The Spartan wrestling team continued its tough schedule Saturday as they traveled to Harrisonville Friday and Saturday to compete in an 18-team tournament featuring schools from Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
The Spartans had several outstanding individual performances as Richmond ended the tournament with 427 points to finish 11th, as four wrestlers placed in the top five. Deer Creek, Okla. captured the team title with 799.5 points, followed by Seneca with 747, and Brookfield with 703.5.
Harrisonville was the highest finishing MRVC school with a fourth-place total of 637, followed by Pleasant Hill with 596. Knob Noster of the MRVC East placed 8th with 499, while Higginsville was a spot ahead of Richmond with 432.5 points, and Holden was 16th with 323, while Grain Valley had the lowest team total of the tournament with 193 points.
Richmond sophomore Colby Bowles was the runner-up in a tough 189-pound bracket for the Spartans best individual finish.Bowles won eight of his nine matches, while recording 6 falls as he improved to 11-3 for the season. Spartan Coach Ken Simmons said his sophomore wrestler had a dominant two days and lost a tough championship match.
“His finals opponent got away with stalling the whole match and really changed the complexion of the match,” he said. “Colby is very solid and will continue to do well as the season goes on.”
Jake Vandiver had his best showing of the season according to Simmons as he placed fourth in the 135-pound class. Vandiver pushed his record to 9-6 by winning six of nine matches over the weekend with 5 falls.
“Jake finally showed some of the potential we have seen in practice,” Simmons said. “He had 5 falls and was 10 seconds from making the finals before losing a tough one-point semifinal match. Once he quits making a couple of fundamental mistakes, he will be tough.”
Two sophomore Spartans placed fifth with Reny Reis going 5-2 at 140, and Chris McFall winning six of nine at 119.
Reis improved to 11-3 as he recorded a pair of victories by falls, and McFall moved his season’s mark to 8-6 with the help of 4 falls. Simmons said Reis had another good performance, while McFall lost a couple of matches that could have very easily gone his way.
“Reis lost a tough match early, and then beat a kid from Carl Junction, who had won a match earlier against a state champion,” Simmons said. “If he continues to improve, he will be one of the top in the state. McFall showed some flashes at times. He lost two controversial matches by calls from the referee where I thought he had points. He’s still learning and could really come on late in the season.”
Tyre Winfrey also finished in the top 10 for Richmond with his seventh-place showing at 215. He improved to 8-4 for the season as he won four of seven matches, including 3 by falls. Simmons said Winfrey dropped a tough match in overtime to keep him from making the semifinals.
“He has shown improvement and already has more wins than he had last year,” Simmons added. “The other wrestlers had some good moments, but still have to be more physical and not make fundamental mistakes. Once they do that, they will be more competitive.”
Preston Maples finished 10th at 125 as he went 2-6 for the event. He is 6-7 for the season. Kane Southwick was 3-6 for the tournament to take 11th at 145 and now has a season mark of 6-9.
Also for Richmond, Dalton Daily placed 11th at 103 with a 2-4 tournament, and T.J. Kirkham was injured on Friday night in the 160-pound bracket and lost his only two matches. Alex Luman finished 11th at 285.
The Spartans will return to the mats following the holidays as they travel to Lexington on Jan. 6 for an MRVC East dual with the Minutemen.