Chieftain wrestlers open season with team title
To say the Tonganoxie High wrestling team got off to a great start could be an understatement.
The Chieftains, in their first trip to the Wamego Invitational, won the team title in the 14-team field with 206 points. Abilene finished second with 172.5, while Concordia was third with 166.5, Junction City fourth with 141.25 and Bonner Springs fifth with 109.5.
“It’s a good stepping stone in the right direction for our program and our kids,” said THS Jeremy Goebel. “Every time you go out and compete you want to do the best you possibly can.
“That’s what we did. We went out and competed and let points take care of themselves by just going out and wrestling.”
Though Tonganoxie did not have any individual champions, the Chieftains had three wrestlers finish second (Clayton Himpel, 120; Caleb Himpel, 126; and Matt Soetaert, 152) and another four with third-place finishes (Joe Wolf, 132; Asher Huseman, 138; Zeke Kissinger, 220; and Ty Barton, 285).
“It was a total team effort,” Goebel said. “Any time you can go and win matches and everyone consistently does it, good things are going to happen.
The Chieftains also had a handful of fourth-place finishes: Luke Carey at 160, Ryan Lynch at 170 and Thomas Miller at 195.
Lynch led the team in pins with four, while Julius Coats had the most takedowns with 15. Miller had the most reversals with five, the same number as team-leader Dalton Tavis in escapes and Clayton Himpel in 3-point near falls. Huseman led the team in 2-point near falls.
The team title also was a boost because competition-wise the Chieftains defeated strong programs in Abilene, Concordia, Bonner Springs and Junction City, Goebel said.
The Chieftains will look to win another meet title with the Eudora Invitational coming up Friday and Saturday in Eudora. The THS coach will look for a repeat of the performance in Wamego.
“Every single wrestler in that lineup provided a huge punch to us winning that tournament,” Goebel said. They all were on the same page.
“They All know what we expect and what we want from the team and that’s exactly what they did. It was a total team effort. All 14 played a huge role.”
THS individual records
Placing at Wamego in parentheses
106 pounds — Connor Yates, 2-2 (seventh)
113 — Dalton Tavis, 3-2 (fifth)
120 — Clayton Himpel, 4-1 (second)
126 — Caleb Himpel, 4-1 (second)
132 — Joe Wolf, 4-1 (third)
138 — Asher Huseman, 4-1 (third)
145 — Seth Wolf, 2-2 (fifth)
152 — Matt Soetaert, 3-1 (second)
160 — Luke Carey, 2-2 (fourth)
170 — Ryan Lynch, 4-1 (fourth)
182 — Julius Coats, 2-3 (sixth)
195 — Thomas Miller, 2-2 (fourth)
220 — Zeke Kissinger, 4-1 (third)
285 — Ty Barton, 3-1 (third)
- Tonganoxie, 206; 2. Abilene, 172.5; 3. Concordia, 166.5; 4. Junction City, 141.25; 5. Bonner Springs, 109.5; 6. Silver Lake, 83.5; 7. Falls City, Neb., 74.5; 8. Salina Central, 67.5; 9. Ottawa, 67; 10. Riley County, 64; 11. Unattached, 47; 12. Chase County, 28; 13. Topeka Hayden, 24.5; 14. Herington, 20.5.