Eudora strong in final wrestling meet before break
The Eudora Cardinal wrestling team went into the long Christmas break still on the track of progress after a trip to the Emporia Winter Classic over the weekend.
"A lot of the kids did better than I expected," Eudora coach Bill DeWitt said. "The kids are getting tougher with every match."
The Cardinals went into the tournament as the sole class 4A school on the mats. Powerhouses such as eventual tournament champion class 6A Goddard and Abilene gave Eudora a chance to face some great competition as well as get a look at some unfamiliar styles.
"We had nothing to lose being the only 4A school there," DeWitt said. "The competition was great and we enjoy going out there and seeing different styles and different kids that you don't normally get to see."
Amidst the throng of high-caliber teams, the Cardinals managed to do some damage of their own over the weekend.
Junior Tim Durkin continued his progress in the 189-pound class with a third-place finish with a 4-1 record. He took one of Junction City's top wrestlers in a 6-4 overtime win.
"Tim continues to do well," DeWitt said. "He's wrestling tough and becoming a good leader."
Miles Cleveland, dropping to the 140-pound group, took fourth place, while junior Kyle Scrimsher went 1-2 in the 145-pound class. Scrimsher wrestled well on the day but found himself in a deep pool of talent.
"He was in a loaded bracket," DeWitt said. "There was just a lot of good wrestlers there and he wrestled some close matches. But maybe he's just not quite there yet."
Junior Loni Ogden took sixth place at 171 pounds. Ogden was a fixture on the junior varsity squad last year but has now inserted himself among varsity wrestlers this year.
"Loni has been wrestling pretty well lately," DeWitt said. "He's really starting to come into his own now that he's a regular for us."
At the heavyweight end, sophomore Evan Meyers took fifth place. Meyers was the sole Cardinal wrestling above the 200-pound mark because of the absence of senior rookie Joel Morrison.
"I didn't take many of my heavyweights," DeWitt said. "(Joel) Morrison didn't make the trip because he was sick so we were open there."
160-pounder Jacob Love couldn't make the road trip either because of illness. The vacancies at those weights added to a total of five open slots for the Cardinals. The empty weight classes played a large part in Eudora's 11th-place finish among the 14 teams.
But despite the progress the Cardinals made at Emporia over the weekend there were still things that need to be addressed, the coach said.
"Our conditioning isn't very good," DeWitt said. "We're going to have to work on that, but that will come. We really need to have that by late January and into February."
The Cardinals will come out of the break with a Jan. 5 dual at Gardner.