Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wrestling struggles at Basehor tournament

January 19, 2006

Eudora wrestling coach Bill DeWitt knew the field at the Basehor-Linwood Bobcat Classic on Saturday was going to be tough for all involved on his roster.

Over the weekend his expectations held up as the Cardinals placed 18th in the tournament that consisted of 25 teams, including 4A power Andale and St. Thomas Aquinas, the eventual tournament champions.

"It was a tough tournament," DeWitt said. "But tournaments like this are so good for us because they tell us where we're at and what we need to do to get better."

Despite steady improvement with each appearance at the Bobcat Classic, getting better is one thing the head coach hopes this tournament experience will help his team achieve.

"We need to realize that if we want to wrestle at this level, it all starts in practice," DeWitt said. "We have to emphasize the drills, concentrate on hand movement and get things like that into focus. We need to make sure we're fundamentally sound every time we hit the mat."

The Cardinals took to the mats on Friday in Basehor with 12 wrestlers in all but two weight classes. By the end of the day Saturday, only one wrestler took his place on the medal stand.

Junior Tim Durkin took sixth-place in the 189-pound class, which was cause for excitement for the head coach.

"Tim took sixth for us and that was real nice," DeWitt said. "It's great because that's the first time we've had an underclassmen place at this tournament."

Durkin was the highest seed for the Cardinals going into the tournament at number five, while most of the Cardinals' wrestlers were seeded in the eight to 12 spots.

Durkin beat Patrick Robitaille of Santa Fe Trail, then beat Mack Cole from Shawnee Heights. He lost to Ty Copsey from Glenwood, Ia, and lost both of his matches in the consolation bracket.

Senior Miles Cleveland bowed out of the tournament early in Saturday's action with a loss to Spring Hill's Kyle Hudgins.

Cleveland opened the tournament by beating Moses Padilla of Garden City, but lost to Basehor-Linwood's Dustin Sullivan in the second round.

He ran into Hudgins in the first match in the consolation bracket. It was a match-up, which Cleveland prevailed in just a week before at the Bonner Springs Invitational. Cleveland went 1-2 for the tournament dropping his overall record to 14-7 on the year.

But despite the results, the head coach feels his senior leader won't let the tournament effect the rest of his season.

"It's definitely a wake-up call for him," DeWitt said. "He'll be the first one to tell you that he didn't wrestle well and he'll get better. As a senior I would expect nothing less."

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