|Edmonds, Dittmer, Garrison earn wrestling championships|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Sporting too many injuries on the HHS wrestling team, coaches made the decision last week to forfeit their participation at the tough Garden City, Kan. tournament and instead compete at the Stratton Invitational Saturday, Jan. 30.
Coach Duane Stroh said six kids wrestled tough at a tournament they didn’t really want to be in. It was disappointing to have to give up the opportunity to face the kind of competition they would have seen at Garden City.
Mark Edmonds, Skyler Dittmer and Cade Garrison all claimed championship honors in their respective weight divisions at Stratton.
Additionally, Frank Diaz and Francisco Diaz earned second-place honors; and Ben Martinez wrestled for the Dragons.
Luke Garrett won his opening-round 171-lb. match, but coach Stroh then injury-forfeited Garrett out of the tournament.
HHS earned 98 points to place third in the competition. Merino won Saturday’s tournament with 134.5, followed by Cheyenne Wells 116, Holyoke 98, Burlington 84, Wray 78.5, Clear Creek 77, Colby 76.5, Goodland 72 and Stratton 61.5.
“Hopefully we’ll be pieced back together this week,” said coach Stroh.
The Dragons will host a dual Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. when Burlington comes to town for Holyoke’s Parents’ Night event.
Saturday, Feb. 6, the Dragons will compete in the Eaton duals. That will mark the last regular-season competition before the Feb. 12-13 regionals and Feb. 18-20 state tournament.
Individual results from the Jan. 31 Stratton Invitational follow:
103 lbs.—Frank Diaz placed second. He went 2-1 for the day. He was ahead 8-0, but fell to Luke McDonald of Clear Creek in 3:29, won a match by forfeit and pinned Hudson Lee of Burlington in :51. Coach Stroh noted Diaz is coming along well at the end of the season.
112 lbs.—Mark Edmonds placed first. He pinned Marvin Hernandez of Goodland in 1:52 and won a 6-2 decision over Devin Hase of Merino.
In the championship, Hase started the scoring, taking down Edmonds right away. Coach Stroh praised Edmonds for staying calm, scoring points on an escape, then a take-down and later an escape to win the match. “He wrestled a good, smart tournament,” said Stroh.
125 lbs.—Francisco Diaz placed second. He pinned Anthony Potter of Clear Creek, won by a forfeit over J.D. Wigeley of Merino, was pinned in 1:22 by Caleb Nilsch of Burlington and pinned Gaylenn Huddleston of Stratton in 1:05.
130 lbs.—Skyler Dittmer placed first, winning in a very convincing way, said coach Stroh. While he didn’t look his sharpest, Dittmer had a great day, added the coach.
Dittmer pinned Peyton Ritchey of Wray in 2:14, pinned Brandon Goode of Colby in 1:53, won a 13-0 major decision over Joel Trout of Merino and tech-falled Jedd Gray of Goodland 18-3.
Dittmer went back to fundamentals in a match that he ended up winning with a pin, said Stroh.
135 lbs.—Ben Martinez showed great signs of improvement, said coach Stroh. He was pinned in 5:15 by Mikial Freeman of Goodland and was pinned in 4:10 by Armando Lobato of Cheyenne Wells. In one match he cradled a kid up, but rolled in the wrong direction, pinning himself.
152 lbs.—Cade Garrison placed first in a very good day, said Stroh. Like Edmonds and Dittmer, Garrison got out of his comfort zone and tried some new moves. “He was a convincing winner all day long, wrestling well and trying lots of new things,” said Stroh.
Garrison pinned Dylan McLemore of Colby in 2:56, tech-falled Marcus Colson of Colby 15-1 and pinned Cord Carlin of Burlington in 5:01.
171 lbs.—Luke Garrett wrestled one match before injury defaulting. He pinned Logan Middleton of Colby in 5:12.