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Wrestlers 5th in Ulysses Invitational

After having the St. Francis Invitational canceled due to winter weather in the tri-state area a week before, the St. Francis Indians finally received an opportunity to compete on December 7 and 8 at the Ron Smith Invitational Wrestling Tournament in Ulysses. The Indians performed well earning 5th place in the fourteen-team tournament. The Indians also had five wrestlers place in the top four positions in their respective weight classes.

Scott Community High School won the tournament scoring 235.5 team points. Ulysses was not far behind with 214. Leoti-Wichita County finished a distant third at 124. The other competing teams finished in the following order:  4th - Lakin 116, 5th - St. Francis 100, 6th - Boys Ranch 94, 7th - Hugoton 93, 8th - Holcomb 67.5, 9th - Garden City 64, 10th - Dodge City 42.5, 11th - Tribune-Greeley County 42, 12th - Brewster 32, 13th - Baca CO 18, and 14th - Liberal 17.

Placing in the tournament were:  Garin Cooper - 2nd at 120 pounds; Tiernan Poling - 2nd at 132 pounds;  Kobe Tice - 4th at 138 pounds; Shadryon Blanka - 4th at 182 pounds; and Seth Hilt - 4th at 220 pounds.

Individual results for the St. Francis wrestlers are listed below.

106

Perla Yanez (0-2)

  • Champ. Round 1 - Perla Yanez received a bye
  • Quarterfinal - Quentin Pauda (Ulysses) 7-1 won by fall over Perla Yanez (Fall 4:53)
  • Cons. Round 2 - Perla Yanez 0-2 received a bye
  • Cons. Round 3 - Brody Soukup (Holcomb) 2-2 won by fall over Perla Yanez (Fall 2:18)

120

Garin Cooper (3-1) placed 2nd and scored 18.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Garin Cooper received a bye
  • Quarterfinal - Garin Cooper won by decision over Jonathan Lara (Ulysses) 9-2 (Dec 7-1)
  • Semifinal - Garin Cooper won by decision over Ismael Ramirez (Dodge City) 6-2 (Dec 4-3)
  • 1st Place Match - Brandon Roberts (Scott Community) 6-1 won by decision over Garin Cooper (Dec 7-3)

126

Aaron White (0-2)

  • Champ. Round 1 - Sebastian Rodriguez (Garden City) 3-1 won by fall over Aaron White (Fall 1:11)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Ben Dunlap (Garden City) 1-2 won by fall over Aaron White (Fall 5:40)

126

Eli Mills (0-2)

  • Champ. Round 1 - JD Nelson (Boys Ranch) 6-6 won by fall over Eli Mills (Fall 1:59)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Curtis Beam (Lakin) 3-5 won by fall over Eli Mills (Fall 0:30)

132

Tiernan Poling (3-1) placed 2nd and scored 21.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Tiernan Poling received a bye () (Bye)
  • Quarterfinal - Tiernan Poling won by major decision over Julian Martinez (Garden City) 4-2 (MD 11-2)
  • Semifinal - Tiernan Poling won by fall over JACOB MILLER (Tribune-Greeley County) 5-3 (Fall 0:27)
  • 1st Place Match - Justus McDaniel (Scott Community) 4-0 won by major decision over Tiernan Poling (MD 15-6)

138

Kobe Tice (4-2) placed 4th and scored 15.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Kobe Tice won by fall over Jaime Lira-Hernandez (Garden City) 0-2 (Fall 5:45)
  • Quarterfinal - Kaden Wren (Scott Community) 7-0 won by fall over Kobe Tice (Fall 1:07)
  • Cons. Round 2 - Kobe Tice won by fall over Stefanney Villa (Hugoton) 0-2 (Fall 0:29)
  • Cons. Round 3 - Kobe Tice by fall over Jaxson Kough (Scott Community) 2-2 (Fall 0:24)
  • Cons. Semi - Kobe Tice won by decision over Ethan Stephens (Boys Ranch) 9-3 (Dec 6-1)
  • 3rd Place Match - Kade Lovelady (Lakin) 6-3 won by major decision over Kobe Tice (MD 9-1)

145

Arthur Albuquerque (2-2)

  • Champ. Round 1 - Michael Lehman (Tribune-Greeley County) 2-6 won by fall over Arthur Albuquerque (Fall 0:58)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Arthur Albuquerque received a bye () (Bye)
  • Cons. Round 2 - Arthur Albuquerque won by forfeit over Pol Roca (Ulysses) 1-4 (For.)
  • Cons. Round 3 - Colten Palmer (Brewster) 4-2 won by fall over Arthur Albuquerque (Fall 2:29)

145

Jayce Nidder (3-2) scored 10.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Jayce Nidder won by fall over Julian Garcia (Liberal) 0-2 (Fall 0:52)
  • Quarterfinal - Joaquin Castillo (Leoti-Wichita County) 3-1 won by fall over Jayce Nidder (Fall 0:36)
  • Cons. Round 2 - Jayce Nidder won by fall over Chan Lee (Garden City) 0-2 (Fall 2:16)
  • Cons. Round 3 - Jayce Nidder won by fall over Michael Lehman (Tribune-Greeley County) 2-6 (Fall 0:43)
  • Cons. Semi - Elijah Blu Ruiz Hernandez (Garden City) 4-1 won by fall over Jayce Nidder (Fall 1:35)

