Goddard junior Kendall Frame was warming up during the Class 5A 120-pound wrestling final on Saturday. While he wouldn’t wrestle for another five matches, he experienced a similar sort of adrenaline rush while watching teammate Will Spexarth.
“I was way more pumped in his match and with him winning it than I was about myself,” Frame said. “I guess it’s that I’ve experienced this before and I wanted Will to experience it.”
Goddard repeated as the 5A team champ with a school-record 223.5 points. Arkansas City finished second with 147.5.
The Lions had six finalists and four champs — Spexarth (120 pounds), Kameron Frame (145), Kendall Frame (152) and Cale Davidson (182). Kameron and Kendall Frame each won their second titles.
Eleven of 12 wrestlers, a school record, placed in the top four, with senior Corey Atkins finishing third at 220 pounds.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Goddard coach Brett Means said. “It’s very rewarding. The kids worked hard. To know that you’ve got the title won before the finals actually happen is pretty relaxing.”
Goddard also won team titles in 1999, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2015.
Means, who has coached five title-winners, said each is different.
“The first one that you win is always kind of the greatest because you’ve never done it before,” he said. “This is pretty special because all the kids are really so into everybody else doing well.… We have 11, 12 kids that did it all. Everyone had a hand in it.”
And the wrestlers have established a close bond that dates back to competing together as kids in the same club.
Friday night, Hartman Arena had emptied of all fans, with the only stragglers those few wrestlers who still needed to make weight, including Goddard’s Dayton Driskill.
Teammates could have left Driskill on his own, but all of them waited on the mats talking, laughing and relaxing as Driskill worked to drop weight.
“They gave me support, they didn’t yell at more or anything and they just kept me going,” Driskill said. “We’re all great friends.”
“If we had bugged out and went to eat like everyone wanted to, what would that have said to that one kid who had to make weight?” Means said. “We’re a team and we’re going to wait for everybody. Don’t leave a man behind.”
Spexarth started Goddard off with a win in the finals, as he came from behind to win in overtime 5-3.
“I knew if I kept my head in it and kept moving and working as hard as I can that my speed would eventually catch up with it and I’d pull it out,” he said.
The Frame twins had pinned their opponents in the first period in each of the first three rounds. But neither had such an easy path in the finals.
Kameron Frame wrestled his good friend, Andover’s Jack Maki, winning 12-6.
“It’s pretty tough,” Frame said of wrestling Maki. “It’s a little harder on your nerves that way.”
Kendall Frame won 10-2, but it was difficult to wrestle Maize South’s Luke Moore for the third time.
“The third time is a little bit tougher,” Frame said. “You know what to do, but they also know what to do. I’ve been on the big stage before. I know what it’s like and my body knew how to respond to that kind of pressure.”
As for Cale Davidson, who won his first title 8-0, he was pleased to see his hard work paid off.
“I love having a great team,” Davidson said. “… I wouldn’t be where I’m at without Troy Fisher (160-pound runner-up) or the coaches who know what they’re doing.”
So how fun is it to win with your friends?
“It’s the best way to win a title,” Davidson said.