HOLCOMB — In the short history of the Great West Activities Conference, Scott City has dominated a number of sports, but its wrestling team had never won a league title.
That dates back to the 2010-11 season when the conference was born.
That all changed Saturday as the Beavers went 5-0 against their league foes, winning five individual titles along the way.
Colby finished second in the six-team field, dropping its only dual to Scott City, 54-18.
Goodland finished third, Ulysses fourth, Holcomb fifth and Hugoton sixth.
Taking titles for the Beavers were favorites Jarret Jurgens at 160 pounds and Wyatt Hayes at 170.
But they also got gold from three others. Freshman Loren Faurot won at 126 pounds, sophomore Kaden Wren claimed the 132-pound crown, and junior Kyle Sherwood went undefeated at 195.
Scott City also picked up five second places and two thirds.
Host Holcomb claimed one title in senior Chance Rodriguez at 182 pounds.
Ulysses picked up three titles — freshman Quentin Pauda at 106, Corbyn Pauda at 113 and Austin Meier at 285.
That adds up to nine champions from area schools in the 14 weight classes.
Scott City coach Jon Lippelmann saw his Beaver wrestlers get stronger throughout the day, which was good because he didn’t think they started off with the right attitude in the 9 a.m. match against Holcomb, despite the victory margin.
“They wrestled pretty well,” he said of the day. “First round, I must say I wasn’t terribly proud.”
But the rest of the meet he saw his team rise to the challenge of competing, he said.
“We pulled some offense. We got two people back, Wren and Sherwood. That helps a lot and builds our kids’ confidence,” Lippelmann said.
He said he liked how his team looked on their feet, how the pins his wrestlers got, and they were more aggressive getting off the bottom to take control, something they’d struggled with early in the season.
Lippelmann will probably make a few changes in his lineup as regionals and state approach, but he likes the direction the team took Saturday as they prepare for those post-season dates.
Holcomb coach Joey Rodriguez had the Longhorns where they competed in just seven of the weight classes. Their lone win was a 39-36 over Hugoton.
The repeat title from Chance Rodriguez went according to plan.
“He’s done what he’s done all season — actually for all four seasons,” coach Rodriguez said of his son. “He’s wrestling really consistent right now. We’re battling through an injury. He’ll just have to suck it up with just a couple weeks before regionals and state.”
The team is off all next week, which will allow for some rest and light workouts, he added. And the senior is sitting pretty high for regional seeding.
Johnson’s third place was lower than he had hoped.
“He made a few mistakes and he paid the price for them,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what happens in the sport of wrestling.”
Henson’s runner-up finish was better than expected.
“He’s come a long ways. He’s improved all year long,” Rodriguez said. “His biggest foe is himself. What he gets out of his own way, he’s got the potential to be a really good wrestler.”
Also placing third for the 'Horns were Edgar Ramirez (120), Sebastian Munoz (126) and Juan Interial (285).
The goal now is to try to get those three wrestlers, and possibly a couple more, on to state, coach Rodriguez said.
Ulysses coach Zach Pizler had 10 wrestlers compete, but he, like most schools, are fighting through some injuries at this point in the season.
“We had a good day today,” he said. “We’re a bit banged up. Our goal today was, win or lose, just to battle, and I think we did that.”
Both Paudas are tough wrestlers peaking at the right time, he said, which can be said for the program as a whole.
His Tigers will dual Hugoton at home Thursday.
The Eagles took home just three medals. Michael Mendoza placed second at 152. Nathan Leininger at 113 and Ethan Shopteese at 132 both placed third.