It didn’t take long for the new Southeast Junior High School to make an impression on the other schools in the school district’s first ever wrestling meet, which was held Tuesday in Iola. Eighth grader Gage Large of Weir became the first student-athlete to represent the Southeast Lancers in the sport of wrestling – and did so with a win. A short time later, seventh grader Lilly Chrysler of Scammon became the first girl to represent the Lancers in wrestling. In her opening match she pinned her opponent. By the end of the night the SJHS’s team record was an impressive 17 wins and 9 losses.
“I thought it went great I was really proud of all of them,” said Coach Jason Wilderman.
When asked afterward about the opening match, Large admitted he knew he was the first person to represent the Lancers while wrestling.
“I was really nervous,” Large said.
The meet came only eight days after the school’s first practice. Only one of the nine participating wrestlers had any previous experience. Coach Wilderman said that is why practices have been lighter than what they will eventually be because he is trying to teach them the importance of technique.
“I’d rather they learn the moves and do them right,” Wilderman said. “We’re spending a lot of time catching up.”
Wilderman said that wrestling is not like a lot of sports. He said a team may win a state championship, but an individual player may never step on the field.
“It’s just the fact that it’s one-on-one and how hard you work determines how much success you have and the kids are starting to understand that it’s the hard work and dedication that’s going to make a difference,” Wilderman said.
Going into the meet Wilderman told his athletes they had one goal – to make sure opponents remembered facing Southeast.
“I was hoping for 50-50 honestly – I was really surprised,” Wilderman admitted. “Everybody placed 3rd or higher and even the one that didn’t place worked hard and I’m proud of him, he didn’t give up.”
“It went a lot better than I expected. All the kids wrestled really tough. I saw all of them doing the stuff we worked on in practice. They’re improving every day, working hard and it showed today.”
In addition to the success in the ring, a pleasant surprise came from the stands.
“One of the things I was really pleased with was the crowd support,” Wilderman said. “I think every time a Lancer won everybody knew it – and the kids were supporting each other. They definitely showed their Lancer Pride.”
“Our kids and this program got a lot of compliments from the other coaches,” Wilderman said. “I had a couple of coaches say the kids were doing a great job and all showed great sportsmanship.”
Results from the Junior High Wrestling Tournament in Iola, Kansas on November 11, 2014:
- Logan Aikins wrestled in the 90 pound C bracket and finished in 1st place with a 2 and 0 record, pinning one of his opponents.
- Jarrett Brumback wrestled in the 141 pound C bracket and finished in 1st with a 3 and 0 record, pinning all of his opponents.
- Clayton Charlton wrestled in the 180 pound C bracket and finished in 2nd with a 2 and 1 record, pinning 2 of his opponents.
- Lilly Chrysler wrestled in the 80-85 pound B bracket and finished in 3rd with a 1 and 2 record, pinning one of her opponents.
- Jett Gall wrestled in the 134 pound B bracket and finished in 1st with a 3 and 0 record – pinning all of his opponents.
- Gage Large wrestled in the 155 pound bracket and finished in 2nd with a 3 and 1 record, pinning 3 of his opponents.
- Bryce Petersen wrestled in the 120 pound C bracket and finished in 1st with a 2 and 0 record.
- Zach Smith wrestled in the 141 pound B bracket and finished in 4th with a 0 and 3 record.
- Toby Wiggans wrestled in the 100 pound B bracket and finished in 3rd with a 1 and 2 record.