Trojans begin mat season with wins over Stafford, Nickerson

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro wrestling team opened its season Thursday with a pair of wins in a double-dual meet against a pair of short-handed teams, Stafford and Nickerson, in Brown Gymnasium.

In the opening match, the Trojans outscored Stafford, 54-24. Only five of the 14 weight classes had two contenders. Hillsboro picked up 42 points through forfeits and Stafford picked up six.

Of the five matches determined on the mat, Hillsboro won two and lost three.

The victories came from Ryan Janzen, wrestling in the 130-pound class, who pinned Dallas Eshelman at 3:17 mark in the second period, and Alex Goossen, wrestling at 135 pounds, who pinned Wade Fishel at the 3:55 mark of the second period.

In the other three matches, Ricky Johnson, wrestling at 112, was pinned by Levi Eisenhour at 3:22 in the second period. Ross Schroeder, wrestling at 119, was pinned by Mike Gilbert at 1:33 in the first period and Kurtis Shaw, wrestling at 275, was pinned by Tony Blanton at 3:56 in the second period.

In the second match of the night, Hillsboro defeated league foe Nickerson, 36-9. Only three weight classes were determined on the mat.

Hillsboro’s Andrew Bina lost to Ross Ballard, 4-0, at 140 pounds, Daniel Yoder pinned Max Constant at the 34-second mark of the first period at 152 and Adam Dirks was pinned by Dallas Stephens at the 2:45 mark of the second period at 160.

Hillsboro scored 24 points on forfeits.

Overall, coach Scott O’Hare said he was pleased with his team’s first outing.

“I learned we have a lot of potential, but we also have a long way to go,” he said. “We did some good things, but have a lot to learn in the area of technique.

“I felt like the kids gave good effort, working hard trying to do the things we’d worked on. We just have so much more to learn.”

O’Hare added that his veterans wrestled as veterans should.

“I was certainly pleased with the way my two seniors, Ryan and Danny, came out and took care of business the way they needed to right from the start,” he said.

“And I saw some good things from some of the younger wrestlers.”

The Trojans are scheduled for a four-team meet at Halstead beginning at 5:30 p.m., Thursday. On Saturday, they will compete in their first full tournament of the season, with matches beginning at 10 a.m. in Hesston.

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