ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Hillsboro finished third and Marion 10th in the 11-team at the Charles McMillen Wrestling Tournament in Herington Saturday.
Perennial powers Abilene and Chapman from Class 4A finished 1-2 in team competition with 177 and 144.5 points, respectively. The Trojans accumulated 115 to edge Wamego by two points.
“That was our goal going in to try to get into the top three,” Hillsboro coach Corey Burton said. “We knew Abilene and Chapman were going to be really tough, so we were hoping to sneak in there for third.”
The Trojans needed to win the last two matches of the day to edge past Wamego. Wade Sorensen and Ronnie Davis came through, winning the 189-pound and 275-pound weight classes, respectively, with 3-0 records and two pins each.
Carson Greenhaw (145) and James Bina (152) finished second in their respective class with 2-1 records.
“All the guys who made the finals wrestled really well,” Burton said.
Two Trojans placed third in their weight classes: Bri Ratzlaff (103) and Daniel Yoder (125), both at 3-1.
With their performance at Herington, Davis remained undefeated for the season with a 13-0 mark. Sorensen raised his record to 11-2 and Ratzlaff to 12-2.
A highlight of the tournament was Davis’s win over Chris Eberwein of Wabaunsee in the 275 finals. Eberwin held a huge size advantage, but Davis won on points, 6-4, including a takedown in which he lifted Eberwein off the ground and dropped him to the mat, eliciting a roar from the crowd.
“We wrestled against some good competition,” Burton said. “We had talked all week about wrestling more aggressively and with more confidence, and we felt the kids did that.”
Minneapolis-Hillsboro opened its post-holiday schedule by splitting a pair of dual matches in Minneapolis, Jan. 3. The Trojans slipped past Haven 39-30, but were defeated soundly by the home team, 53-30.
Against MCAA foe Haven, the Trojans won only four of the nine matches that were wrestled, but held a decisive 18-0 advantage in forfeit points in uncontested weight classes to claim the team win.
Bri Ratzlaff (103 pounds), James Bina (152) and Wade Sorensen (215) each pinned his opponent while Daniel Yoder won by decision, 4-1. Lance Bartel (112), Carson Greenhaw (145) and Ron Davis (275) won by forfeit.
“Haven was a good win for us,” Burton said. “They’re a league school, and have a pretty decent team.”
Against Minneapolis, forfeit points were again the difference. This time the Trojans were on the short end, 30-6, as Coach Corey Burton pulled several of his varsity wrestlers to bring them within participation limits for the season.
Carson Greenhaw, a Trojan mainstay at 145, was out with an injury.
The only Trojan victories on the mat came from pins by Ryan Janzen (119), Bina, Sorensen and Davis. Ratzlaff won by forfeit to round out the scoring for Hillsboro.
“We concentrated more on individual performances rather than team performance in this dual,” Burton said. “Ryan Janzen and James Bina wrestled a couple of really good matches.”
Coming-The Trojans will return to tournament action Friday and Saturday in Halstead. Matches begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Burton said 21 teams will be participating.
“Last year we placed in this tournament as a team, and we have that goal again,” Burton said.