Dodge City High School's Damian Mendez was the only southwest Kansas wrestler to be in the finals of the Rocky Welton Tournament in Garden City. He won the 113 weight class with a 19-5 decision over Archer Heelan of Kearney, Neb. in the first place match.
Wrestlers from five states took part in the tournament that features nationally ranked teams and individuals.
DCHS wrestling coach Tate Lowe said the Garden City tournament is a true test at the end of the season.
The tournament prepares the Demons for the final post season push because it will show what the team needs to focus on and clean up in the final weeks.
"Our kids battled hard, but at times in big situations, matches, our youth showed. I thought some of the kids could have won a couple matches they lost but made what I call 'rookie mistakes' and will use this experience to grow and improve," Lowe said. "Damian Mendez continues to impress. He is taking his wrestling to another level and is hungry to keep getting better.
"The kid he beat in the finals was an All-American and Damian showed why he is one of the best not only in the state but in the nation.
"If he does the right things on and off the mat, the sky is truly the limit for him."
Dodge City Individual results from Rocky Welton Tournament:
106 Juan Castro-placed 16th with 4 team points.
113 Damian Mendez-placed 1st with 30 team points.
120 Ismael Ramirez-placement unknown with 3 team points.
132 Miguel Aguilera-placed 14th with 7 team points
138 Rudy Hernandez-placed 11th with 10 team points.
145 Garrett Edwards-placed 4th with 15 team points.
152 Luke Barker-placed 9th with 12 team points.
160 Marcelino Otero-placed 13th with 10 team points.
160 Ruben Rayas-placed 8th with no team points listed.
182 Ryan Parga-placed 10th with 8.5 team points.
195 Josh Bertholf-placed 8th with 9 team points.
220 Santonio Turner-placement unknown with 0 team points.
285 Cody Terrell-placed 11th with 12 team points.
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