EHS grapplers place second at Effingham tourney
Even without some of his big guns on the mat for Eudora’s first wrestling meet of the year, coach Jason Tharp left Effingham smiling after a trip to the championship.
The tournament consisted of 10 teams broken up into two pools. The winner of each five-team pool advanced to the finals.
“We went through our first four duals and won all of them,” Tharp said. “Then against Royal Valley we were tied at the end of the regulation, and it took seven tiebreakers to send us to the finals.”
The squads remained deadlocked after unsportsmanlike calls, penalties, victories, pins, technical falls and major decisions were all assessed by the judges.
“It’s definitely the first time I’ve seen anything like that,” Tharp said. “When we won that, it gave us great confidence and momentum going into the finals.”
But the Cardinals fell in the championship dual to Atchison County.
Tharp was pleased with the result because several of his young wrestlers stepped up to fill the void left by a few of the coach’s wrestlers, Boomer Mays (215) and Clayton Molby (189).
Mays and Molby were each out with lingering ankle injuries suffered during Eudora’s football playoffs.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to get those guys back by our next tournament,” Tharp said. “But the guys stepping in did a really great job. I’m proud of them.”
The Cardinals’ lineup featured a good mix of veterans and young talent. Dalton Hladky served capably as one of the squad’s leaders, and Tharp said several freshmen and sophomores performed well for the first meet of the year.
“Greg Snell and Alex Whitten, guys that have been on JV, came in and worked their tails off this week.”
The Cardinals will compete in the Eudora Tournament of Champions, a 24-team tournament Friday and Saturday that will feature quality competition from around the state.
“We just added Gardner-Edgerton and a Shawnee Mission school for a couple that have dropped out,” Tharp said. “It should be one of the tougher tournaments in the state. It’s absolutely a great advantage to compete against strong opponents early. If nothing else, it gives you a gauge of where you are at and what you have to do to beat the upper echelon programs.”