BJHS wrestling squad wins three league titles
Baldwin Junior High School’s wrestling team ended its season with a successful Frontier League tournament Saturday in Gardner.
The Bulldogs had four champions, a pair of runners-up, seven third-place finishers and two placing fourth. The team had a 36-26 win/loss record on the day.
“I’m excited, because our junior high season went great,” coach Kit Harris said. “We had a lot of brand new wrestlers, but we had a winning record at every meet we went to this season.”
Leading the way for the Bulldogs were eighth graders Tucker Clark and Riley Thomas and seventh graders Jon Pratt and Joe Pierce. Clark, Thomas and Pratt were league champs. Pierce won the novice bracket by going 3-0 on the day.
Clark went 3-0 Saturday to earn his first league championship.
“Yeah, it was exciting,” Clark said. “It was pretty exciting to win. I was really happy. It was a tough tournament. My second match was a tough match. In my third match, the kid got a reversal on me and I was a little scared I might lose.”
Harris was happy for Clark, who finished the season with a 15-1 record.
“Tucker had a really consistent year,” Harris said. “He got better and better as the year went on. He had nine really tough matches and he had to beat some really good kids.”
Thomas also went 3-0 Saturday at the league meet. That improved his season record to 10-4.
“Riley had a great tournament,” Harris said. “When he’s like that, he can be very tough. He was up and down this season, but he was on at league. He beat two awesome wrestlers in the semifinals and finals.”
Baldwin’s other league champ was Pratt. He finished Saturday with a 2-0 record to continue his undefeated season. Pratt went 13-0 on the season.
“Jon Pratt went undefeated and pretty much dominated his way through the season,” Harris said.
A pair of seventh graders finished runner-up in the tournament. They were Isaiah Delatorre and Clayton Saving. Baldwin’s third-place finishers were Josh Behrend, Ben Growcock, Derick Jaroscak, Grayson Langham, Elliot Beeman, Keifer Halpin and Dalton Mitchell. Placing fourth for the Bulldogs were Tyler Davidson and Dalton Vesecky.
“There were several new wrestlers that show great promise with the sport,” Harris said. “Clayton Saving and Mario Garcia were great at the seventh grade level. A lot of eighth grade wrestlers were in their second year and showed great signs of improvement, such as Ben Growcock, Ethan Hartzell, Josh Behrend and Nathan Clem. There are a lot of good wrestling prospects in that group.”
Garcia broke the school record for falls as a seventh grader. The record is now at 12 falls for the season for the seventh grade. Clark and Growcock each tied an eighth grade school record. Clark’s 15 wins tied Jason Von Bargen’s record from 2008. Growcock tied Ethan Beeman and Cameron Christian from 2008 with 11 falls in a season.
Although the BJHS season is only three weeks, Harris said he likes the length, but does wish it was a bit longer.
“Yeah, it’s a short season, but I wouldn’t want it to be too much longer,” he said. “I know a lot of schools have full junior high seasons and that would be nice, but we get what we can. We just try to teach them about the sport and the success they can have if they choose wrestling.”
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