Young wrestlers step up to fill spots

Micheal Simmons, Sports Editor

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Manhattan High wrestling had several Junior Varsity wrestlers move to Varsity during the Shawnee Mission North Invitational, ultimately resulting in them placing second. MHS scored a total of 155.5 points, falling short of beating Maize who scored 226.5 points.

“I think it went good,” senior Jalin Harper said. “We didn’t have our whole Varsity there so it was an opportunity for some other guys to step up and I think they did that. They wrestled really well and we competed really well.”

Although the team battled through the adversity of losing people to injuries to place in the top three, that is not to say that it met the wrestlers’ goals.

“Well we always we want to win,” Harper said, “but I think for this one, the goal was to get the injuries all healed up so we can get those guys back for league and state, but for the people who wrestled our goal was to win and better yourself, which I think everyone did that.”

The remaining members still were able to score a lot of points for MHS. All of the remaining Varsity wrestlers scored a total of 141 points, accounting for over 90 percent of Manhattan High’s points. Out of the 11 wrestlers who went, eight of them placed.

“I think the main thing is missing our normal Varsity squad,” senior Hunter Christansen said. “They have a lot more experience and a lot more mat time, I think that was the main thing. I think that we are used to having all of the same people all the time so having the new kids there made it feel a little weird but since we are used to practicing with them, it wasn’t that big of a difference. Some of the J.V. kids weren’t totally ready for a full-on tournament, they had a tournament the day before, but I think a little more mat time would’ve been better.”

Experience on the mat is an important quality and it shows on the statistics sheet, as the senior class dominated the scoring. With a total of 62 points accounting for 40 percent of the team’s total points.

“Everyone can always do better,” Harper said. “I think we could have done a little better and won some matches that we didn’t and were close, but for the most part I’m happy with how we competed as a team.”

The team’s next meet is the Centennial League tournament on Saturday at Topeka West.

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