Working ‘em over
Cleveland and the wrestling team see improvement in finishes
Eudora wrestling coach Bill DeWitt was hoping for a top-five finish going into the Dick Burns Mat Classic Saturday at Bonner Springs.
He got what he wished for.
The Cardinals took fifth place in the 12-team tournament and came away with several wrestlers on the medal stand. Saturday's finish came as a great step considering the place the Cardinals found themselves just two years ago.
"I was very pleased with the outcome Saturday," DeWitt said. "It's a good step considering two years ago when these juniors were freshmen we placed dead last. So I'm pretty excited about how we did."
One of the juniors to help the Cardinals to their respectable finish was Tim Durkin in the 189-pound class.
Durkin wrestled his way to a third-place finish in Saturday's tournament on the strength of a first round win over Olathe South's Rand Coffelt.
Durkin ran into Bellevue East standout Micah Laufenberg, however, and lost the semi-final match-up on an 8-5 decision.
He managed to bounce back in his next two bouts by pinning both Malcolm Sharp of Sumner Academy and Coffelt for a second time to earn his third-place spot. The showing improved Durkin's record to 19-4 on the season.
Another junior to add to the Cardinals' success was Kyle Scrimsher. The 145-pounder took third-place in his first varsity tournament.
It was an effort that drew considerable attention from the head coach.
"That was probably the most pleasing performance of the day," DeWitt said. "He came in as a five seed and wrestled really well out there."
Senior Miles Cleveland took the crown in the 140-pound group with a 3-1 decision over Blue Valley's Kyle Combes.
"That was typical Miles," DeWitt said. "He scored early and protected the lead. He's been consistent over the last few weeks, which is just what you want out of a senior."
Other Cardinals to place at Saturday's tournament included junior Loni Ogden. The 171-pound junior finished fourth in his bracket coming in as a sixth seed.
Michael Whitten took third at 135 pounds, defeating Bellevue East's Danny Nye.
Fellow junior Matt McPeek took fourth place in the 125-pound class with a win over Basehor's Stephen Millison.
The Cardinals' can now take the momentum of their fifth-place finish into this weekend's monster Bobcat Classic at Basehor-Linwood.
Dewitt said the upcoming meet will feature some of the toughest competition the Cardinals will face.
"That tournament is a real meat-grinder," DeWitt said. "There's going to be some tough wrestlers there. But I think we're ready. I like where we're at right now and I think we're looking good."