By RON PRESTON
CLAY CENTER It was senior night for the Clay Center Tigers when they faced their wrestling arch rival, the Abilene Cowboys.
The home-town fans cheered their lone senior Josh Smith when introduced before the dual started. Smith would later win his match over his Cowboy opponent, freshman Jovany Garcia with a pin.
This rivalry is as big as it gets in wrestling, particularly in the North Central Kansas League. Its as big as the Red Sox against the Yankees, K-State versus KU or Oklahoma and Texas.
Abilene got the best of the dual this year, winning by a team score of 58-24.
Big rivalry for us. We tried to get up for this one, tried to rebound from last week, although I think we did well, all in all, last week too, commented Coach James Stout following the match and referring to the loss to Marysville last week.
Coach Tom Taplin and I remember times when we were battling for state titles and the team that won this dual, didnt win the other, he added.
The Cowboys came into the match with a 2-2 NCKL conference dual record. This dual would provide the momentum needed for the regionals, which Abilene will host in a couple of weeks.
Abilene has four wrestlers currently ranked in the top five of their weight class in the state Class 4A by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association.
Sophomore Logan McDowell is ranked fifth at 106. Sophomore Zane Baugh is listed second in the 113 weight class and senior Jr. Morgan is fourth at 120, while fellow sophomore Seth Strauss is at number four at 132.
These four wrestlers led the way for the Cowboys as they all won by pins over their Tiger opponents.
This was a good win for us, they have been our rival, like I said for many, many years, stated coach Stout.
The Cowboys won seven matches by falls and sophomore Caysen Smith defeated his Tiger opponent, Rebecca Johnson, 17-5.
Next up for the Cowboys will be the Phillipsburg Tournament this Saturday. There will be 16 teams in the tournament, with Abilene being the lone class 4A team. However, the other teams in the tournament have state ranked wrestlers in the 3-2-1A classes.
Weve got to carry this momentum with us into Saturday. There are some really good kids wrestling in this tournament, several state ranked kids, concluded coach Stout.
Individual results for the dual
106 Logan McDowell (AB) won by fall over Luke Martin (CC)
113 Zane Baugh (AB) won by fall over Marty Robinson (CC)
120 Jr. Morgan (AB) won by fall over Hunter DeMars (CC)
126 Caysen Smith (AB) won by decision 17-5 over Rebecca Johnson (CC)
132 Seth Strauss (AB) won by fall over Cole Hogan (CC)
138- Blake Anquiano (AB) won by fall over Drue Fief (CC)
145 Grady Ware (CC) won by fall over J.T. Brantley (AB)
152 Jacob Hagedorn (AB) won by fall over Gabe Ware (CC)
160 Josh Smith (CC) won by fall over Jovany Garcia (AB)
170 Blaise Lehman (AB) won by forfeit.
182 Alex Madacas (AB) won by forfeit.
195 Zach Thurlow (CC) won by fall over Jaron Dillon (AB)
220 Lody Black (CC) won by forfeit
285 Johnathan Todd (AB) won by fall over Evan Standlea (CC)
Junior varsity matches:
126 Brandon Rein (AB) won by fall over Caleb Osborne (CC)
152 Kevin Wilson (AB) won by fall over James Herron (CC)