A devastating call
Erisman loses with help from controversial decision at 4A state wrestling tourney
Neil Erisman had all but won the 145 pound championship at the 4A state wrestling tournament in Wichita last Saturday when disaster struck. With eight seconds remaining in the match, his dreams were dashed when officials called him for stalling and awarded Colby's Eric Luedke a point, sending the match into overtime.
Erisman's coach, Eric Deyoe, and the throng of De Soto supporters were stunned as Luedke went on to earn the 3-1 win with a takedown early in the overtime frame. Along with his championship hopes, Erisman (33-1) also saw his bid for an undefeated season go by the wayside as Luedke (38-1) and the Colby faithful celebrated the lucky break.
Although Saturday's match ended in disappointment for the freshman, Erisman racked up three wins to get into the championship match on Friday, which paired the two top ranked wrestlers according to the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association.
Luedke held the top spot in the poll, while Erisman stood second. Erisman rolled to an 18-2 win over Columbus' Brian Simpson in opening round action. He then got his only pin of the tournament over Concordia's Adam Taylor.
The Cadet All-American finished opening day action with a 5-4 decision over Abilene's Adam Eckert, giving the Wildcats 21.5 points going into Saturdays final match. Leif Goleman scored the other point for De Soto in the 152 pound weight class. The sophomore broke even in the first two rounds. He was pinned by eventual third-place winner Ross Taplin of Abilene, and then edged out Altamont-Labette County's Kyle Johnson by a 5-4 margin.
Goleman's hopes for a medal were dashed when Douglas's Ben Kersting pinned him in the third period. Adam Faircloth rounded out De Soto entrees by losing both of the matches he wrestled in the 112 pound weight class. Lansing's Sean Flynn pinned Faircloth, and Mulvane's Sean Cillessesn ended the sophomore's second season wrestling by a 23-5 margin.
The 22.5 points De Soto garnered in the two-day event left them tied for 27th in 4A with Marysville. Abilene won the tournament with 113 points, while Columbus and Goodland tied for second with 100 tallies. Clay Center (89) and Mulvane (76.5) rounded out the top five.