BLHS underclassmen learn the ropes at state
Juniors Zach Davis and Dustin Sullivan both went 1-2, and were unable to bring home a medal from this year's state wrestling meet, last weekend in Wichita.
Sullivan's first trip to state and Davis' third turned out to be bitter-sweet, as just making it there wasn't enough for these Bobcats.
Since both wrestlers took the sixth seed at regionals, each faced their toughest opponent and lost in their first round matches at state.
Davis took on the returning state champion in the 119-pound weight division, and Sullivan lost to this year's eventual state champion at 135 pounds.
Davis, who was pinned in his first round match, admitted that his opponent was just faster than he was, shooting out from under him to get the pin. But the first round pin just fired up Davis as he moved on to the consolation bracket and routed his next opponent, 15-0.
"Getting pinned fired me up for my second match," said Davis, who was disappointed with his finish this year. "In my second match I was more aggressive than he was, and I just never let up."
Sullivan's first round opponent, a 34-0 freshman from Augusta, won the 135- pound division and stayed undefeated for the season.
"He just knew what I was going to do before I did it," Sullivan said. "There are just some guys that have a natural ability and he was one of them."
The last thing Sullivan wanted to do was go two-and-out, so he gave everything he had in his second match. It was one of his closest matches of the season, but Sullivan rode his opponent out with about 10 seconds left in the match to take the victory over a wrestler that Sullivan called "a very stout opponent."
"I knew I'd have to be on top of my game to win the match and balance his strength," said Sullivan, who won the match 11-10.
But in his third match, Sullivan jammed his thumb, and as much as he tried, with shooting pains in his hand, he dropped his third-round match and his season was over.
"I was pleased with how the year ended," Sullivan said of his first trip to state. "I learned that I need to improve in order to beat some of those guys and make it back next year."
Although Sullivan was happy to make it to the state tournament, his counterpart Davis said he felt like he should have brought home a medal.
In his third round match, against an opponent he had already pinned earlier this season, Davis went for a drag move early and tripped. The falter allowed his opponent to get into position and move in for the pin.
"I was pretty mad and disappointed, I could've beaten him," Davis said of his opponent who finished with a medal, earning sixth place. "I really felt like I could've placed."
To frustrate Davis even more, the fourth and fifth place medalists were both wrestlers that he had beaten earlier this season.
A disappointed Davis though, admitted he felt like he didn't have his best, and vowed to do better next season.