Mustang wrestlers bring home medals

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Drew Shepherd takes to the air a bit on this move trying to take down Max Hopkins of Anderson County High during Saturday’s tournament action at Garnett. Shepherd didn’t win this match but did take fourth place in the 171-pound class at the Anderson County High Invitational.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Brent Clark tries to hold Jakob Hendrix of Erie in a cradle to pin him. Clark did pin Hendrix to claim his first varsity win of the season Saturday at the Anderson County High Invitational tournament in Garnett.

GARNETT — Six for six.
Iola High’s Mustangs had six wrestlers competing in Saturday’s Anderson County High Invitational. All six placed in the top six of their respective weight classes.
Saturday’s tournament was the second varsity tournament Iola High’s wrestlers have competed in in its two-year history. The Mustangs came away with a silver medal and three fourth-place medals. They also finished fifth in one weight class and sixth in one class.
“The thing I was pleased with is that I saw the guys trying some things that we’ve been working on in practice,” said Ron Schomaker, IHS head wrestling coach.
“They came a long way in just a week. We hope to see that kind of improvement throughout the year. If we do, we’re going to have a team that will be pretty decent by February.”
Sophomore Brent Clark, who wrestled for the Mustangs last year, recorded his first varsity win at 130 pounds. After losing his first match of the day, Clark came back to pin Jakob Hendrix of Erie in 1 minute, 48 seconds of the match.
Clark pinned Colby Brownrigg of Anderson County in 3:30. Billy Virture of Parsons pinned Clark, which sent Clark to the fifth-place match.
Riley Dark of Fredonia was able to turn Clark for a pin in 2:40. Clark finished second in the 130-pound class.
First-year wrestler Drew Shepherd, a junior, opened the tournament with his first win. He pinned Bobby Sanchez of Independence in 3:08. Shepherd lost by a fall to Max Hopkins of Anderson County in a semifinal match of the 171-pound class.
That put in in the consolation round and on a course to meet teammate Denton Christian.
Christian, a sophomore, lost his first match Saturday, being pinned by Riley Denny of Caney Valley. Christian bounced back with a pin of Sam Collins of Independence in 1:37.
In a back-and-forth match, Shepherd was able to pin Christian in 3:30 in the consolation contest. Shepherd advanced to the third-place match while Christian went to the fifth-place match.
Christian pinned Sanchez of Independence to take fifth. Shepherd lost by a fall to Travis Shay of Fredonia and garnered the fourth-place medal at 171.
Junior Marcus Sullivan pinned his first four opponents in the 160-pound division Saturday. He ran his varsity record to 10-0 before losing 9-3 to Joseph Wittman of Anderson County.
The 160-pound division was a round-robin format while the other five weight classes involving Iola wrestlers were bracketed.
Sullivan had pinned Justin Robertson of Jayhawk-Linn, Gage Holler of Central Heights, Nick Eytcheson of Caney Valley and Trevor Stroud of Osawatomie. Going up against Wittman, Sullivan was wrestling for first place.
Sullivan had to settle for the silver medal.
Sophomore Devin Culler captured his first varsity medal. He took fourth as time ran out when he had Jared Avery of Jayhawk-Linn on his back. Culler had just turned Avery in a match Avery led from the start and won 11-7.
Culler pinned Nathan Gardner of Independence in his first match of the day in the 152-pound class. In the semfinals, Dustin Oliver of Independence, who won the gold medal, pinned Culler.
In the consolation bracket, Culler pinned Michael Gigstad of Anderson County in 37 seconds. Then he lost to Avery.
Freshman Stephen McDonald claimed his first varsity medal as did Shepherd and Culler. In the 189-pound division, McDonald was pinned by Richard Vanderberg of Anderson County in the first round of the opening match.
That put McDonald in the consolation side to work back through. McDonald pinned C.J. Hitt of Independence to stay alive. Next up, McDonald pinned Trevor Harrison of Caney Valley in 21 seconds.
That set up a rematch between McDonald and Vanderberg for third place. McDonald lost 10-0 but went all three periods against Vanderburg.
Junior Lee Berg, Iola’s 135-pound wrestler, did not compete because of an injury. Junior Chris Lynn, Iola’s 285-pounder, did not wrestle either.
Next up for the Mustangs is their first home varsity “mini-tournament” on Thursday. Erie, Jayhawk-Linn and Cherryvale are coming to Iola for competition.
“We’re going to run it like a mini-tournament because there each team has open weights. This will give each wrestler a couple of matches,” Schomaker said. “We’re excited to be able to wrestle at home for the first time.”
Matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the IHS gym.
Results from Saturday’s tournament.
160 pounds — Marcus Sullivan, second place; pinned Justin Robertson, Jayhawk-Linn, 1:09; pinned Gage Holler, Central Heights, 1:30; pinned Nick Eytcheson, Caney Valley; pinned Trevor Stroud, Osawatomie, :29; lost 9-3 to Joseph Wittman, Anderson County.
189 pounds — Stephen McDonald, fourth; was pinned by Richard Vanderberg, Anderson, 1:32; pinned C.J. Hitt, Independence, 2:05; pinned Trevor Harrison, Caney Valley, :21; lost 10-0 to Vanderberg.
171 pounds — Drew Shepherd, fourth; pinned Bobby Shanchez, Independence, 3:08; was pinned by Max Hopkins, Anderson County, 1:23; pinned Denton Christian, Iola, 3:30; was pinned by Travis Shay, Fredonia, 3:17.
Denton Christian, fifth; was pinned by Riley Denny, Caney Valley, :29; pinned Sam Collins, Independence, 1:37; was pinned by Shepherd; pinned Sanchez, Independence.
152 pounds — Devin Culler, fourth; pinned Nathan Gardner, Independence, 2:21.8; was pinned by Dustin Oliver, Independence, 1:30; pinned Michael Gigstad, Anderson County, :37; lost 11-7 to Jared Avery, Jayhawk-Linn.
130 pounds — Brent Clark, sixth, was pinned by Tyler Land, Anderson County, 3:15.5; pinned Jakob Hendrix, Erie, 1:48; pinned Colby Brownrigg, Anderson County, 3:30; was pinned by Billy Virture, Parsons, 2:33.4; was pinned by Riley Dark, Fredonia, 2:40.