DHS grapplers place fourth at Wamego tourney
Just as De Soto wrestling coach Shannon Sawner predicted, juniors Donny Parr and Brandon Vukas led the Wildcat wrestling team out of the gate Saturday at Wamego.
Parr and Vukas each completed the tournament 4-1, which was good enough for bids to the final matches in their respective weight classes.
While they both lost in the finals, Sawner said he was pleased with their efforts in the year’s first outing.
“I thought both Parr and Vukas had really good tournaments,” he said. “Both of those guys were in the championship matches and had opportunities to win the final, so I think they may have been a little disappointed. But overall, they looked really good.”
Zack Atchison nabbed a third-place finish in his weight class.
As a team the Wildcats took fourth, a start Sawner said he was pleased with, although he knows more work could be done to improve.
“There are a lot of things we have to get in this week at practice,” he said. “We will be patient and get it all in eventually. It’s a three-month season, so we’re not going to learn everything in one week.”
Sawner fielded four freshmen and five sophomores in his varsity lineup.
“We saw a little bit of nerves,” he said. “It was a learning experience for a lot of the younger guys. It was pretty good competition for them. They saw ranked kids at every weight.”
Before Thursday’s double dual at Santa Fe Trail, Sawner said he would stress bottom technique and getting out of near-pins, which is something De Soto struggled with during its opening meet.
The dual in Carbondale will feature Santa Fe Trail and Holton — two teams that should provide the youngsters with a challenge.
“We’ve got a big meet coming up with Santa Fe Trail and Holton,” he said. “Santa Fe trail is perennially pretty tough. I don’t know how strong they are this year as compared to the past, but Holton had a pretty good team last year. So I expect them to be pretty good as well.”
The Wildcats travel Friday and Saturday to Eudora for the Cardinals’ 24-team Eudora Tournament of Champions.