Wrestlers impress DeWitt at Bobcat Classic
For the second weekend in a row, Cardinal wrestlers turned in a solid performance on the mats. The weekend before it was at Bonner Springs, and this time around it was a tournament at the Bobcat Classic at Basehor-Linwood High School. The weekend's match was a who's who of ranked squads and for Eudora coach Bill DeWitt, his team was up to the challenge.
"I was pleased with the effort that we got over the weekend," DeWitt said. "I think we out-worked them in all the aspects of the matches."
The tournament featured some of 4A wrestling's heavy hitters like Abilene, Goddard and Santa Fe Trail. The Chargers were a squad that Eudora had seen earlier in the year and may see again. The tough competition has helped the Cardinals develop some of the consistency the coach has been looking for.
"These guys have held a level of intensity over the past few weeks," he said. "The practices have been good and the work on the mat has shown."
Cardinal senior Josh Barr continued his strong season in the 189-pound class, coming back from a leg injury suffered during the football season, with a fourth-place finish that included two overtime wins.
"We won every overtime match that we had," DeWitt said. "Those wins were an example of our philosophy. The guys didn't throw it in when they could have. They went to the very end."
The tournament also featured a little bit of payback for one Eudora wrestler.
Back in December Miles Cleveland lost a heartbreaker to Santa Fe Trail's Corey Ufford in double overtime.
Cleveland reversed his earlier defeat with an equally dramatic win in the 135-pound class by getting a reversal in the last seconds of the match to hammer out a hard fought 4-3 win.
"Miles is still wrestling hard," DeWitt said. "It was good to see him get that one back."
Senior Andy Coffman finished the tournament with a 4-2 record. However in a testament to the strength of the 130-pound weight class, he failed to place.
"That whole weight class was stacked," DeWitt said. "Andy wrestled well, but there were a lot of big guns in there with him."
As a team the Cardinals finished 18th in the field of 26 with 24 total points. Despite the low finish, DeWitt saw all he needed to see from his wrestlers.
"Their confidence is getting better with every practice and it shows in the meets," DeWitt said. "These kids aren't satisfied with anything."
Eudora had a bit of a let down in a rescheduled dual in Gardner Tuesday night. The dual was scheduled because of Gardner's inability to participate in the Cardinals' "Raise the Roof" event, now scheduled for Monday. The hastily organized dual had its effect on the Eudora wrestlers.
"You don't want to say that these things are some sort of excuse," DeWitt said. "But we'd have much rather had the practice time."
Although the Cardinals wrestled well, DeWitt was not pleased with the effort.
"I didn't get the effort that I wanted," he said. "I just felt that some of the guys were just not into it the same way that they were over the weekend."
Wellsville and Gardner participated in the Tuesday night dual. The Cardinals took care of business against Wellsville's threadbare roster, which had only five wrestlers, and competed well against the hosts.
Coffman pinned both of his opponents in the 130-pound class, and Barr dominated his match against his 189-pound Gardner counterpart, 14-2.
As a team the Cardinals lost the dual 51-21. Eudora forfeited 18 points in open weight classes.
"It just seemed that some of the guys weren't up for the match," DeWitt said. "When you combine that with 18 free points, it sets up for a long night."
The Cardinals will try to regain some of their consistency from the Basehor-Linwood matches Monday at Eudora before they head to Concordia for a weekend tournament at month's end