The Richmond Spartans certainly did not pick a cupcake to open the 2008-09 wrestling season Thursday night at the RHS gym.
The Excelsior Springs Tigers brought five state medalists from their Class 2 state runner-up team from the previous season to town to meet the young Spartan squad and returned home after a dominating 51-24 dual victory.
The Spartans recorded one win by forfeit, two by falls and two more by decisions. The Tigers won six of their matches by falls.
Richmond coach Ken Simmons thought Thursday’s opponent gave him a chance to see what his squad needs to focus on in the coming weeks.
“They showed our weaknesses in a few weight classes,” he said. “I was disappointed with a few guys who were passive and appeared to be getting tired. The Marceline Tournament will be a tough one on Saturday, but we need these matches to expose our problem areas.”
Jacob Gardner began the evening for the Spartans by picking up a win by forfeit at 285, but the Tigers would take the next six matches before Reny Reis recorded the next Richmond victory at 140.
The Spartan sophomore won by fall over Mike McDowell in 1:54. Excelsior Springs answered with wins in the next three weight classes before T.J. Kirkham, another sophomore, battled to an 8-5 decision at 171 over Tiger junior Daniel Burnett in triple overtime.
Colby Bowles followed with a 6-2 decision over Taylor Baird in the 189-pound class, and Tyre Winfrey closed out the night with a Spartan victory at 215 when he won by fall in 46 seconds over Zac Cagle.
“Reis was impressive beating a good kid soundly,” Simmons said. “Kirkham showed a lot of heart by scoring a late takedown to force overtime and then winning. Bowles beat a tough guy as well and controlled the entire match for the last 5 and a-half minutes. Winfrey showed signs of real potential as well.”
Earning victories for the Tigers were: Cooper Gardner by fall in 1:03 over Savanna Nobile at 103; Dustin Wellman won by forfeit at 112; Austin Felkins won by fall over Chris McFall in 3:24 at 119; Deron McCant won by fall over Preston Maples in 1:57 at 125; Stephanie Simpson won by forfeit at 130; Dennis Helt won by 13-8 decision over Jake Vandiver at 135; Dylan Marriott won by fall in 1:38 at 145 over Kane Southwick; Andrew Asmus won by fall over Jimmy Damron in 3:29 at 152; and Chaz Lyman also won by fall in 31 seconds over Erik Wilson at 160.
There were four junior varsity matches and one exhibition match Thursday night.
Richmond’s Lonnie Briant won the lone exhibition match with a fall over Jeremy Thompson in 3:17.
The Spartans won two of the three contested matches. Tyler Bates won by fall over Excelsior Springs’ Cody Holtzclaw in 102 at 119, and Cody Ball won his 125-pound match by fall over Zach Jordan in 3:43.
Alex Luman won by forfeit for the Spartans at 285, and the lone Tiger win came at 152 when Steven Minski won by fall over Cody Bryant in 2:55.
PHOTO: Spartan sophomore Reny Reis picked up the first Richmond win with a fall in 1:54 over Mike McDowell in the 140-pound class. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)