Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

Youth takes advantage for wrestling program

February 8, 2007

With a winning varsity record and a lineup comprised mainly of seniors, the Eudora wrestling team will have some fairly big gaps to fill next season. But if the Anderson County dual tournament's results proved anything, it's that the younger wrestlers will step up and fill those future holes in the varsity team sooner rather than later.

Because of Kansas State High School Activities Association rules, wrestlers are only allowed to participate in a certain number of matches in the regular season. With all but two seniors -- Loni Ogden and David Westerhouse -- having already wrestled their allotted matches, several members of the junior varsity team were brought up to wrestle at the varsity level.

The result: a 66-12 victory to De Soto in 15 minutes and a 45-27 victory to Anderson County in 25 minutes.

Coach Bill DeWitt said he enjoyed seeing the younger guys succeed against varsity competition, and their confidence would not doubt be boosted.

"We wrestled fast," DeWitt said. "We had a lot of JV kids in there that got to do some stuff for us in varsity. It's good for them to do well because they come every day to practice and work hard even though they don't get all the glory."

Two junior varsity wrestlers that caught DeWitt's eyes were Derrick Scrimsher, brother of senior Kyle Scrimsher, at 145 pounds and Gage Ham at 152 pounds. Scrimsher won both of his matches, one by a pin and the other by decision. Ham made an important pin in the Anderson County dual, which further solidified the Cardinals' lead.

Another wrestler DeWitt said did well was freshman John Morrison. Wrestling at 215 pounds, Morrison has some pretty tough sparring partners during practices with Tim Durkin, Loni Ogden and Richard Wilks. DeWitt said they don't make it easy, but Morrison clearly learned some lessons from his successful practice partners, as he secured a pin against his De Soto opponent.

Also making pins in the duals were John Chumbley, Westerhouse, and Ogden, among others.

DeWitt said his mostly young lineup was able to succeed because of the full roster and each person's determination to do well.

"We have good depth, so that's going to help," DeWitt said. "De Soto and Anderson County just don't have the numbers. But in the matches we wrestled, we won the majority of them."

Amid all of the successes, there was one casualty. Max Campbell tore his ACL, disallowing him to wrestle the remainder of the season, including the important upcoming league, district and state tournaments. However, Campbell is planning on doing some off-season wrestling when he recovers so he will be ready for the 2007-2008 Eudora wrestling season.

Even though the majority of his varsity lineup did not wrestle at the tournament, DeWitt said he planned on keeping them active and conditioned but also healthy and able-bodied..

"I made all of them suit up for the tournament and had a real hard 30 minute workout before the duals," DeWitt said. "They didn't have Thursday off. I don't want them to have any injuries, so we aren't doing a whole lot of live wrestling. We lost one kid to injury -- we don't want any more."

DeWitt said overall, his team was in pretty good shape for it's dual against 5 p.m. Thursday in Paola and the Frontier League tournament Saturday in Louisburg.

"Spirits are good -- practice is good," DeWitt said. "There's not a ton of conditioning we can do in the next two weeks. If they haven't learned to wrestle by now then I haven't done my job all season."

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