Good Luck

January 22nd, 2022

wrestling louisburgErving Mendez takes the top spot on the podium after winning his weight class in Louisburg Saturday. Mendez and Hudson Rice were Liberal’s two champions, and as a team, the Redskins took fourth. Courtesy photoSpecial to the Leader & Times


The Redskin wrestlers traveled to Louisburg to compete in the Wildcat Invitational.

Liberal filled all the weight classes and was close to being back to full strength. With 10 teams in the tournament, Liberal would start the day with four No. 1 in the tournament and several others in the top four spots. By the day’s end, Liberal would ride a roller coaster of ups and downs as they faced some tough competition and finished fourth. 

Liberal placed six of the 15 wrestlers they took with Erving Mendez and freshman Hudson Rice taking first place honors. Mendez pinned his first four foes and won his championship match 6-4. 

Rice continued his rise as he dominated the heavyweight division pinning all five of his opponents with a 27-second pin in the final match. 

Liberal had two other wrestlers reach the finals. Jesus Torres and Trystan Juarez moved weights getting ready for the second part of the season. Torres competed at his usual 160 for the tournament but weighed in at 152, and Juarez moved down to 170. Both looked good throughout the tournament but seemed to run out of steam in the final match. 

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Torres fell to Pittsburg’s White in the third period. Juarez would lose by the decision to Pittsburg’s Smith 5-3. 

Liberal’s other two places were 145 pound Tommy McClure who  lost his fourth match to another tough Pittsburg kid, Gann, in overtime which put him in the third-place match. He won and took third. 

Javon Allen, another one of Liberal’s kids changing weight class, would be the team’s other placer. And like so many of the team’s wrestlers cutting weight, he too seemed to lose energy at the end of the day and lost his semi-final match to Yoder of Louisburg and then lost a rematch of an early match to Pittsburg’s Hutchinson.

“We had ample opportunities to take any of the top three places of the tournament, but now have to go in and fix some things,” Liberal assistant Tommy McClure said. “Our wrestlers cutting weight will have to talk about nutrition to help with energy levels. Our returners need to get caught up to speed and get into shape and mat time, whereas with our inexperienced wrestlers we will have to get them to battle and make upsets or get to third periods and not give up pins.”

Liberal’s next tournament will be at Scott City Saturday.


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