152

Tyson Poling (2-2) scored 7.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Tyson Poling won by fall over Kael Sowers (Scott Community) 0-2 (Fall 1:53)
  • Quarterfinal - Noah Kliesen (Scott Community) 5-3 won by fall over Tyson Poling (Fall 1:58)
  • Cons. Round 2 - Tyson Poling won by fall over Dylan Jones (Boys Ranch) 0-2 (Fall 1:28)
  • Cons. Round 3 - Sam Irwin (Scott Community) 3-2 won by major decision over Tyson Poling (MD 11-0)

182

Shadyron Blanka (4-2) placed 4th and scored 14.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Shadyron Blanka won by fall over Jose Padilla (Lakin) 1-2 (Fall 0:39)
  • Quarterfinal - Tanner Johnson (Holcomb) 7-0 won by tech fall over Shadyron Blanka (TF-1.5 0:00 (15-0))
  • Cons. Round 2 - Shadyron Blanka won by fall over Yoni Castillo (Leoti-Wichita County) 1-2 (Fall 0:29)
  • Cons. Round 3 - Shadyron Blanka won by major decision over Alex Corpus (Ulysses) 4-4 (MD 9-0)
  • Cons. Semi - Shadyron Blanka won by decision over Jaime Ibarra (Garden City) 7-4 (Dec 4-1)
  • 3rd Place Match - Tristen Vega (Boys Ranch) 11-2 won by decision over Shadyron Blanka (Dec 5-2)

195

Gregor Burr (0-2)

  • Quarterfinal - Emmanuel Frances (Scott Community) 1-4 won by fall over Gregor Burr (Fall 5:21)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Gregor Burr (St. Francis) 0-2 received a bye
  • Cons. Semi - Adolfo Mendoza (Ulysses) 2-2 won by fall over Gregor Burr (Fall 0:50)

220

Seth Hilt (4-2) placed 4th and scored 15.0 team points.

  • Champ. Round 1 - Seth Hilt won by fall over Cutter Hawks (Hugoton) 2-2 (Fall 1:25)
  • Quarterfinal - Kyle Sherwood (Scott Community) 7-1 won by fall over Seth Hilt (Fall 2:48)
  • Cons. Round 2 - Seth Hilt won by fall over Kord Adams (Lakin) 0-2 (Fall 1:31)
  • Cons. Round 3 - Seth Hilt won by decision over Taylor Heili (Scott Community) 2-2 (Dec 6-3)
  • Cons. Semi - Seth Hilt won by fall over Brandon Heinrichs (Ulysses) 2-2 (Fall 2:15)
  • 3rd Place Match - Ricardo Levario (Ulysses) 6-3 won by fall over Seth Hilt (Fall 2:51)

The wrestling team will compete in the Wray Invitational Tournament on Saturday, December 15, in Wray, Colorado.

Coach’s Awards:
Most Exciting Match - Garin Cooper defeating Ramirez of Dodge City on a last second takedown to win his semi-final match
Coach’s Award - Seth Hilt and Kobe Tice

Practice Wrestler - Gregor Burr
Key Match Award - Seth Hilt pinning Heinrichs of Ulysses

Most Outstanding Wrestler:  The St. Francis coaching staff has selected Garin Cooper, Tiernan Poling, Kobe Tice, Shadyron Blanka, and Seth Hilt as Co-Wrestlers of the week. All five of these young men wrestled very well over the weekend and continue to do what it takes to get better each and every day.

Coach Dylan Loyd submitted the following comments.

"This was our first year traveling to Ulysses to compete in the Ron Smith Invitational this past Friday and Saturday. It was good for us to have the opportunity to go down there and compete
against many schools that we typically do not have a chance to compete against. This tournament has a lot of teams and every bracket typically is a full 16-man bracket. Our kids have the opportunity to get a lot of matches, and at the beginning of the year that is crucial. Our focus has always been on getting our core technique shown early here and slowly building to get to where we need to be as we get closer to regionals. This was our first competition this season so we really didn’t know what to expect but, I came away from this weekend feeling pretty good about this team. I wish we would have had a better showing in the placing round which leaves a bad taste in our mouth. We have a lot of things we need to improve on, but with that being said we have a lot we can build on too. This week we had several kids make their way onto the podium by showing a lot of grit and tenacity to win some hard-fought matches. That is definitely something that we can build on. The effort is there, their willingness to compete is there, and I am excited to see where we go from here. One thing I really enjoyed seeing from a coaching perspective is the fact that this group has fun. It was fun to watch them interact amongst one another and watch them encourage each other. We talk an awful lot about love in our practice room and that is the foundation behind all good teams. This group has a genuine love for one another and I am grateful to be a part of it.

