Eudora trails behind Santa Fe
Grapplers come off break to battle third-ranked squad
The Eudora Cardinals wrestling team began the season against the third-ranked squad in Kansas. And it showed.
The Cardinals were downed 65-7 in their opening dual against Santa Fe Trail on Monday. Despite the loss, third-year coach Bill DeWitt was pleased.
"After a Thanksgiving break, I thought the guys did well," he said. "They worked hard."
The lopsided tally was a bit deceptive, as the Cardinals had to forfeit 30 points because of open weight classes. The team did not field wrestlers in the 103-, 112-, 119-, 160-, and 275-pound weight classes.
The main problem for Eudora, however, was wrestlers competing outside of their weight classes.
"We have guys that have got to get down to their weights," DeWitt said.
Santa Fe Trail showed its strength by winning four of the eight matches on pins.
In two of the other four losses, the Cardinals wrestlers fell in lopsided point decisions.
Despite the power of the Santa Fe wrestlers, Eudora countered with some impressive showings.
Senior Andy Coffman avenged two earlier defeats by Santa Fe's Lorenzo Mundy in a hard- fought 6-5 victory in the 130-pound class. Coach DeWitt cited Coffman's performance as one of his wrestlers' more impressive showings.
"Andy's been gunning for that guy since last year," he said. "I'm glad to see him work hard and get the win."
One of the highlights of the night came in the match between junior Miles Cleveland and Santa Fe's Cory Ufford in the 145-pound class.
Cleveland, who was wrestling out of his normal 125-pound class, took Ufford to two extra periods before losing 2-1. Each wrestler fought relentlessly for the scarce points. The match was so heated that at one point Cleveland drove Ufford off of the mat and into the Cardinal bench.
"Miles wrestled out of his class," said DeWitt. "He worked hard though and kept focused. But when he wrestles out of weight, it effects his riding ability."
Senior Chris Durkin had a strong showing in the 215-pound class with an 11-3 victory over Jake Kober. Despite the victory, DeWitt thinks his senior leader will do better.
"Chris was a bit rusty," he said. "He hasn't had Josh to practice with. When that happens he will shake some of the rust off."
Durkin's practice partner, senior Josh Barr, was held out of Monday's match with a sore knee. Barr, who placed sixth at state last year, should be ready for next Friday's Eudora Invitational Tournament.
Although the opening match didn't go as the coach had hoped, he tipped his hat to the competition.
"Several of those kids are state placers," he said. "But we worked hard, and as a coach I got what I wanted. You get to see where you are by wrestling the best."
The Cardinals continue their season Saturday morning at the George Worley-Larry Tilton Tournament in Atchison.