THS wrestling finishes 2nd at UNK camp
Twelve Tonganoxie High wrestlers went to a team camp June 18-20 at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. The Chieftains went 6-2 in duals and took second place at the camp.
THS individual records
Anthony Baker, 3-8
Colton Brown, 5-3
Clayton Himpel, 7-3
Asher Huseman, 6-3
Zeke Kissinger, 4-5
Garrett Martin, 6-5
Matt Soetaert, 2-2
Steven Stockman, 0-7
Dalton Tavis, 8-1
Adam Thomas, 2-4
Joe Wolf, 5-3
Seth Wolf, 5-3
Some Tonganoxie High wrestlers are making the most of their summer vacations.
Thanks to a three-day trip to Nebraska from June 18-20, a dozen Chieftains not only got to experience wrestling minus the stress of the regular season, but they also gained some quality time on the mat.
Tonganoxie went 6-2 in duals at University of Nebraska-Kearney’s team wrestling camp and finished second out of 21 squads.
THS coach Jeremy Goebel said it was good to see the wrestlers gel together and have fun, because during the season every day is an intense grind, filled with worries about making weight and upcoming opponents. At Kearney, Goebel said, the Chieftains got to enjoy themselves.
“It was a fun camp,” the coach said. “It gives them some momentum heading into next year, gives them a positive outlook.”
Seven of Tonganoxie’s 12 wrestlers won more than half of their matches at the UNK camp, and Goebel said rising sophomore Clayton Himpel, who went 7-3, was the team’s MVP for the three-day trip. Himpel’s three losses came against state runners-up (one from Nebraska and two from Kansas). Goebel said facing that level of competition will help Himpel during his upcoming sophomore campaign.
“He’s going to be in the same boat next season,” the coach said.
Himpel, who finished fourth among 112-pounders as a freshman at the Class 4A state tournament, helped give the team momentum in duals at the camp. Goebel said if one guy wins, the other THS wrestlers get excited and it has a trickle-down effect.
“We’re all together as one and we’re a team,” he said.
The other camp award, called Legitimate Tough Guy, the coach handed out went to senior Anthony Baker.
“That award, when you vote on it, it’s not necessarily the kid that wins every match,” Goebel said.
Baker went 3-8 at UNK but two of Tonganoxie’s dual victories came thanks to him winning a match with a pin. He even won the final match of one very close dual.
“It was pretty cool he was able to finish the deal,” Goebel said of Baker. “Even the matches he didn’t’ win, he just consistently works hard and that’s all that you ask of the kid.”
Four incoming THS freshmen — Asher Huseman (6-3), Garrett Martin (6-5), Dalton Tavis (8-1) and Seth Wolf (5-3) — had winning records at the camp.
“All those freshmen, they wrestled really well,” Goebel said, noting their matchups came against underclassmen and upperclassmen alike.
An injury kept Joe Wolf from wrestling during his freshman season this past year, but he went 5-3 at the camp and Goebel said he hadn’t missed a beat. Colton Brown also went 5-3 and his coach said that continued a strong finish Brown had to the 2010-11 season, which boosted his confidence.
Goebel said he could see the progress all the wrestlers made from the end of last season to now.
“That’s from being in the wrestling room and being around the sport and competing,” he said.
The coach said the camp trip provided a unique team-building experience and taught the Chieftains to trust their teammates and make sure everybody is on board with one another.
“It was a great positive environment,” Goebel said. “We’re one unit. It’s not just an individual thing.”