With a mix of experience and underclassmen, the Dodge City High School Demons traveled to Great Bend on Thursday to take on the Panthers in the first of three days of wrestling.
Their first stop in Great Bend resulted in a 41-25 loss, but the team gained some valuable mat time, said coach Tate Lowe.
"We had a lot of good things happen tonight," Lowe said. "We had some bright spots. It was a growing spot for us."
The heavyweights went out and wrestled strong. In the 182 weight class, Jesus Lopez scored his first varsity win ever with a fall. At 195, Ryan Parga continued the winning ways for the heavy weights and also won with a pin.
It took 220 Santonio Turner overtime, but he also notched a victory with a 7-5 win. And wrestling at 285, Cody Terrell took an 8-3 victory.
The big men were joined in victory when Damian Mendez, at 120, dominated his opponent and won a 13-2 decision.
"Mendez wrestled like a hammer and got some points," Lowe said.
The lineup was changed up for the Great Bend meet due to sickness and other issues, so some underclassmen got valuable experience. With four freshmen and four sophomores on the team, it was a big challenge going up against the Panthers, who are heavy with upperclassmen and are ranked No. 3 in Class 5A.
"Against Great Bend, there's no room for error," Lowe said.
There is work to do as the team goes through the rest of the season. They lost in certain situations and the boys need to learn to keep wrestling through those tough situations, he said.
"Overall, we're missing the gut-check moment. We need to win those," Lowe said. "In our young team, we're not quite doing it."
Lowe said the team will improve as it goes through the season and he told his wrestlers that they will not be the same time on Dec. 12 as they will be at the end of February.
"It all depends on how much you are willing to put in by February," Lowe said to his wrestlers.
The Demons don't get any time to rest as they travel to Colby on Friday for a two-day meet on Dec. 13 and 14.
Roster and results for the 12-12-19 meet against Great Bend:
106-Juan Castro 5-20 loss
113-Frio Vontress l3-7 loss
120-Damian Mendez 13-2 win
126-Ismael Ramirez 4-14 loss
132-Alejandro Ramirez pined loss
138-Rudy Hernandez 4-10 loss
145-Luke Barker 5-13 loss
152-Marcelino Otero pined loss
160-Ruben Rayas pined loss
170-Hayden Speakman 1-9 loss
182-Jesus Lopez pin win
195-Ryan Parga pin win
220-Santonio Turner 7-5 overtime win
285-Cody Terrell 8-3 win
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