Newly healthy Faircloth’s experiment pays off with pins
Adam Faircloth is back.
After battling an illness over the holiday break and being shut out of the medal standings at the Bobcat Classic in Basehor, the senior De Soto grappler is starting to get his swagger back.
The confidence boost he received last week came in the form of a pair of pins during a double dual with Osawatomie and Spring Hill in De Soto.
"I felt pretty good," he said of his Jan. 19 performance. "I feel like I'm getting back into my state of thought. It was a big mental boost for me."
The 140-pound Wildcat led De Soto to a 39-27 win over Osawatomie with a pin over Kevin Watson. And then he stuck Spring Hill's Aaron Horan to the mat in a 51-24 De Soto loss to the Broncos.
Unfortunately for Watson, Faircloth was in a mood to experiment.
"I wanted to try some things, but I didn't want to try them in a tournament," he said. "They were moves that I wouldn't try on a practice partner either, so I decided to feel the wrestler out and see how they worked in a dual."
Faircloth threw Watson for a takedown early in the match and felt confident in experimenting. When he finally pinned Watson in the second period, Faircloth had masterfully built a 12-0 advantage.
"I had a choice at that time," he said. "I could either tech him and get five points, or I could pin him and get six points for the team. So I pinned him."
Faircloth decided he had enough experimenting for one day following the first win, and went on to pin Horan in 20 seconds.
"I wanted to go home," he quipped.
Leif Goleman (171) and Bryan Roddy (275) were the only other Wildcats to post perfect records at the duals.
Goleman backed up his No. 4 ranking in the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association rankings by pinning Spring Hill's Bobby Burgess. Roddy was also 1-0 in matches wrestled after he pinned Bronco Chad Robbins. Both wrestlers earned open weight class wins against Osawatomie.
Brandon Hurt (119), Jake Rupe (125), Aaron Hansen (145) and Alex Mercer all posted 1-1 marks during the two matches.
Rupe's one loss came at the hands of 4A's third-ranked Cory Bloodgood of Spring Hill. Hurt had to wrestle against Spring Hill's Kyle Hudgins after injuring a knee. The senior lost the decision 5-1.
Not only is Faircloth getting his own confidence back, the coach also liked what he saw in the rest of the team heading down the backstretch of the wrestling season.
"Leif is really stepping up," he said. "Brandon is wrestling well. Neil (Erisman) is dominating. Aaron is really improving. Jake is getting some wins. And Alex is beating some big names. I think we'll finish in the top half. Probably in the top five or six teams."
The Wildcats, who are 3-5 in duals so far this season, take the mat at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Baldwin Tournament.
The tournament will provide Faircloth an opportunity to avenge several losses he has suffered at the hands of his distant cousin Kyle Grape. The Lansing grappler is the fifth-ranked 140-pounder in 5A.
For complete results, see Page 2B.