Two Cat grapplers place at Clearwater Tournament
The De Soto wrestling team did just what coach Shannon Sawner asked in its double dual against Paola and Emporia Thursday.
“We lost both of our duals, but overall, we wrestled well, and the guys gave their best effort,” he said.
The squad was open in three weight classes, so while the scores were a bit lopsided, the matches were actually quite close.
“I felt pretty good about how we did,” he said. “We won a couple of good matches.”
Emporia is consistently a state-title contender, too, which fueled Sawner’s praise.
“Emporia has seven or eight seniors and seven kids ranked in the state,” he said. “We almost beat a couple of guys at 160 (pounds) and 171. Those are the kinds of teams we have to compete against to get better.”
Saturday the squad traveled to the Clearwater Tournament. De Soto continued its momentum from Thursday and saw two boys — Cole Cannon and Brandon Vukas —place in the top four.
“Cole did well at 160 pounds,” Sawner said. “He competed well in a tough bracket and did well to take third place. The two kids ahead of him are both ranked.”
Vukas took fourth in the 171-pound division.
“He wrestled well. The two kids that beat him are really good,” Sawner said. “He made a few mistakes, but Brandon did a lot of good things, too. He beat a lot of good kids.”
Aside from the two placers, Sawner said the rest of the team featured a few boys who were one match away from reaching the medal round. Shane Dunn, Zack Atchison and Donny Parr all lost close matches that would have propelled them into the placing round.
The Wildcats host a double dual Thursday with Wellsville and Osawatomie.
“Osawatomie has a couple really good kids, and they will be at our regional, so that’s a good team to wrestle,” Sawner said. “Wellsville is a good 3A school with a couple of little guys that are state placers. I expect us to match up fairly decent with both those teams.”