After winning the district crown from 2008-11, the Seneca wrestling team was feeling a void after coming up short at districts in 2012.
They won’t be feeling that pain in 2013.
Call it a reversal of fortunes or a return to the norm — either way, the Indians made sure Saturday was a good day as they edged Holden, 180-171.5, to claim the Class 1, District 2 title for the fifth time in six years.
Despite having 11 wrestlers at the event, the Indians qualified nine to the state tournament — including three district champions, a runner-up, and three third and two fourth place finishers.
In other words, it was a great weekend for coach Jeff Sill’s squad.
“The kids, I’m telling you, they really stepped it up today,” Sill said. “We only had 11 kids wrestling, so we knew going in that we were going to have to make up some points with our bonus points, and that’s exactly what the kids did.”
Seneca accomplished this despite wrestling in a district against opponents that it wasn’t familiar with.
“It’s tough when you’re wrestling in a district that you never see,” Sill said. “We didn’t know what to expect — we really didn’t. Our kids relied on our tournament schedule, and our schedule overall, and that prepared us for this tournament here.”
Will Roark (120 pounds), Jesse Rhoades (132) and Jalen Skaggs (160) all won district titles for the Indians. Roark (50-1 overall) went 4-0 on the weekend, and topped Frankie Falotico (38-5) from Blair Oaks with a pin in 1:21 for the title.
Rhoades (33-20) pinned Ely Roberts (34-6) from Versailles in 4:53 for the title. Skaggs (44-3) pinned Adrian’s Joe Collins (24-8) in 1:30 for first. Also qualifying for the Indians were Quentin Cotton (113, third), Cole Lankford (126, second), Ryker Skelton (170, fourth), Jeff Butler (182, fourth), Dylan West (195, third) and Devin Madison (220, third).
Colton McDanial (138) and Dakota Schick (285) also competed for the Indians.
“The kids needed some breaks but, I tell you what, we really didn’t want to rely on another team to do it for us,” Sill said. “We just took our matches into our control and worried about our matches and not everybody else’s. We knew we needed to win so many matches to have a shot, and we went out and did it.”
Sill said the Indians are looking at the victory for what it is, a steppingstone to the state finals.
Diamond’s Jordan Douglas is probably looking at things the same way as he qualified for the state tournament with a third place finish at 145 pounds. Going 4-1 on the weekend, Douglas (37-14) won by tech fall over Brad Thomas (36-14) of Blair Oaks, 16-1 for third.
Page 2 of 2 - Ethan King (106), Justin Xiong (113), Zack McMullen (138), Kyle Williams (152), Wyatt Rook (160) and Zach Renfro (195) also competed for the Wildcats.