ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Led by a weight-class title by sophomore Nicholas Mueller, the Hillsboro wrestling team placed fifth among 12 teams at the Herington Invitational Tournament on Saturday.
The Trojans finished with 82 team points to trail only Chapman (169), Abilene (124), Wamego (108.5) and Herington (88).
“This is traditionally one of the tougher tournaments we compete in during the season,” said Trojan coach Scott O’Hare. “The top three teams were all 4A schools, including two of the top teams in 4A, Chapman and Abilene.
“Despite missing a couple of varsity wrestlers, to still finish in the top five was good. We were only a few breaks from finishing higher.”
Mueller won the 130-pound class with a 2-0 record. He defeated Mick Solliday of Flinthills 15-3 and Tim Coles of Chapman 7-6.
John Hein, another sophomore, placed second at 189 with a 1-1 record. Other top-four finishers were senior Sean Leihy and junior Jacob Yoder, who each placed third with 3-1 records at 145 and 171, and sophomore Tyler Jones, who finished fourth with a 2-2 mark at 140.
Also competing for Hillsboro were Alex Jost (1-2 at 103 pounds), Robbie McClelland (1-2 112), Grady Stultz (1-2, 152), Frankie Martin (0-1, 160) and Tyler Lofton (0-2, 215)
“I am pleased with some of the things I am starting to see from these guys,” O’Hare said. “They are starting to catch on to some of the things we have been working on in practice, and their improvements are starting to show. However, we still have a number of technical issues to work out and some new stuff to still get in.
Hesston double dual-Hillsboro swept both ends of a double dual meet at Hesston Jan. 4.
In the first match, the Trojans outscored Halstead, 48-21. Alex Jost, Robby McClelland, Isaac Leihy, Cameron Stultz, and John Hein won their matches by fall.
—icholas Mueller and Jacob Yoder, meanwhile, won by decision while Jared King and Evan Just were awarded wins by forfeit.
Cameron Stultz and Sean Leihy lost by fall and decision, respectively, for Hillsboro.
The Trojans came back to defeat Hesston, 30-23. Toby Jones, Tyler Jones and Grady Stultz pinned their opponents, while Evan Just and Darcy Unrau won by forfeit.
Robbie McClelland and Cameron Stultz were pinned by their Swather opponents while teammates Jared King, Frankie Martin and Tyler Lofton lost by decision.
“These were two good dual wins for us,” coach Scott O’Hare said. “Due to KSHSAA limitations on the number of competitions each athlete can participate in, we were forced to hold out some of the varsity wrestlers from their matches.
“On many occasions, we were able to replace them with a (junior varsity) wrestler. Many of the JV guys stepped up to the challenge and wrestled well, and we were still able to hold on for the team victories.”
The competition at Hesston was the team’s first since Dec. 10.
“It was nice to get them back out on the mat and see if the work they had been doing in late December and over break was starting to pay off,” O’Hare said. “Coming-The Hillsboro varsity will back in action this weekend at the two-day, 21-team tournament in Halstead. Action begins at 4 p.m. Friday and resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday.