With three wrestlers placing in the top three individually, the Marion Warriors placed fourth out of 17 teams who grappled Saturday at a tournament in Norton.
“We went there to wrestle a lot of good matches against a lot of good wrestlers,” coach Chad Adkins said Monday.
Only Garden City, ranked first in class 6A, Norton, ranked first in 321A, and Scott City finished ahead of the Warriors.
Individually, Kyle Palic attained a touch of retribution defeating Dylan Gassman, the Oakley 220-pounder who narrowly defeated him in last year’s state finals match.
“Kyle was pretty pumped and he wrestled the way he needed to, the way we know he can, to win,” Adkins said.
On his feet, Kyle used an outside single to get a takedown. Then about halfway through the second period he pinned Gassman with a half nelson.
Palic’s bracket was packed with six ranked wrestlers. In the finals, he lost a close match to Cimarron’s A.J. Cooper, who is ranked number one in 321A.
“Kyle only lost 5-4, and he was better than Cooper was on his feet,” Adkins said. “But Kyle was worn out from the day and he just didn’t finish a takedown at the end. We’ll see the guy again in two weeks.”
Dominating most of his matches at 182-pounds, Adam Janzen placed third, but lost to a Garden City wrestler during a scramble.
“He got caught during a takedown, made a mistake, and got pinned,” Adkins said. “It was tough for him to get focused after that because it was something he hadn’t planned.”
Jarett Johnson took third at 113 pounds losing only to a No. 1 ranked 6A wrestler from Garden City, and the No. 2 ranked wrestler in 321A, his cousin, Skylar Johnson of Norton.
Overall, Adkins was happy with the way the Warriors competed because many wrestlers made it to the “blood round,” the consolation semi finals in which third and fourth place is decided.
“The kids wrestled tough and won some matches,” he said. “We took a lot of good notes so we can continue to improve.”