Six Chieftain grapplers leave Eudora tournament with medals
At a loaded, 24-team tournament Friday and Saturday, the Tonganoxie High wrestling team had six grapplers medal at the Eudora Tournament of Champions.
Chieftains senior Matt Brock (140) was third, freshman Adam Thomas (103) and senior Jon Harris (135) placed fifth, junior Jeremy Elliott (160) took sixth, senior Kevin Hamm (145) finished seventh and junior Jeremie Maus (171) ended up eighth at Eudora by default after injuring his shoulder.
THS coach Jeremy Goebel said the two-day tournament, which gives the competitors more chances for mat time, provided a great opportunity for his wrestlers to evolve early in the season.
“We’re a young team outside of our seniors,” Goebel said. “This is good exposure to prepare them for upcoming tournaments. Basehor-Linwood (Jan. 16-17) is even bigger, and Baldwin (Jan. 31) is always tough.”
Tonganoxie finished 10th as a team in the crowded field of 24, scoring 127.5 points. Lansing (first, 322) and Mill Valley (third, 204.5) were the only other Kaw Valley League teams in the top 10 at Eudora.
Goebel said the Eudora tourney ranks among the toughest on the THS schedule this year.
“It’s up there,” he said, reiterating the importance of getting multiple matches under the belts of his grapplers. “Unlike Basehor-Linwood, where if you lose twice, you’re out, it helps our kids kind of grow into that mold to be able to compete in those tournaments come the middle of January.”
With six Chieftains medaling at the event, Goebel said he was happy, but, as a coach, “you always hope for more.” THS, though, was deterred by some injuries and illnesses. Senior Steve Davis (189) hurt his knee on Friday and Goebel decided to hold him out of action Saturday so he would be available this week for home duals Thursday and the 2008 Randy Starcher Memorial Wrestling Tournament on Saturday. Junior Austen Holloway (215) and sophomore Tyler Hand (130) were sick and unable to compete. Once the team gets healthy, Goebel said, THS should be even more competitive.
Of the six medal-winners, the coach said each one proved himself as a competitor.
“One thing I tell them is I want them to compete six minutes as hard as they can,” Goebel said. “Those six resemble that.”
Thomas was competing at his very first varsity tournament, and Goebel said he showed a lot of gain from Friday to Saturday.
Elliott continued to wrestle tough, but lost a close match in the semis. His coach said if the same situation presents itself in the next couple of months, Elliott will come out on the other end.
Brock’s only loss at the tourney came to Blue Valley’s Parker Madle, ranked No. 1 in the state. Goebel was proud of the senior for that effort.
“He still got bronze and made his way back through the bracket,” the coach said, noting Brock’s perseverance and ability to put a loss behind him.
Hamm also showed well for THS and Goebel said Harris had some big wins that should improve his confidence going forward.
He also was complimentary of the team’s less experienced wrestlers. Goebel said freshman Caleb Himpel was in every match.
“That’s great to see because he’s only going to grow,” Goebel said. “He’s getting better each time he steps onto the mat.”
Freshman Hunter Lohr (103), sophomore Hank Sommers (215) and junior Justin Crotty, Goebel said, also battled hard.
“I thought those kids went out there and competed,” the coach said.
1. Lansing, 322; 2. Chanute, 259.5; 3. Mill Valley, 204.5; 4. Prairie View, 193; 5. Holton, 179.5; 6. St. Thomas Aquinas, 175.5; 7. Baldwin, 172; 8. Blue Valley, 151; 9. El Dorado, 132.5; 10. Tonganoxie, 127.5.
13. Eudora, 114.5; 15. Perry-Lecompton, 108.5; 18. Lawrence, 81; 22. De Soto, 76; 24. Free State, 33.
Brock notches 100th victory
Brock picked up the 100th win of his THS career this weekend at Eudora. He is just the second Tonganoxie wrestler to reach that number (the only other Chieftain to reach the plateau is Ross Starcher, now a THS assistant coach). Goebel called it a great achievement.
Tonganoxie will play host to a double dual with Santa Fe Trail and Ottawa at 5 p.m. Thursday in the THS Gymnasium. The Chieftains will dual SFTHS to open the event, and later, following the visiting teams’ dual and a Senior Night presentation, THS will battle Ottawa.
The Chieftains also will play host to the 2008 Randy Starcher Memorial Wrestling Tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday, also in the THS Gymnasium.
THS senior Steve Davis (189) is 8-1 on the season and has gained each of his victories by pinfall.
Brock leads THS in individual victories with an 11-2 mark on the season, and also is the Chieftain leader in takedowns with 17.
Himpel leads the team with 20 escapes, and, along with Hamm, is tied for the team lead in reversals — both Himpel and Hamm have four.