Dodge City wrestling tournament cancelled

Kris Long, Opinions Editor

The wrestling team’s first tournament of the semester at Dodge City was cancelled on Friday, as with all other athletic events, due to severe weather. The meet will not be rescheduled. 

“With wrestling tournaments when you have a date that’s set it’s never made up,” head coach Robert Gonzales said. “Because of the entries and the number of teams that have to travel to get there, so it’s not like a one game contest where you can move it to a date that you have open.”

The team hasn’t wrestled for 22 days and expect the transition back to competition when competing against rivals Junction City to be difficult.

“[The cancellation] certainly hurts us, it affects us wrestling on the mat,” Gonzales said. “I don’t have video of our matches that [we would have had] if we had been in Dodge City… and I can’t tell from the 12 practices we’ve had since Christmas day … if our conditioning needs to improve or [if] we as coaches do a good job going over technique fundamentals, etc.” 

The team will be facing off in a dual with Junction City on Thursday and expect a challenge as they have a history of being a good wrestling program. It’s been over 20 years since MHS beat Junction, even with last year’s group of starters that took the team to State four years in a row.

“I’m motivated … I want to win on Thursday night,” Gonzales said. “I expect us to compete and win and lose or draw … [But] it’s also a rivalry match. We’re a rivalry separated by 15 miles.”

To add to the rivalry, Gonzales will be up against his son, who is in his first year of being head coach of JC wrestling. 

“He’s a little bit of a chip off the old block,” Gonzales said. “He’s coming after us, which I fully expect, I wouldn’t expect anything less. He wants to beat us.”

Despite reports of discriminatory comments at the JC football rivalry match, MHS coaching staff remain vehement that there will be no issues at the wrestling match.

“There will not be any issues involving Manhattan and Junction City wrestlers I can assure you,” Gonzales said. “There will not be any unsportsmanlike behavior.”