Eureka attended the Sparks Invitational wrestling tournament the weekend after New Years, but only had three wrestlers, all freshmen, who were able to go. Coach Jeremy Auch said Garrett Todd is recovering from injury and Preston Hubbard was out of town.
Still the Vandals did as well as they could in the 18-team tournament featuring some of the better teams in the northern division, “with a lot of the bigger 4A and 3A school,” Auch said.
Ashton Sanders (120) had a bye his first round. Then he faced Ben Jaksick of Galena and lost by pin. This moved him to the consolation rounds to face Ayden Luther who had to forfeit the match because he was a no-show. Next he faced Caleb Salgado of Reed and lost by an 11-8 decision. “It was a lot of freshman mistakes,” Auch said, “just lack of experience.”
Wyatt Anderson (132) was in a 16-man bracket where no one had a bye the first round. His first round match was with Kasey Brown of Pershing County and lost a 5-2 decision. Auch said the match was “3-1 for the longest time” and then in the final period, Wyatt escaped from a hold to make it 3-2, but Brown managed to get a take down for the final score.”
Anderson then went to the consolation rounds and pinned Augustine Perris of Hug, but lost a 9-6 decision to Seth Plowman of Spanish Springs. “Just another freshman showing his lack of experience,” Auch said. “They need more mat time.”
Chris Dolan (145) lost both his matches. First, on a pin by Carlos Barela of Wooster, then a 7-3 decision to Jack Knodell of Fernley.
Auch said, even with a small number of wrestlers, only five, “They’re improving a bunch and learning how to wrestle the opponent and not the school he comes from. And they are beginning to recognize you’re not going to get a pin every time, you’ve got to be ready to wrestle all three periods.”
This week Eureka will attend the two-day Spring Creek Invitational. Auch said, “It’s a pretty big tournament because it includes a number of Idaho schools and those Idaho schools are tough.”