Frankie Martin tries to maneuver Bruce Garcia of Lakin for a pin during their match at Hoisington. Martin won the match on points, 13-5, and placed third at 171 pounds. Courtesy photo.
Led by Nicholas Mueller’s weight-class championship at 135 pounds, the Trojans finished with 117 points to trail only the host team with 170 and Cimarron with 129.
“Nicholas has seemed to find himself again,” said Trojan coach Scott O’Hare. “After a couple of losses early in the post-Christmas schedule, he has won championships at the past two tournaments.”
To claim the title, Mueller, defeated John Lynch of Lakin, 5-0, to finish with a 5-0 record for the day. Lynch has been ranked much of the season at 140 pounds.
Though Mueller’s victory was a highlight, the Trojans may have lost the services of Jacob Yoder, a two-time state qualifier wrestling at 189 pounds this season. Yoder, battling Matt Engstrom of Hoisington, ranked No. 1 in the state at 189, reinjured the shoulder hurt originally during the football season.
“After battling to a 4-3 score through two and a half periods, Jacob suffered the setback we have been trying to avoid when his shoulder came out again,” O’Hare said.
“At this time we are not certain whether additional damage to the shoulder was done. After it popped back in, it was sore, but the extent of the injury is not known.”
Three Trojans finished the day as runners-up in their respective weight classes: Zach Jost, 3-1 at 160; Yoder, 2-1, at 189; and CJ Shaw, 2-1 at 285.
Also competing for Hillsboro were: Alex Jost, 2-2 at 112; Aaron Bina, 0-4 at 119; Robby McClelland, 1-2 at 125; Darren Mueller, 0-4 at 130; Jared King, 1-3 at 140; Lonnie Benda, 1-3 at 145; Grady Stultz, 3-2 at 152; and Frankie Martin, 3-2 at 171.
The format for this tournament started with pool play. Each weight class with six or fewer wrestlers went head to head in round-robin fashion. If a weight class had more then six wrestlers, the competitors were divided into two pools, then wrestled for places based on their pool records.
“This is our second year attending this tournament, and I’m really glad we added it,” O’Hare said. “For one, it gives our kids a lot of matches against a number of teams we normally do not see in the course of a season.
“Also, by doing it on Friday afternoon and evening, it gives the varsity wrestlers at least one Saturday off as we head into the final portion of the season. This gives them some much-needed rest time for their bodies as we head down the stretch leading up to regionals and state.”
Though O’Hare was pleased with the tournament format and lineup, he wasn’t quite as pleased with his squad’s performance.
“Right now, the best word to use to describe our performance is ‘inconsistent,’” he said. “The guys did a very nice job of following a lackluster performance at Halstead two weeks ago with a very strong tournament last week at Eureka. However, we followed that up on Friday with an average or below-average performance at Hoisington.
“The guys did not wrestle with the same intensity,” O’Hare said. “We seemed to be more passive and methodical instead of aggressive and intense.”
Coming—The Hillsboro varsity will compete Saturday at the Southeast of Saline dual tournament, in which competing teams square off in a round-robin series of dual matches. Action begins at 10 a.m.