Bulldog wrestlers compete at Cadet Nationals
Baldwin High School wrestlers have been keeping busy all summer with camps, tournaments and training.
The latest events of the BHS wrestling team are the results of sophomore Alan Callahan and junior Nick Rockhold from the Cadet National Tournament in Fargo, N.D.
The pair of Bulldogs returned from their trip last week. Both had positive things to say about their experience.
"It was great experience for me," Callahan said. "Wrestlers at that level are great at technique and skill. It helped me learn how to wrestle smart and not out of control, to stay within myself."
Rockhold said the competition is grueling, but he learned a lot during the trip.
"Wrestling at nationals is a lot tougher," Rockhold said. "Everyone there is on a whole different level, faster and stronger and more experienced. I competed pretty well and I held my own. I think I gained a lot by going. The training camp helped a lot. It showed me a lot of the do's and don'ts, and I learned some great moves."
At the tournament, Callahan went 3-2 in both the Greco-Roman and the Freestyle competitions. He competed at 105 pounds in Greco-Roman and 112 pounds in freestyle.
"I wrestled pretty good, but had some mistakes," Callahan said. "My overall performance was good in both styles. It is a really high level of competition. It was tough wrestling."
Callahan said he had a chance to beat All-Americans, but his inexperience hurt him a bit.
"They were all pretty close matches, so I was right there with the All-American guys," Callahan said. "I think I could have placed. I think I can place next year. It will be tough, but I think I can do it. Most of the guys that beat me were second-year cadets, so they will be moving up to the next age division.
"Between now and next year I need to work on my defense and develop more throws, especially from the reverse gut position," Callahan said. "I want to get better with my 2-on-1 techniques, too."
Rockhold's tournament wasn't quite as successful as he went 0-2 in Greco-Roman and 1-2 Freestyle in the 119-pound class. However, he was thrilled to win that one match.
"It was good to get a win," Rockhold said. "I was upset because I had lost the previous match that I should have won, so I was real determined to get that win. I went out there and stuck him in the first period."
Other members of the BHS wrestling team have been busy this summer also with camps and weekly fight nights at the South Gym, located at the corner of Eighth and Chapel streets.
The fight nights are voluntary wrestling sessions for interested grapplers in Baldwin City.
Several Bulldogs went to the Ken Chertow Olympian Gold Medal Wrestling Camp in Kearney, Neb., from July 13 to July 17. Chertow was a 1988 Olympian and a three-time All-American at Penn State University.
The Baldwin wrestlers that attended the camp were Brandon Reed, Michael Thurlow, Josh Hanson, Coltin Thomas, Riley Thomas, Jack Mitchell, Tucker Clark, Cameron Christian, Cody Sellers and Jon Pratt.
Harris was a member of the camp staff as he worked the camp for the first time this year.
The BJHS wrestling season begins in October and the BHS season starts in November. Rockhold is looking forward to the upcoming year.
"I can't wait until this wrestling season so I can put to work some of the skills I've learned," Rockhold said. "I think this will be one of our best years. We have a stacked lineup, especially in the lower weights, and some of our tough freshmen will be sophomores and have more experience."