• Bears battle through lopsided defeat to Staley

  • It didn’t take long at all for the Staley wrestling team to seize total control of Tuesday night’s dual against William Chrisman.

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  • It didn’t take long at all for the Staley wrestling team to seize total control of Tuesday night’s dual against William Chrisman.
    The Falcons, who are the third-ranked dual squad in Class 3, scored three pins, earned five decisions, a win by injury default and garnered three victories via forfeit on the way to a 58-8 triumph at William Chrisman High School.
    But for an outing that – at least by the scoreboard – wasn’t very competitive, Bears coach Mick Cronk remained upbeat about his squad’s effort.
    “I was really impressed with a lot of our kids,” Cronk said. “A lot of our kids, even though they were a little overmatched, fought really hard and they competed very well.”
    Cronk first pointed to a few of his guys who came away with losing efforts but caught his eye nonetheless. Larry Danforth suffered a 10-9 setback to Seth Otis in the 106-pound bout after leading for the majority of the match and giving up a reversal with about a minute to go. Cronk also credited Dustin Cikan for never letting up in a 7-1 loss to Daltan Sweet at 195 as well as Zach Soule (220) and Tomasi Tuione (285), who took 6-3 and 4-0 defeats, respectively.
    The Bears did receive a pair of victories courtesy of Louis West and Josh Wallace. West controlled his match against Jordan Steward at 138 and picked up an 8-3 decision, while Wallace dominated Brandon Baker at 170 on the way to a 19-3 technical fall.
    “I’ve been working on getting my first move down,” West said. “That’s been a big part of improvement this season. So basically, I was just working my moves and doing what I know how to do.”
    Wallace improved to 14-2 on the season with the win.
    “I just went out there and tried to take it to him as hard as I could,” Wallace said. “I wasn’t technically solid that match, but I did bring it to him.”
    Cronk made it clear that he’s far from satisfied with a performance like Tuesday’s, but at the same time he’s seen steady progress from the team. Over the weekend the Bears placed second at the North Kansas City Tournament as Derek Williams (126) and West (138) won titles in their divisions and Danforth (106), Wallace (160) and Keontay Lapsley (170) finished second.
    There’s still room for improvement, Cronk said, but even on a night when his team took a relative thumping, he saw it move in the right direction.
    “I tell the kids all the time, winning or losing right now for us isn’t the thing,” Cronk said. “For us, it’s how we compete. Are we doing the moves that we’re telling them to do? Are they fighting for positions? Are they competing? And we competed tonight. We were just not as good as them.”

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