Erisman earns seventh-place at national tournament
After falling short of All-American status at last year's Junior Freestyle National Wrestling Championships in Fargo, N.D., De Soto's Neil Erisman was back in his groove at the 2005 edition of the nations top high school-aged wrestling tournament.
Still, a seventh-place finish is not up to the high standards Erisman sets for himself.
"I'm disappointed," he said. "I wasn't feeling my best, I had flu-like symptoms. But I can't make excuses. I have to be ready all of the time. I have to be ready to fight."
Erisman was 7-2 at the national tournament and dominated his opposition by out-scoring them 68-16. Included in his run were three technical falls by identical 10-0 scores over Florida's Tommy Timothy, Georgia's Scotty Brummeler and Texas' Jared Berman.
The two-time Kansas state finalist won his first six matches by a combined 52-8. Included in the run was a 7-2 decision over New Jersey's Alex Caruso and a 7-4 win over Idaho's Luke Smith.
Caruso was ranked 15th at 152 pounds by Wrestling USA Magazine following his junior season. Smith wrapped up his senior season by earning the No. 11 ranking at 160 pounds.
Erisman also defeated Ohio's Jamison Moss, 8-2, during his run at the championship.
After the 6-0 start, Erisman lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to National Senior Tournament champion Travis Hammons of Chicago's Hubbard High School. He then fell to New York's 160-pound champion Ryan Patrovich, by a 5-4 margin.
Erisman went nose-to-nose with Hammons twice during the Junior National Duals, and won both matches by a combined 18-5 score.
"He was ready for me," Erisman said. "He knew what I was going to do, and I knew what he was going to do. Both of us knew it would be a tough one-point match."
Although Erisman jumped out 4-0 on Patrovich, and nearly pinned him, the New York senior was able to battle back when the Wildcat ran out of steam.
"He had real good position," Erisman said. "He avoided my shots and kept me out of my offense."
Erisman didn't want to leave the tournament on a losing streak, so he dominated Pennsylvania's Landis Wright for a 10-0 seventh-place win.
"I started the tournament with a big win," Erisman said. "So I wanted to end it with a big win. I didn't want to leave with a bad taste in my mouth."
Greco-Roman runner-up Rocky Cozart of Florida, won the tournament with a 3-0 decision over Patrovich. Ohio's David Rella took third by injury default when Hammons suffered a cracked rib in his 5-4 decision over Washington's Kyle Bounds in his second to last match.
Kansas wrestlers Nathan Furches (Derby) and Aaron Ely (Leavenworth) placed in the top eight of both the Greco Roman and freestyle tournaments.
Furches, who competed in the 98-pound weight class in both divisions, finished fifth in freestyle and second in Greco-Roman. He lost by technical fall to Florida's Eric Grajales in the finals of the latter division. Ely finished fifth in both divisions.
Nick Shumate (Blue Valley Northwest) and Donny Altman (Derby), both Kansas wrestlers, competed against each other in the fifth-place match at 112 pounds in freestyle. Shumate technical falled Altman 10-0.
Joseph Cornejo (Wichita--Haysville Campus) had the best showing of a sunflower state wrestler in freestyle after he outlasted Illinois' Sean Reynolds 3-2 in overtime for third place of the 145-pound weight class.
Besides Furches and Ely, five other Kansas cadet grapplers finished in the top eight of the Greco-Roman side of the slate.
Aldon Isenberg (Gardner-Edgerton) technical falled New York's Donnie Vinson, 11-0, for fifth place at 130 pounds; Derek Koehn (Pittsburgh) fell to Pennsylvania's Josh Roosa, 6-4, for eighth place at 135 pounds.
Romero Cotton (Hutchinson) edged Iowa's Grant Gambrall, 3-2, for third place at 152 pounds; Atticus Disney (Andover Central) lost a 7-6 overtime match to Oklahoma's Tyson Yoder in wrapping up eighth place at 215 pounds; Stephen Andrus (Manhattan) won by injury default over Minnesota's Andrew Peralta to grab seventh place at 275 pounds.