GARDEN CITY — Hays High School’s wrestling team knew that it would have its work cut out when it traveled Thursday to face perennial Class 6A power Garden City in a Western Athletic Conference dual.
With several starters either nursing injuries or out for the season, Indian head coach John Hafliger told his troops to compete hard and let the results take care of themselves.
That’s pretty much what transpired as the Indians lost 41-28, but were within 32-28 with the 220- and 285-pound matches remaining.
But regular 220-pounder Trey VanPelt was out and he was replaced by Austin Moore, who was pinned at the 2:42 mark of the second period, thus insuring a Garden City team win.
“I wanted them to wrestle with a passion and desire,” Hafliger said afterward, “and I thought the kids did both. We’re pretty banged up right now, and we just need to get some kids healthy. It will be nice to have a weekend off because we’ve been going at it pretty hard all January.”
The Indians got five wins out of the 14 weights, including a 195-pound forfeit due to Garden not having a wrestler.
Garden City captured six of the first seven weight classes, with Corey Hale being the lone Hays High victor, winning with a fall at 0:46 over Orion Craig.
It wasn’t until Landon Summers and Kreighton Meyers at 152 and 160 that the Indians saw a win again.
Summers pinned Troy Havens at the 1:46 mark of the opening period while Meyers earned a 9-1 major decision over Jacob Sims.
“I thought we were doing pretty well considering everything with the score being 32-28 with two matches left,” Hafliger said. “Our JV kid is a great kid, hard-working, but was just not enough there.”
In the final match, Logan Schulte lost a 6-4 decision to Refugio Chairez.
The Indians will host Great Bend at 6 p.m. Thursday.