Area Focus on Top Wrestling Meet
All three local squads participated in the Eric Lewis Invitational at MICDS this weekend with Ladue and Burroughs placing champions at the tournament.
Snow shortened the wrestling week for area squads but the Eric Lewis Invitational at MICDS brought together all three local schools to compete in an 18 team tournament. It was the 45th time MICDS put on the event, which was renamed in honor of Eric Lewis in 2000.
The host Rams moved their top wrestler, Peter Schlafly, up to the 215 weight class and the junior fared well, moving to the semifinals of the championship bracket following an opening round bye and a pair of pin victories thereafter. Schlafly lost in the semifinal contest against Haylon Jacobs of Mexico High School and then moved into competition for third place where he won his first match but lost in the final, settling fourth place overall.
MICDS coach Steve Burleson considered the participation by his team in a big tournament at home to be a healthy step for his program.
“I would have liked to have wrestled better here but we’ve gone through highs and lows and with no seniors on the squad we can’t help but hope that this experience builds some leadership,” said Burleson.
Prior to the Eric Lewis tournament, MICDS participated in a tri-meet with Winfield and Westminster. The Rams lost both team matchups at the event but saw Schlafly win a pin decision over Westminster’s Bennett Lewis.
Ladue wrestled itself into the top half of the team standings at the Eric Lewis tournament with 145 class standout Owen Blyth leading the way for the Rams. The Ladue senior cruised through his bracket on an opening pin victory and a pair of decisions and then moved on to take the championship with a minor decision victory over Pacific’s Austin Repp in the final
Blyth was down to earth following his victory in the final.
“I know all the kids are going to be tough and as I advance I have to be ready every time…I don’t take any matches for granted and I have to work hard and learn from my mistakes in order to win here and make it to the state finals,” said Blyth.
Ladue also saw strong performances from its wrestlers in the consolation bracket including Chris Shirley (189), who bested Burroughs’ foe Winston Boldt in a minor decision victory to move into the finals of the third place competition.
“We were both ready, we both knew what was in store for each other and I was able to stop his reversal move by grabbing his far ankle and knee to keep him down, which was a move coach (Clawson) had helped me prepare for by watching video of my last match against him,” said Shirley.
Ahead of participating in the MICDS tournament, Ladue beat Chaminade in a dual meet on Tuesday.
John Burroughs had three wrestlers move deep into the championship bracket including Cory Lester (119) and Adam Datema (Heavyweight), who reached the finals, and Kyle Feldman (152), who lost in the semifinals to Mike Kissell of Whitfield.
Lester won a minor decision over Farad Harris of McCluer North to take the championship.
Datema lost the heavyweight championship to Josh Harlan of Mexico on a minor decision.
Burroughs’ coach Dean Tiffany described the MICDS tournament as one of the tougher on the year.
“This is a very difficult tournament with a lot of great teams and strong wrestlers…I was certainly pleased to see Cory (Lester) and Adam (Datema) reach the finals but we had a few disappointments and that’s going to happen in a tournament as competitive as this,” said Tiffany.