Kingpin Erisman thinking state record after Frontier League meet
Neil Erisman inched ever closer to the state record for pins in a season Saturday when he pinned three straight foes to win the Frontier League 152-pound weight class.
In the process of taking the gold Erisman moved his record to 35-0 on the year and earned his 29th win by fall as he closes in on the 34 pins former Blue Valley North grappler Tyler McCormick achieved in 2002.
"Yeah, I think I did pretty well," Erisman said of Saturday's performance in which it took him less than two minutes to dispose of all three opponents collectively. "I want to pin everybody. I want to break that record."
If Erisman wins out, he has eight matches left to get the five pins needed to tie the record, or the six needed to break it.
The junior was also pumped about the Wildcat's fifth-place finish. De Soto had five wrestlers place fourth or higher and scored 105 points.
"I think we did better than people thought we would," Erisman said. "We wanted a real high finish. We wanted people around the league to know that we're not a pushover anymore. We're not the De Soto of old."
Leif Goleman joined Erisman atop the medal stand as a conference champion at 171 pounds. For the senior, Saturday's trio of wins was a huge lift going into this weekend's regional meet in Fort Scott, and next weekend's state tournament in Wichita.
"It was an extra boost of confidence going into regionals and state," Goleman said. "It just proves you're the best of the other wrestlers in the league. It's something to be proud of."
Goleman pinned his way to wins over Ottawa's Derrick Whalen and Baldwin's Travis Barnes before meeting Gardner-Edgerton's Brandon Boyd in the finals.
The match against Boyd was a rematch from the Johnson County Classic in December. In that match Goleman won 9-0. Saturday he won by a 7-4 margin.
Goleman was successful at taking Boyd down during the first match and turning him for some cheap points. But Saturday's match was a different story.
"This time I took him down, but I couldn't flip him," Goleman said.
Although the match was tied 4-4 going into the third period, Goleman wasn't too worried about the outcome.
"I knew all I had to do was finish strong," he said. "Then I knew I'd come out on top."
Adam Faircloth and Alex Mercer also fought their way into the championship matches of the 140- and 215-pound weight classes, respectively. But unlike the other two Wildcats, Faircloth and Mercer came out on the losing end.
Faircloth battled his way to pins over Gardner-Edgerton's Matt Clark and Anderson County's Caleb Feuerborn to start the tournament. A 14-9 win over Baldwin's Andreas Brandenberger then vaulted Faircloth into the championship match against Paola's Eric Elmore.
The former Kaw Valley League champion lost to Elmore by a 13-7 margin.
Mercer opened league action with a pin of Louisburg's Drew Symes. He decisioned Paola's Joe Payne by a 7-2 count in the semifinals and then lost to Ottawa's Michael Espinosa by a technical fall of 16-0 in the championship.
Brandon Hurt was just seconds away from claiming the third-place medal in the 119- pound division. But No. 3 seed Kyle Hudgins of Spring Hill rallied late in the third period to steal a 7-6 triumph in the consolation finals.
Hurt wrestled his way into the championship bracket semifinals with a pin over Anderson County's Jake Graham and a 3-0 win over fourth-seeded Ray Ramirez of Wellsville.
Eventual champion Kevin Callahan then forced Hurt into the consolation bracket with a 3-1 overtime win. Hurt pinned Ottawa's Chris Michealsen before falling to Hudgins.
Other De Soto wrestlers included Jacob Rupe (125), Aaron Hansen (145), Tim Hamilton (160), Matt Below (189) and Bryan Roddy (275).
Baldwin won the tournament after placing 12-of-14 wrestlers and scoring 199 points. Gardner-Edgerton finished second 53 points behind and placed eight wrestlers. Paola and Ottawa each placed seven grapplers in the top four, but the Panthers outscored the Cyclones 144 to 113.5 to earn third place in the team standings.
De Soto begins its run for the state tournament Friday and Saturday