Red Demon wrestlers Evan Darville, Ansony Quezada and Couy Weil medaled at the 6A State Wrestling tournament this weekend.
Overall, the team finished in 11th place with 68 points.
The tournament took place Friday and Saturday in Park City, Kansas. The Red Demons took 10 wrestlers to the event; three seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
“I think more than anything what I’m taking away is just it was a learning experience, because we return a lot of kids, and we even have kids that didn’t come to the Regional or State Tournament that have a lot of potential and could be state-placers for us next year,” Red Demon head coach Lars Lueders said.
That bodes well for next year.
“Number one, looking at next year it was a great learning experience and I think what we learned this weekend will pay off dividends next year,” Lueders said.
The other takeaway was how hard the kids worked.
“I think our kids really wanted it and they gave 100-percent effort, and that’s all you can ask of the kids,” Lueders said. “We prepared them the way that we thought we should, they did everything on their end, and so we’re proud of their effort and proud of how they represented Dodge City High School this weekend.”
One major lesson the team learned was how important it is to win close matches.
“It’s all about the match-situations, the certain situations you get into in a big-time pressure situation,” Lueders said. “So what we learned was how to handle pressure and how to win close matches.”
The Red Demons were led by junior Evan Darville, who entered the Saturday as the lone Red Demon unbeaten after the first day.
He lost in double overtime, finishing second in the tournament. Weil, a junior, and Quezada, a senior, also medaled, each earning fourth place.
Saturday’s second-place finish for Darville was the end of a strong season for him, and one that ended with him medaling, something he was unable to do last year.
“The growth from Evan is amazing,” Lueders said. “I mean it’s awesome to see where he was last year to this year. He beat a kid in the quarterfinals that knocked him out of the tournament last year. The kid that beat him first-round last year didn’t even place in his bracket this year.”
That itself shows the growth Darville made this season.
“It’s not really surprising by seeing how much work he put in the offseason and how much work he put in the weight room and the things that he did to prepare himself,” Lueders said. “So yeah, it’s awesome to see, but at the same point it’s not surprising.”
That effort led to Darville finishing 40-10 overall this season.
“This season I just worked harder than I had ever before, dedicated myself to wrestling and it just shows in the placing,” Darville said. “I obviously didn’t finish where I wanted to but I still placed higher than I did last year.”
For Darville, however, Saturday showed he isn’t done.
“There’s still more to improve on and I’ll just be doing that (in the) offseason and looking to get better,” Darville said.
Top team scores
1. Olathe North 151
2. Topeka-Washburn Rural 149.5
3. Manhattan 142.5
4. Derby 140.5
5. Garden City 116
6. Wichita-South 111
7. BV Northwest 91
8. Haysville-Campus 89.5
9. Olathe South 88.5
10. Hutchinson 73
113 - Couy Weil (26-14) placed 4th and scored 15 team points
120 - Daniel Rojas (26-24) place is unknown and scored 5 team points
126 - Edwin Estrada (18-19) place is unknown and score 3 team points
132 - Garrett Edwards (27-11) place is unknown and scored 2 team points
138 - Cisco Soto (20-8) place is unknown and scored 1 team point
152 - Weston Moon (23-23) place is unknown and scored 0 team points
160 - Jashon Taylor (32-19) place is unknown and scored 1 team point
195 - Ansony Quezada (24-9) placed 4th and scored 17 team points
220 - Cody Terrell (23-19) place is unknown and scored 2 team points
285 - Evan Darville (40-10) placed 2nd and scored 22 team points