Individually, Perla Yanez has been a joy. She broke down a barrier here and is the first female wrestler St. Francis wrestling has ever had. She really did a good job this weekend and I’m very proud of her. She’s really starting to develop her own style and has really come a long way since last season. The improvements she makes from year to year are very evident and a testament to what you can accomplish if you stick with something and continue to work hard.

Garin Cooper really had a very good weekend to kick off the season. He has improved by leaps and bounds and it all comes down to his willingness to just work hard. He listens extremely well, is very coachable, and you couple those things with his work ethic and you have yourself a pretty good combination of attributes you need to be successful. I know we didn’t see the best Garin Cooper in his finals match. He corrects a couple of mistakes and gains some more confidence in his offensive attacks and he will have a very good year.

Eli Mills competed well in his first high school tournament. Eli doesn’t have a lot of experience to this point so for him to get a big win will go a long way to help him develop some confidence. Whatever he does he is going to go 100 mph and give it his all and that is all we ask.

Aaron White didn’t have the weekend I know he wanted to have but, he did a good job competing hard on Saturday. It was big for him to pick up those two wins. I know its difficult that first tournament of the year and the first time down to weight it’s hard to compete at a high level. As we continue on through the year and his weight gets under control and stabilizes, he will settle in. We are looking for some big things from Aaron this season.

Tiernan Poling did a really good job this weekend of battling. He had a tough weight cut this week and he didn’t wrestle his best on Friday but, he battled tough and really had two dominant wins to make the finals. In his finals match he wrestled probably the best 132 lber in the state of Kansas. Tiernan really made the kid earn the win and even in defeat he has to come away from this weekend knowing that he can compete with anyone. He works as hard as anyone and we’re excited to see what’s in store for him.

It was really good to see Kobe Tice come away with a medal in his first high school varsity tournament. Kobe is a tough kid who has a lot of natural ability. He made some mistakes and has some things to work on which is to be expected after his first tournament in almost two years. This kid has all the tools to be a very good wrestler and he’s another one who works hard in the practice room. Really looking forward to watching him continue to get better every week.

Arthur Albuquerque is a foreign exchange student from Brazil we have been fortunate to have out this season. He is just a great kid and has been a joy to have. He had never seen a wrestling mat until his first day of practice so, its been a big learning experience for him. But he has done a great job and gets better each and every day. We’ve really enjoyed having him out and look forward to watching him improve.

Jayce Nider is a new kid we have out this year and he is a joy to have. This kid is as hard-nosed as they come and he makes everyone in the practice room better. He’s gritty and tough and is willing to do the small things to get better. He hasn’t wrestled for a few years so he’s just getting back into it but, he has a lot of tools to work with. He’s one to keep an eye on as we make our way through the rest of this season.

Tyson Poling had a good opening weekend. He is another one who has a lot of natural, God-given ability. He just needs to figure out how good he wants to be and what kind of wrestler he is. For him to get some wins, get his feet, and gain some confidence is big for him. Nothing really phases Tyson; he doesn’t get worked up, he doesn’t get down on himself, he does a good job of controlling his emotions which is a very important tool to have. He just needs to get to his offense and really just work to be the best wrestler he can be.

Shadyron Blanka had a good weekend and he wrestled well. My hope for him after the success he had this weekend is that it opened his eyes up a bit. I’ve always felt like he has the ability to compete with the upperclassmen in this weight class. He has a lot of experience and that goes a long way in this sport. Confidence is huge for him and after this weekend he should be feeling pretty good about where he’s at and where he can potentially go. He has some technical things he needs to clean up and I think once our conditioning gets better that will go along way. But, Shadyron is tough and I don’t think he quite knows yet how tough he is.

Gregor Burr I felt did a good job competing in his very first wrestling tournament ever. This is a kid who had never stepped on a mat until the very first day of practice. This is obviously very new to Gregor but, he does a great job and he’s a great kid. He works very hard in the practice room and does everything we ask of him. I’m really encouraged with Gregor and he will only get better as this season moves a long. He is going to give you his very best every day and that makes our job as coaches so much easier. I’m excited to have Gregor!

Seth Hilt had his best weekend of his wrestling career. He was able to break down some barriers for him and it was great to see him standing on the podium with a medal in his hand. Seth is a testament of just sticking with something no matter how tough it is and just continuing to work hard. Seth had a tough two years of wrestling, but he’s really made strides. I’m really excited for him because he never quite had that confidence in himself. My hope is after this weekend he starts to believe in himself more. He’s a tough kid, he’s strong, and he works hard.

This week we will travel to Wray to compete in the Bob Smith Invitational. We have gone to this tournament for years and it is always a good one to end our “pre-season” on. This will be our last
time to compete before the Christmas break so, it will be very important for us to clean up some mistakes and go into break with some momentum. We need to continue to focus on getting better
every day and continue to work hard to build up our conditioning, both physical and mental. With it being close to home we hope to have a lot of fan support up in Wray."

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