NEWTON — A new team champion was crowned Saturday at the 55th Newton Invitational Tournament of Champions.
In just its first year competing at the TOC, Goddard topped long-tourney power Arkansas City 216-193.5 for the title. Maize was third at 179.5, followed by Manhattan at 155, Derby at 147.5, Washburn Rural at 146.5, Blue Valley Southwest at 123.5, McPherson at 112, Seneca (Mo.) at 107.5 and Wichita Northwest and Newton tied for 10th at 101. There were 30 schools in competition.
Ark City led for most of the tournament, but the Lions were able to pull away in the later rounds.
“The guys wrestling in the back door wrestled really well today,” Goddard coach Brett Means said. “We go to a lot of tournaments that have what I call a lot of variety. I like this tournament because it has some of the top Kansas schools in it. It has most of the top 5A schools in it.”
Goddard is the four-time defending Class 5A champions and currently ranked first in the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association poll.
“We have to stay healthy,” Means said about defending his team’s title. “We just have to stay healthy.”
Arkansas City coach Greg Buckbee was voted by his peers as outstanding coach of the tournament.
At 132 pounds, top-ranked (5A) Aiden Campbell of Maize and second-ranked (5A) Gabe Buckbee of Arkansas City were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, overtime and the first tie-breaker. Campbell scored an escape in the second tie-breaker for a 2-1 win.
Tied 1-1, third-ranked (5A) Kael Pappan of Arkansas City upset top-ranked (5A) Grant Treaster of Newton with a late takedown for a 3-1 win at 120 pounds.
In a battle of top-ranked wrestlers at 160 pounds, Bubba Wilson of Manhattan (6A) took a 3-1 lead through two periods against previously unbeaten Scott Radke of McPherson (5A) and held on for a 5-1 decision.
An upset at heavyweight as unranked Marcus Hicks scored a quick takedown against Dodge City’s top-ranked (6A) Eric Darville. After two escapes for Darville tied the match, Hicks added an escape and a takedown in the third to claim a 5-3 decision.
At 106 pounds, Washburn Rural’s Bishop Murray, top ranked in 6A, stayed unbeaten with a 5-1 decision over second-ranked Damian Mendez of Dodge City.
The first pin of the championships came at 113 pounds, when top-ranked (5A) Jason Henschel of Goddard pinned top-ranked (4A) and unbeaten Kendall Beitz of Eureka midway in the second period.
At 126 pounds, third-ranked (5A) Jerrdon Fisher of Goddard upset top-ranked (5A) Joseph Dennison of Blue Valley Southwest 7-1.
At 138, fifth-ranked (5A) Brandon Madden of Blue Valley Southwest repaid the favor, taking an early lead against second-ranked (5A) Goddard’s Jace Fisher and holding on for a 6-3 decision.
At 145 pounds, top-ranked (5A) Devin Gomez of Maize made sure all the championships would stay in state with a 9-6 decision over second-ranked (Missouri Class 1) Dalton Hembress of Seneca (Mo.). Gomez took a 5-0 lead, but then fell behind 6-5 before regaining the lead in the third period.
At 152 pounds, top-ranked (5A) Montez Robinson of Arkansas City edged top-ranked (6A) Crew Squires of Derby 3-1.
At 170 pounds, top-ranked (6A) Cade Lindsey of Derby downed fifth-ranked (5A) Ryan Murphy of Bishop Carroll with a 9-1 major decision.
At 182 pounds, top-ranked (5A) and unbeaten Kyle Haas of Maize scored an early takedown against top-ranked (4A) Owen Braungardt of Winfield. I the third period, Haas was penalized twice for stalling, tying the match. Haas scored the takedown in overtime for a 4-2 decision.
At 195 pounds, top-ranked (6A) Preston Williams took an 11-4 lead against top-ranked (5A) Bishop Carroll’s Brady Bockover, but Bockover was able to get within three late in the match before Williams pulled away for an 18-10 major decision.
Newton High School wrestler Wyatt Hendrickson, ranked fourth in the nation by Track Wrestling, used a near perfect Greco-Roman style throw to start his 220-pound championship match against Manhattan’s Christian Schlepp to get off to an early lead and then put the match away with a cradle midway in the second period for a pinfall.