Trojans wrestlers split a home double dual, losing to Minneapolis but defeating Halstead on Thursday in Hillsboro.
The loss to Minneapolis was expected in some ways, Coach Scott O’Hare said.
“We were simply outmatched and out-wrestled in this dual,” he said. “Minneapolis is a solid team.”
The Trojans picked up a few team points when Travis King won 10-5 in the 138-pound weight class, Levi Mendoza seized a pin at 220, and Connor Morey received points where Minneapolis was missing a 195-pounder.
However, O’Hare said it would have been unrealistic for the Trojans to win this dual, particularly giving up 24 points with their own open weights and ultimately losing 15-63.
The loss itself was not a large point of disappointment, he said. He was more concerned about the way in which the Trojans lost.
“We simply didn’t compete with courage and intensity,” O’Hare said. “We wrestled very tentatively, defensively, and just reacted to what they did rather than attempting to initiate and force the issue.”
He said some of the team’s lack of confidence on the mat could be attributed to youth and inexperience.
“The lack of experience may affect the level of technical skills, but it shouldn’t affect effort, attitude, or intensity,” he said. “That is what we seemed to lack in our opening matches this season.”
Hillsboro’s 48-12 win against Halstead did not win them the dual because Minneapolis also defeated Halstead.
Hillsboro and Halstead each had several weight classes open at the lower weights, but Halstead gave up had given up point at four other weight classes where Hillsboro had wresters to clam team points.
Hillsboro’s 152 pounder Jaden Priest and 170 pounder Lane Flaming each lost by fall.
Franklin Jost and Levi Mendoza both won their matches by fall at 182 and 195.
“Franklin certainly wrestled a better match and dominated a wrestler that had beaten him a couple times last season,” O’Hare said.
Connor Morey also picked up points at 220 where Halstead was missing a wrestler.
O’Hare said he would have liked the team to have gotten more matches at mat time but he is excited to see how his team progresses this year.
“They have plenty of potential, but for many of them, a lot will depend on their ability to overlook wins and losses and focus on the process and progress,” he said. “We certainly have a lot of weakness to address, but we expect these young men to step up and continue to improve every day.”
The Trojans wrestle next at 9 a.m. Saturday at Hesston.