After an injury-plagued season last year, Goddard’s wrestling team doesn’t resemble itself from a year later.
The Lions easily handled the Valley Center December Duals Tournament, finishing 5-0 on the day with a 41-18 win over Emporia in the championship dual.
“I knew they were good, but until you get into competition you don’t really know if it’s good or if it’s hype,” Goddard coach Brett Means said.
Goddard found new life in its young team, made up of seven freshman, two sophomores and only one senior. The Lions lost Christian Bowen and Corey Atkins last year to injuries, but the two combined for nine points in the championship, and went undefeated on the day.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“Last year we lost Christian Bowen and Corey Atkins who were two of our better freshmen to season-ending injuries. They both wrestled today, along with all of those talented freshmen and they both went undefeated,” Means said. “That’s nine guys who are freshmen or sophomores; we should do well in the future.”
The Lions defeated Derby, Andover Central and Heights to reach the championship dual. Emporia was also perfect in its pool heading into the championship dual, with wins over Douglass, Bishop Carroll and Great Bend.
The dual started at 126, with Kendall Frame setting the tempo by defeating Isaac Russell 9-3. Frame’s twin brother Kameron kept the momentum with a 3-2 decision over Garrett Whitson at 132. Christian Frame picked up a major decision over Damian Herrera at 145, allowing Herrera only two points.
Goddard started off to a 20-3 lead after the first six weight classes, but didn’t score again until Atkins defeated Luis Zuniga 4-1 four weight classes later. Emporia outscored Goddard 17-4 through the 170, 182 and 195 weight classes.
“We won a match at 170, and then 182, and 195 and again at heavy, that’s four wins out of five matches, that was a pretty good run against them,” Emporia coach Dennis Charbonneau said.
Emporia earned six points when Hayden Perry pinned Carter Gragg at heavyweight, cutting Goddard’s lead to only five. But Means knew Goddard would excel in the final three matches.
“I knew at 106, 113, and 120 we were heavy favorites, so as long as we could keep it within 18 I knew we would be OK,” Means said.
Goddard’s lighter weights swept Emporia’s, with pins at 106, 113 and 120. None of the matches progressed past the first period, with Will Spexarth and Bowen pinning their opponents in less than a minute.
“We are very loaded at the lower weights,” Means said. “Some people have to wrestle up and wrestle where they might not want to, but as the season goes by, they’ll get bigger, they’ll get stronger and they’ll get used to wrestling the heavier weight.”
Tournament standings — 1.Goddard, 2. Emporia, 3. Bishop Carroll, 4. Andover Central, 5. Chanute, 6. Great Bend, 7. Valley Center, 8. Heights.
106—Glover, Goddard, pinned Aguiler, Emporia, 1:28. 113—Spexarth, Goddard, pinned Allen, Emporia, 0:22. 120—Bowen, Goddard, pinned Charbonneau, Emporia, 0:36. 126—Kendall Frame, Goddard, def. Russell, Emporia, 9-3. 132—Kameron Frame, Goddard, def. Whitson, Emporia, 3-2. 138—Detwiler, Emporia, def. Davidson, Goddard, 10-4. 145—C. Frame, Goddard, def. Herrera, Emporia, 11-2. 152—Hovsworth, Goddard, def. Lee, Emporia, 15-2. 160—Woodruff, Goddard, pinned Nollan Kirmer, Emporia, 2:46. 170—Torres, Emporia, def. Bowen, Goddard, 7-2. 182—Nick Kirmer, Emporia, def. Driskill, Goddard, 4-0. 195—Eckman, Emporia, def. Vapp, Goddard, 6-2. 220—Atkins, Goddard, def. Zuniga, Emporia, 4-1. 285—Perry, Emporia, pinned Gragg, Goddard, 5:51.