Senior’s successful on Senior Night
They came to the mats in entirely different ways.
One came to wrestling room for the first time as a freshman, the other as a senior.
For both however, Thursday's "Raise the Roof" wrestling event had them enjoying the atmosphere and the large senior night crowd as the Cardinals took on league foes Paola and Baldwin.
"It was really fun," Eudora senior Miles Cleveland said. "The big crowd was awesome and it was a really great atmosphere. It was a nice way to end things here."
Cleveland is the only member of the wrestling squad that has been with head coach Bill DeWitt for his entire four-year tenure.
Joel Morrison, who went out for wrestling his senior year after hitting the mats for most of his middle school days, had a similar feeling.
"It was a great night, a great experience," Morrison said. "It really made me feel like I was a part of the whole thing. It also made me glad that I came out for my senior year."
Both wrestlers got into the action as Eudora took on the Bulldogs and the Panthers at Eudora High School for the final home event of the season and the last go around for both seniors.
The Cardinals fell to the Panthers in the opener 43-16. The Cardinals went into the match without many of the varsity wrestlers not participating.
"Some of the guys are banged up and we wanted to rest them," Eudora coach Bill DeWitt said. "Besides we had already wrestled Paola in a dual."
During the Paola match Morrison found himself up against some tough competition. The senior rookie matched up against one of the top wrestlers in the 275-pound weight class, Caleb Payne.
Payne got the better of Morrison with a first period pin, but such setbacks did not dampen the senior's spirit on Thursday, as it hasn't the entire year.
"I haven't done so great as far of my record is concerned," Morrison said. "But the experience has been great, I enjoy the sport."
The Cardinals regrouped to take on Frontier League rival Baldwin and this time came away with a 40-39 win. It was only the third dual loss for the Bulldogs in last three seasons.
"We didn't wrestle very well against Paola," Cleveland said. "But I really think we regrouped against Baldwin and did well."
Two juniors helped out the senior night cause against the Bulldogs as Loni Ogden and Tim Durkin put the Cardinals over the top with two pins late in the match.
Odgen pinned Michael Kohn in the 171-pound class to give the Cardinals a late lead.
Durkin then helped put things away with a second period pin of Josh Wood to give the Cardinals the lead for good.
The Eudora wrestlers traveled to Baldwin over the weekend to begin the stretch run towards state with a stop at the Frontier League tournament.
The Cardinals came out of the fray with a modest sixth-place, but filled the medal stands with five wrestlers in the two-day, 13-team event.
"Things went pretty well," Eudora coach Bill DeWitt said. "The kids wrestled pretty well overall and we ended up with five kids on the medal stand and that's good going into regionals."
Matt McPeek finished fourth in the 125-pound weight class.
Michael Whitten fought his way into the finals, but lost via pin to Gardner's Aldon Isenberg.
Miles Cleveland finished second in the 140-pound weight class. The senior lost a 6-2 decision to Spring Hill's Kyle Hudgins.
Loni Ogden finished fourth in the 171-pound division and Tim Durkin placed third, notching an 8-0 win over Prairie View's Andy Stanton in the third-place match.
The Cardinals will begin regional tournament action Friday afternoon at Eudora High School.