competed in the month-long Unlimited Fitness Wrestling League.
This year represented the first year of the summer wrestling league in Tonganoxie. The first session was June 7 and the last one ended Thursday. Davis, seniors Beau Waters and Travis Adcox, and junior Matt Brock won the league with 162 points.
"Their goal is to be on that wall by the time they get out of here," coach Jeremy Goebel said about the wall in the wrestling room that lists THS state competitors. "One thing I tried to stress with them is scoring on their feet and scoring first."
The summer league's matches lasted shorter than they would in the high school wrestling season. The high school season has three periods that last two minutes a piece. Goebel kept the three periods in the summer league, with the first one lasting two minutes. However, the second and third periods lasted one minute.
"They had to get their firepower started right away," Goebel said. "In high school, you can kind of wait for that moment to score. Here, they have to take that initiative and score right away. You look in any match and most of the time, the kid that scores first wins."
Goebel organized eight teams in the summer league. The league consisted of three teams from Tonganoxie, three teams from Mill Valley, one team from Leavenworth and one team from Basehor-Linwood.
Participants wrestled in 16 matches in four weeks -- that's about half the length of a high school season.
"They can come here and wrestle a lot and not worry about any drills and just have fun and be kids," Goebel said. "At the same time, they might not know it, but they are getting better, just by being on the mat and getting mat time."
Davis said he improved his skills simply from the freestyle-like format of the league. He wrestled for THS as a freshman and sophomore. He's yet to compete at the Class 4A state tournament. Brock, Wyatt Coffin and the Adcox brothers have competed at state in previous years.
"Next year, I'm hoping to make it," Davis said. "I'm just excited for next year."