Wrestlers show progress in first week
The final scores haven't been pretty. In fact, De Soto has lost every dual it's had so far this year resoundingly and currently sits with a 0-6 record as a team.
Wildcat coach Matt Jones was excited, however. After watching his young wrestlers compete in two tough competitions, he said he saw a lot of the things he wanted to see, and though they didn't tally enough points to win any duals, some of his kids started to pick up key victories.
The first week has been slow, he said, but encouraging.
"We lost the dual (Tuesday to Santa Fe Trail), but we saw a lot of good things and we improved quite a bit over Saturday in Wamego," Jones said. "We're getting pins and we're trying to stress to our kids not to get pinned. That's been the biggest thing."
De Soto lost at home to Santa Fe Trail 64-10, but two Cats won their matches.
Team co-captain Tom Beaver notched four takedowns to pick up his second win of the season, 14-3. Freshman Daniel Davis also won, picking up this third victory.
"I think the biggest thing for Daniel is that he wrestled before," Jones said. "When he gets into a bad situation, he knows how to handle it."
The Cats also lost all five matches at Saturday's duals meet at Wamego. De Soto fell to Topeka Hayden, Abilene, Chase County, Herrington and Topeka Seaman. Again though, it was individual performances that left Jones confident.
Junior Troy Phinney picked up two wins wrestling at 135 pounds. Sophomore Eric Buffkin had one at 160. Beaver had one at 189, while Davis had two.
The best part, Jones said -- they all won via pin.
Now he hopes the Cats can continue to sharpen the fundamentals on another big stage. De Soto will travel to Eudora over the weekend for the Tournament of Champions, a two-day event that will feature some of the best teams in the area.
"Our kids are going to have to come out and be aggressive," Jones said. "The wins will come. We're seeing more than we did last year at this point."