The Alexander Cougar wrestling squad had a full weekend on the mat after splitting their time, and team, between the CRWA Tournament and the Creekview Invitational.
"We were excited with our finishes in both tournaments, especially after not having two of our starters in Roman Boylen and Willie Dieckmann travel with us," said coach Sean Moistner. "We also had some that had to forfeit the second day due to SAT testing. Justin Beske, Matthew Beske and Torrance Saunders all had to forfeit that day."
Boylen is a defending state champion and Dieckmann is a transfer student and two time state placer. Both grapplers missed the action do to an illness.
Moistner said that he split his squad between both matches to give his younger athletes more experience.
At the CRWA held in LaGrange, the Cougars definitely showed their strength not only as a team, but individually. Although the team was down by nine points going into the final round, Moistner said that his squad was able to win on bonus points despite being without some of their starters. Coming in first with an eleven point lead, the Cougars topped Stars Mill and LaGrange.
Taking first in their individual classes were London DuBroc (106), Bryce Holloman (120), Kalib Daniel (132), Mohammad Ansari (182) and Spencer Gray (285).
"Kalib is a first year starter for us and this was his first individual tournament," said Moistner. "He did exceptional."
In the 195 class, Justin Beske came away with a second place finish. The Cougars had two third place finishers with Austin Starnes (113) and Wes Shepherd (220). Trevor Rose placed fourth at 145 and Shane Hornsby fifth at 170. Bringing in sixth place finishes were Torrance Saunders (138) and Matthew Beske (160).
The Cougars also had tough competition at the Creekview Invitational, but still walked away with several notable finishes.
Bringing home fourth place finishes were Vinnie Ferrara (113), Logan Dasaro (126) and Sam Allbritton (170). Devin Dantrees (182) and Daniel Kolivoski (285) both came in sixth in their weight classes.
"We were excited about the performances from Vinnie and Logan because they are freshmen", said Moistner. "We were excited to do as well as we did."
Moistner said that this tournament really showed the progression and development of the younger athletes since they had to go against defending state champions Cambridge and state runner-up Cass.