The Maize South High School wrestlers opened their season Thursday, Nov. 29, by trouncing Goddard Eisenhower 64-6.
Maize South hosted the dual, and although the Mavericks dominated, they could relate to their opponent’s situation. Goddard Eisenhower opened in 2011, and this year’s wrestling squad includes only one senior. Maize South is starting its fourth year of existence, and coach Matt Kerr remembered the Maverick wrestling program’s rocky start.
“I talked to their coach earlier, and it’s the same situation,” Kerr said. “You’ve got to keep kids positive. … It’s easy to get discouraged.”
Kerr said the solution was to work with wrestlers during the summer and build a program. Maize South’s development showed Thursday night.
Freshman Rylan Kasitz won the 106-pound bracket by forfeit. The Mavericks prevailed in the next five matches to take a 34-0 lead.
Goddard Eisenhower’s first victory occurred in the 145-pound match, where freshman Eann Ellingson decisioned junior Jared Hydock 14-10. Eisenhower sophomore Jake Jenkins followed up with a 15-10 decision against 152-pound junior Isaiah Kamps.
The pair of wins put the Tigers on the board, but Maize South still held a 34-6 advantage. The Mavericks finished the night with six pins, two decisions and one major decision. A trio of open weights cost Goddard Eisenhower 18 points.
Kerr said he expected his wrestlers to execute what they had been practicing, show progress and win the dual.
“I thought we looked pretty good on our feet,” he added. “We were hitting our shots.”
The negative aspect of the competition, he said, was that the Mavericks looked like they needed to work on their conditioning.
Jaysten McClure, Maize South’s only state placer last year, did not participate Thursday. Kerr declined to comment on whether McClure was injured, but he said the senior would return to the mat this season.
“It’s just kind of a team issue,” said the coach, “but he’ll be back.”
Next up for Maize South is a dual tournament Saturday, Dec. 1, at El Dorado. The Mavericks placed second in the competition last year. Kerr said their goal was to win the tournament this weekend, which would be a milestone since Maize South has never prevailed at a tournament.