The Douglass Goodwill Tournament, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this past Saturday, has been a traditionally tough tournament throughout the years.
Augusta competed well with the likes of Derby, Newton and Andover Central. The Orioles took third place in the team standings with 137 points. Derby took first (150) and Andover Central (143) took second. Newton had five champions, the most for any team, and took fourth (129).
Augusta's wrestling team also received the prestigious Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by the coaches.
Despite the great finish overall, the Orioles know they could've done better, a good problem to have for a team with high expectations. They were 2-2 in championship matches, with Colton Clayborn winning the 160-pound title and Wright Bosley claiming his second title in as many weeks at 170.
Clayborn defeated Topeka Seaman's Sam Mizell by a mere 1-0 score. Clayborn tried to circle around for a takedown in the first period, but Mizell wasn't giving that up. Clayborn started down in Period 2 and eventually stood up, peeled and got an escape for a 1-0 lead. In the final period, Clayborn couldn't finish off a half turn to get back point to seal the win, but it was his quickness to get the escape and strength that let him get the win.
"Just being crisp, not letting him up, keeping the legs in and squeezing him," Clayborn said.
At one point, Mizell tried to get a reversal with Clayborn in the air and on his back, but Clayborn stuck through it.
"I just backpack and roll through with him, both underhooks and roll through."
Bosley's championship match against Andover Central's Grant Schoonover wasn't as close. Bosley fought off a shot to his leg, then circled for the first takedown. After he worked Schoonover to the mat, Bosley fiercely turned his shoulder and got a dominant pin at the 1:40 mark. Having that ferocity from the outset is something Bosley has focused on.
"It just gets you in the mindset before to go out there and dominate," Bosley said.
Terry said Clayborn and Bosley, his two senior leaders, have exceeded expecations so far this season, but still wants to see improvements.
"Wright's made some strides from last week even when we're talking about position on his feet," Terry said. "And Colton, I need to get him to open up. He's a lot better offensively than he shows. He's such an athletic, explosive kid when he wants to be."
Jake Goldenstein (113) lost an incredibly tough match to Pratt's Trae' Foreman, who has been one of his tougher foes. The loss for Goldenstein is his second of the season after having only two losses the past two seasons combined.
Page 2 of 2 - "He just had a bad match. Gave the kid four points and tried to force something," head coach Brandon Terry said of Goldenstein. "He's got to get his confidence back, but it's early, and he will. You go a year undefeated, and you got that pressure, and really the only pressure he needs to put on himself is the pressure to perform."
Connor Spellman pulled off a nice upset of top-seeded Armond McCray from Wichita Heights to advance to the 145-pound championship. There, Andover Central's Grant Coleman dominated their match for a 9-2 win.
Tyler Hidibrand put together a strong tournament in the 106-pound division. After looking like he was on his way to a loss, he gutted out a tough reversal that led to a pin for the thrilling victory to take third place.
"Just having heart. Coach tells us about it. I decided at the last moment I could possibly do something, so I went for it all," Hildibrand said. "I just felt it. I felt how he had no grip on it, so I just swung right through it and I stuck him."
Hildibrand could prove to be one of the Orioles' most improved wrestlers this season. Terry said he's seen quite a bit of potential, but Hildibrand knows he needs to keep getting better.
"Not as good as I want to be right now," Hildibrand said. "On the bottom, I just keep getting ridden on the bottom, and that's where I lose my matches, so I need to improve there," Hildibrand said.
Blake Watkins also could be a pleasant surprise for the Orioles at 195. He got a quick, easy pin to win his third-place match. Josh Moore (126) took a tough 3-2 loss after giving up a late reversal as he settled for fourth place. Cody Thompson (182) had a couple big wins, but got thrown by Douglass's Christian Strother for a pin loss that gave him fourth place.
"We haven't really performed as well as we should have," Bosley said. "There've been a couple matches we should've won, and a couple matches we should've won by more, but it's not bad for how early we are in the season. Lot of room to improve."
The Orioles will host a quad dual Thursday night when they compete against Rose Hill and Mulvane. Wellington also will compete that night.