It was going to be an uphill battle for Riley Glasgow and his William Chrisman wrestling team no matter who it faced in Wednesday’s season-opening three-team dual.
The Bears weren’t able to field a full team as they had five open spots and had to surrender anywhere from 18-24 points right off the bat. That disadvantage was a factor in Chrisman finishing third after a 42-24 loss to Oak Park and a 38-24 loss to Raytown South at home.
Raytown South won the meet with a 31-30 victory over the Northmen.
Despite losing both meets, the shorthanded Bears had a lot of positives to take away from Wednesday’s matches.
“We have to win almost every match to win (the team score),” Chrisman senior Coltyn Weston said. “We just focused on our individual matches and did what we could.”
Added Glasgow: “It’s a big mountain to climb when you give up fives spots. We’re just going to scratch and claw for every point and try to improve our individual records until we can put a full team out there.”
Chrisman heavyweight David Toese certainly had a good night, pinning both his opponents. He made it look easy as he went up 14-3 against Oak Park’s Garrett Waddell before muscling him over for a pin at the 4:15 mark.
The Chrisman junior also had a couple of impressive waist lock slams of Raytown South’s Braden Tofaeono and overpowered him in the second round by scoring a quick reversal followed by a pin.
“Last year, I would just wait for my opponent,” Toese said. “This year, I have been working on my offense instead of just waiting for the guy. I just tried to set stuff up as a go.”
It’s those type of dominant performances that are helping Toese build confidence for a junior campaign that he hopes ends up in his first state appearance.
“All offseason, I’ve been involved in other sports and have been in the weight room,” said Toese, who can bench 350 pounds, squat 460 and clean 330. “I am just trying to get better at every sport.”
Added Weston on Toese: “He’s trying to get down to 220. He’s wrestling at 285 right now. Once he gets down to 220, he will medal at state.”
While Glasgow acknowledges that it’s still too early in the season to make predictions, he was impressed with what Toese did Wednesday.
“It’s obviously early, but he looks really good out there,” Glasgow said. “He’s big, thick and strong. When he gets going, it’s hard to stop him.”
Also turning heads for the Bears was Weston (152), who earned a 8-3 victory against Oak Park’s Derrick Dunnigan and scored a pin on Raytown South’s Jared Serville at the 4:40 mark after cinching in a half nelson and turning him on his back.
“I thinking that I am just going to focus on my breathing and just let muscle memory do the work,” Weston said. “In your first match of the season, you’re always a little edgy and a little nervous, but I just kind of had to work through that. I got him down and kept him down.”
Like Toese, Weston is looking for a state bid in his final year.
“We’re hoping to get two or three qualifiers this year, hopefully more,” Weston said.
Chrisman junior Jose Maravilla (132) also went 2-0 with wins of 4-3 and 3-2; and freshman Kash Ocobock picked up a pair of wins via a forfeit and a 4-2 decision.
Ocobock wasn’t the only freshman to impress Glasgow. Mason Walters (182) narrowly lost to Raytown’s South’s Lewis Caples, a state qualifier last season who got a near fall from the top position in the second period, 3-1; and got a pin 48 seconds into the match against Oak Park’s Colton Tisthammer after a takedown and a quick crossface cradle.
“Mason is a very good freshman for us,” Glasgow said. “We have high hopes for him. He hung in there with a state qualifier from last year. That should give him a lot of confidence.”
Brayden Elliott got Chrisman’s other win at 126 by pinning Ray-South’s Shalisha Carter at the 4:40 mark.