Dodge City wrestlers Clay Weil and Jaquan Graves battled each other before the start of second half of the season to decide who would wrestle in the 120-pound division.
Weil beat Graves and moved down to the desired weight and Graves moved up to 126 pounds, his opponent's former weight. The match seems to have given both wrestlers some motivating as they feel their new weights will give them a better chance to reach the state meet next month.
"I think a lot of this was kind of a confidence level boosting," Weil said. "I feel like Jaquan and I both think we have a fighting edge on some of the guys we are wrestling at the new weights. I think this will help both of us go for a state title."
Both wrestlers got some more motivation by winning their two matches in duals by pins this week including victories Thursday in a 54-24 dual victory over Hugoton. Weil took 45 seconds to record his victory, while Graves recorded his pin in the second period of his match.
"We both went and worked hard," Graves said. "We know this part of the season is the grind and this is where we need to go all out as hard as we possibly can. There's nothing like going to the state tournament. Our practice partners push us every day and the five practice matches against each other also helps us."
The Red Demons (7-3 in dual matches) scored the first 36 points of the match. Besides the victories by Weil and Graves, Howard Johnson (106) and Dakota Loeschen (132) also won by pin while Jaden McRoberts (113) and Dane Edwards (138) won by forfeit. Corey Keller (170) also won by pin and James Meehan (160) and Gideon Wells (182) also had open weights to complete the Dodge City scoring.
Dodge City head coach Lars Lueders said he told his team after the dual that it was important to leave on a good note with the two-day Newton Tournament of Champions starting this morning.
"I think the best thing about this was that it gave our guys some confidence," Lueders said. "I think our guys were fired up and I told them in my post-match speech is that is how we always need to wrestle."
Competition in Newton starts at 11 a.m. today, and at 9 a.m. Saturday.
DODGE CITY 54, HUGOTON 24
106 — Howard Johnson (D) pinned israel Montoya, 4:56