Mustang wrestlers give it their all

Facing a tough season, Mustangs work hard, continue to keep their heads up

By Johnathan Geiler, Staff Writer

As Iola prepares for this week’s Pioneer League tournament, its wrestling team is down to a trio of athletes.

Junior Andrew Garber, who wrestles at 182 pounds is 22-7 in the season so far. The other two Mustangs on the team are sophomore Colton Toney (285), who is 8-8, and sophomore Tavon Blazek (195), who is 15 – 7.

Chandler House and junior Seth Sanford are both out with injuries.

“We have three wrestlers we don’t really compare to teams that have a full roster of 14. We are 0-10 for the year” Said Coach Bates.

Going into the next two weeks, they will be doing a lot of live drills in practice.

“I want my wrestlers to be comfortable in many different situations so when they get there in a real match they’ll be able to stay calm and come out on top,” said coach Jason Bates. “Hopefully, we’ll minimize the mistakes that we make and keep improving on our attacks.”

The coach said he realizes they have been “pretty tough on top, and we have the ability to score on bottom. Now we just need to get confidence on our feet which will give us a better chance qualifying for state.”

The wrestling team started the new year off on Jan. 6 with a trip to Parsons. Even though the small squad was 30-14 on the day, a couple of individuals did well.

Garber competed at 170 pounds, besting a Parsons opponent by a technical fall. Sanford scored on a reversal and three-point near fall to win at 195 pounds.

More recently at Fredonia, Garber worked his way to the championship and snagged second at 182 pounds after losing to a Wichita South opponent; he ended up 5-3 for the day. Toney also had a strong day, ending up runner-up as well after falling to a wrestler from Eureka in the 285 pound championship match.

The Mustangs were facing off against Osawatomie and West Elk at home as this edition went to press.