Wrestlers take 5th at Concordia tournament
Eudora wrestling coach Bill DeWitt understands that in order to be considered the best, a team must beat the best.
That was the reasoning behind Eudora’s scheduling of the Concordia Duals Tournament last Friday and Saturday.
“Several of these teams were ranked atop the state,” DeWitt said. “Those teams are all highly ranked. And you know, in some cases, we matched up pretty well.”
The Cardinals squared off in seven duals during the two-day stint. During the trip, Eudora won 3-of-7, making for a successful venture in the eyes of DeWitt.
“I thought we did pretty good,” he said. “To come away with three wins, I thought that was pretty good for our young team.”
Eudora finished fifth in the tournament, behind several state championship-caliber squads. Valley Center High, which competes at 5A, grabbed the title and Concordia and Pratt also finished just ahead of Eudora in the event.
DeWitt said he was pleased that his squad battled the way it did.
“The teams we faced were all really good teams,” DeWitt said. “Every dual we had took almost an hour and a half. Most matches even went the full three periods.”
The Cardinals were put at an immediate disadvantage when they were open in a few weight classes.
“We had some opens, so in a couple duals, we bumped up a couple kids in weights,” DeWitt said. “In this kind of tournament, though, we want to win duals. It is not like a regular tournament. In a dual, the goal is to win versus one team, so a lot of those kids had to wrestle heavier than normal. This forced our kids to change strategy. We had to save points here and there, and overall, we responded well.”
Junior Dylan Litherland was, perhaps, the athlete who saved the most and responded the best. Litherland, who earned a varsity spot Friday, anchored the squad at 285 pounds.
“Dylan was a big part in the duals we won,” DeWitt said. “In those three it all came down to his match. In two of the matches, he pinned his opponent to give us the win.”
Litherland shined even in his lone losing effort, as he preserved critical points in the Cardinals’ final dual victory.
“Going into Dylan’s match we were ahead by four at 34-30, and he let a kid get an escape toward the end of his match,” DeWitt said. “Giving up the three points, he still preserved the win.”
Next up for the Cardinals is a triangular with Anderson County and De Soto at 5 p.m. Thursday at De Soto.