EHS gets a grip with Bobcat Wrestling Classic Tournament
It's called the Classic for good reason. Featuring some of the best teams from the ranks of Kansas 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A Classes plus Glenwood of Iowa, the two-day Bobcat Wrestling Classic was a learning experience for Eudora High.
Eudora spent more than 18 hours Friday and Saturday combined, competing against 20 other teams at Basehor-Linwood High School. While the typical tourney lasts one day and uses eight-man brackets, the Classic had 16-man brackets, many of which wrestlers had to "pigtail" into, meaning extra wrestling matches just to get into the bracket.
"It's good experience to let our kids know how much work they have to do in the month before regionals and to see this level of competition," Eudora coach Ron Abel said. "I hope they got something out of it."
Luke Powers and Jason Marmon got sixth-place medals out of the tough competition and James Barr and Michael Paxton notched two wins each.
Powers opened Friday with a third-period pin of his Blue Valley opponent and then made quick work of his Junction City foe with a 20-second victory by fall in the quarterfinals, becoming the only Cardinal wrestler to make it through Friday night undefeated. Saturday, the junior faced three state-ranked opponents, Paola, Basehor-Linwood and Turner, and lost decisions to each to finish sixth.
"I would have liked him to beat one of them, then Luke would probably have been state-ranked," said Abel. "Every one of them was tough."
Senior 215-pounder Marmon pinned his foe from Fort Scott in his opening match and led in his second against Atchison County by one point going into the third period. There he made a mistake and ended up on his back for a loss. He rebounded Saturday with a pin to start the day and then won a decision over a Bonner Springs opponet. He was held out of the next round because of a sore elbow and then lost to Goodland, but earned the sixth-place medal.
Juniors Barr and Paxton, at 160- and 189-pounds respectively, each won a match when their opponents had to injury default. Barr was also victorious with a 7-4 decision in the first round of consolation matches on Friday night. Paxton won his first match with a second-period pin of his Columbus foe.
Two more juniors won a match each, both in exciting fashion. Carl Holz at 130 pounds took a victory in his second pigtail match with a takedown in overtime, and Austin Roberts put his Olathe North opponent on his back at the end of his second pigtail match for a 13-11 win.
Chris Pittman, a junior, wrestled up for Eudora at 171 pounds and heavyweight Jason Hamlin was the only freshman to compete for the Cards.
Senior Nate Cleveland was unable to wrestle because of a knee injury, adding to the team's injury woes.
The tournament was a tune-up for regional and state competition, which both last two days and hold 16-man brackets.
Eudora travels to Osawatomie tonight and will also wrestle Spring Hill, ranked ninth among 4A squads. The following Thursday, the Cards go to Prairie View.