Teamwork catapults wresters to second at Louisburg
Eudora coach Ron Abel counts team success as the primary goal for his squad, and it showed Saturday at the 32nd Annual Louisburg Wrestling Invitational.
All 10 grapplers who made the trip contributed, each winning at least one match, leading the Cardinals to a second-place showing in the 10-team field. Eudora racked up 137 points. Fort Scott was first with 158.5, and Gardner-Edgerton came in third with 122.
Juniors Luke Powers and James Barr, plus senior Jason Marmon, combined for nine pins en route to three championships. The trio made quick work of the competition with Marmon spending the least time on the mats. The 215-pound senior pinned opponents from Louisburg, Anderson County and Fort Scott, all in the opening period.
Barr, who earned the first gold medal of his high school career, had the fastest single pin, dispatching Mill Valley in 15 seconds in the first round of the 160-pound weight class. He also defeated Louisburg and Blue Valley Northwest wrestlers by fall.
"I was really happy; it felt awesome," Barr said. "I'm glad I got first place, and I hope to build on it to more success for the team."
At 152 pounds, Powers also dominated with three first-period pins. He pinned Spring Hill and Olathe South foes to get to the finals where his victory-by-fall over a Gardner wrestler took only a minute and a half.
Three Cardinals also topped the consolation finals for third-place finishes: freshman Andy Coffman, junior 130-pounder Carl Holz and 189-pound Michael Paxton.
Eudora's 135- and 140-pounders took fourth in the tourney.
"Everyone contributed and every point counts," Abel said of Saturday's matches. "With four open weight classes our chances of taking second weren't very good; but we wrestled pretty darn well. The fact that a few points makes a big difference was evident Thursday when we didn't have our best night."
Last Thursday the Cards hosted their only home meet of the season and honored the four seniors Jason Marmon, manager Rebecca Robertson, Nate Cleveland and Matt Linzer.
Marmon demonstrated senior power and wrestled at heavyweight, pinning his Gardner foe in the first period. Cleveland lost to Gardner Thursday, but came back against him Saturday for a 7-5 win.
"I'm proud of Nate, the way he works, and he keeps getting better at it," Abel said.
It wasn't a good night for Linzer, who suffered a hyperextended elbow in his Gardner match. His fate for the rest of the season remains uncertain. Teammate Mark Lister slightly separated his shoulder in practice and couldn't take the mat Thursday.
Three open weight classes hurt Eudora, and it lost the dual to Gardner 37-35. The loss was especially disappointing since the Cards scored more points than the Trailblazers at the Louisburg tourney.
Next up for the squad is the 22-team Basehor-Linwood tourney Friday and Saturday.