Morgan, Shoemaker improve success at Fargo tournament
Andrew Morgan and Bryce Shoemaker capped off their busy summer of wrestling with a strong showing at one of the top national tournaments — Fargo Freestyle and Greco-Roman Nationals.
Both Baldwin High School wrestlers improved on their performances from 2010 at the national tournament. Morgan, a BHS senior, competed in the juniors division, while Shoemaker, a BHS junior, competed in the cadet division. They combined to go 10-8 in the two double-elimination tournaments.
“This was one of our best performances from our wrestlers that went up there,” Harris said. “They both won several matches and lost some very close matches to the placers.”
Both Bulldogs were pleased with their records, but still disappointed they didn’t reach their goals of becoming Fargo National medalists.
“For the most part it was good,” Morgan said. “I was disappointed in freestyle, because there were a couple matches that I should have won, but I messed up. Other than that, it was a good tournament.”
Shoemaker felt the same way about his tournament.
“I could have done better, but that’s how the draw goes sometimes,” Shoemaker said. “I ran into some tough kids in the second day in both styles. I wrestled pretty well for the whole tournament.”
Shoemaker was one of about 94 wrestlers in the freestyle bracket. He came within two wins of becoming a first-time medalist.
“He had a great tournament,” Harris said. “He’s a second-year cadet. I knew he was going to do well. It comes down to your draw, of course, but also those close, one-point matches. It becomes a matter of who can keep wining those matches before losing two.”
Morgan was one of the younger wrestlers in the junior division, as many of them graduated high school this year and will be continuing their careers in college. Although he didn’t medal, he did improve his record from last year, which was better than his first year in 2009.
“Andrew got three wins as a junior,” Harris said. “He was a first-year junior after being a cadet last year. To come away with three wins was great. The junior division is tough, because you have lots of guys going off to D-1 colleges. To come away with three wins is great. He got so much better and he was so determined. He hopes to come back next year and be a placer.”
Morgan and Shoemaker both credited their heavy summer training and their week at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for their success at Fargo.
“It was a combination of the training at the Olympic Training Center and all of the work that I’ve put in during the offseason,” Morgan said. “I think it’s paying off because I’m wrestling better right now.”
At the Fargo tournament, the winner of each match must win two of the three one-minute periods. That’s different from Kansas high school wrestling, where the winner is determined by which wrestler has the highest score at the end of three periods.
“I like the rule a lot,” Harris said. “What happens at high level wrestling, a good wrestler hits one big move or sits on a lead and stalls out. They won’t take risks, because it could cost them points. This rule forces you to wrestle the whole match. You can win the first period, but you have to come back and wrestle the next period with the score 0-0. It’s a really good rule.”
The BHS wrestlers also enjoyed the rule change for the Fargo tournament.
“I like it,” Shoemaker said. “If you can win the first period, all you have to do is win the second period and you don’t have to wrestle the third period. I honestly like it. It has its good and bad points, but I like it.”
For Morgan, he enjoyed wrestling Greco-Roman, because it challenges him more during the match.
“In Greco-Roman, you can’t use your legs,” Morgan said. “You can’t touch a leg for attacking or use them to defend. They both have their difficulties. I think Greco is more technical, because they can’t shoot in and get a leg. You have to do more upper-body work.”
Now the Bulldogs are done with the majority of their summer training. They will continue to train until their season begins in November.
“Tucker, Andrew and I have improved quite a bit,” Shoemaker said. “Hopefully our hard work this summer will pay off with individual and team success this winter.”