by Peter Dewey
ITW Senior Writer
The first big DFW tournament of the year was held this Saturday at Arlington Martin. Years ago it was known as Southern Assault, then the Warrior Invitiational and now the “Tournament of Champions” There is good news and bad news for this tournament. It is not attracting the number of teams that is has in the past when even Houston teams were coming to compete. And to make matters worse, there were half a dozen no-shows this year. But on the positive side, five of Dewey’s Top Ten Dallas Teams were in attendance – Bishop Lynch, Highland Park, Keller, Colleyville Heritage and St. Mark’s – plus host Martin and last year’s surprise champion Azle. So what the tournament lacked in quanity it made up for with quality.
Tobin Fulton (HP) and Eric Frick (SM) make the finals with falls in their semis matches. The final is all Futon as he wins it by major decision 14-5. Jordan Adams (CH) wins with first period fall over jared Snapka (BL) for 3rd.
Only three wrestlers entered in this weight class and Scott Collins (BL) took it by wrestling just one match. In that match he thoroughly dominated Colby Valentine (AM) building a 10-1 lead before securing the fall in the 3rd period.
The finals looked to be a nice match-up between senior Vincent Tenorio (SM) and freshman Troy Silver (BL). But it was all Silver who pinned Tenorio in 1:58. Juan Dominguez (Cent) had a nice tourney hanging close with Tenorio losing 5-0 in the semis and dominating the conso finals with a 15-0 TF over Sang Dao (Seg).
Jeremy Sandoval (CH) wasn’t seriously challenged. He pinned Jason Mozley (AM) in 1:10 in the finals. Mozley is a move-in from Houston and a nice pick up for Martin. He upset Tommy Schober (HP) 9-4 in the semis. In the conso finals Tommy Sheils (BL) beat Schober 5-3 scoring the winning points as the match ended.
The match of the day was the 130 finals between studs Josh Sandoval (CH) and Dak Adamson (BL). The first 30 seconds was a fantastic non-stop scramble. When it ended Dak had 2 points. Then another wild scramble ensued with Dak picking up a 2 point near fall and Josh getting an escape. But the second period was all Dak. He smothered Josh with a leg ride and then caught him in a vicious head lock and it was over in 3:14. Zack Vick (HP) was the best of the rest.
This was my first time to see BL freshman Tanner Eitel. He is the real deal. He demolished a very tough wrestler, Clifton Thompson (AM), in the finals. Ahead 7-0 he secured the fall in 3:04. Note to ranking Czar: move this kid to the head of the class.
Chase Gallatin (HP) made the finals with a first period fall over Carlos Flores (CH). Justin Cedeno (AM) reached the finals with a first period fall over Bill Sessions (SM). In the finals Cedeno gave #1 ranked Gallatin everything he could handle. Gallatin had to work all the way through this match that was in doubt until the very end. Flores edged Sessions 9-8 for 3rd place.
Justin Armstrong (BL) rolled into the finals with an 18-3 TF over Taylor Clipper (AM) and David Henry (SM) had a hard fought 11-7 decision over Eric Sands (Az). These two sophmores met in the finals and put on quite a show. Henry scored first with his fireman’s then Armstrong came back to grab the lead only to see Henry storm back. After 6 minutes it was 5-5. In OT, Armstrong took the first shot and finished it for a 7-5 win. Clipper took 3rd with a sound 11-5 win over Sands.
Armstrong and Henry -only sophmores- may be as good as any 145 lber in the state not named Luke Ashmore.
Johnny Koepp (BL) should have had a cake walk through this weight class. It didn’t work out that way as he had a scare in the semis having to fight off his back in the first period to unheralded Connor Youngblood (SM) and trailing 5-4 at the end of the first period. Then there was some injury time out -although no discernable injury. Koepp managed to escape the funk and secure the fall 29 seconds into the 2nd period. In the finals he faced Jordan Couch (Kel) and while Koepp controlled the match he couldn’t put it out of reach until a flurry of back points at the very end to make it 14-2. While it is somewhat silly to criticize a first place finish, Johnny was not really on his game this weekend. I’m sure that will get corrected.
The news here is Bishop Lynch looks to have yet another stud. His name is Alex Munoz. A very good wrestler last year, he seems to have taken his game to the next level. He had a breakout tournament at the Challenge 32 in North Carolina and followed that up this weekend by dominating two tough opponents. First was Camron Couch (Kel) who is a very sound wrestler. While the score was 7-3 Munoz controlled the match. It was even more lopsided in the finals against Erik Parsons (Az) where Munoz methodically rolled up a 12-1 major decision. Mr. Munoz has arrived.
Kyle Anderson (HP) was not challenged rolling to easy tech falls 17-1 over Johnny Shaw (CH) in the semis and Joey Laster (AM) 15-0 in the finals. Note that Kyle isn’t even giving up escapes, he is scoring with tilts and near falls. Colleyville Heritage had to be pleased with Johnny Shaw’s effort culminating with a hard fought 7-5 descion over Andrew Ellis (BL) in the conso finals.
Another championship for Highland Park but this was not a cake walk like 171. Ted Gambordella (HP) had all he could handle in a seesaw finals match against Jeff Kirwan (AM). In the end Gambordella ekked out the 8-7 decision in a well wrestled match. Jorge Estrada (SM) who fell to Kirwan 5-1 in the semis wrestled back for 3rd place.
Ben Grisz (SM) was a man among boys. He had two matches and two first period falls. There are only a few wrestlers in Texas who can compete with Ben and none were here this weekend. Jayce Jenkins (AM) was second and John Mcfadden (Kel) third.
Mark Baumann (Cent) won this 4 man weight class with two falls.
Matt Lupardus (Kel) had only one match but he took full advantage of his opportunity putting on a show in a 19-4 blowout over Will Plunket (SM).
Bishop Lynch. This will be BL’s best team ever. They are clearly more solid at more weights than last year. They are absolutely loaded from 130 through 160. That’s six weight classes and seven wrestlers: Adamson, Eitel, Silver, Armstrong, Ashmore, Koepp, Munoz. Nice problem to have. It will be very interesting to see if they can improve on their 4th palce Beast of the East finish.
Arlington Martin. Surprise team of the early season. A solid performance on their home turf capturing 3rd place only a point and a half behind powerhouse Highland Park with no champions. But credit all those guys battling to take 2nds and 3rds. Martin also had a very close one-point loss to district rival Arlington. These guys may not have started the season in the Dallas Top Ten but they are proving that they belong.
Highland Park. An early season tournament and predictably HP is in early season form. As is usual for this team, they won’t peak early. They will get better as the season goes on. If you want to beat them you better get it done in 2006. When 2007 arrives so will the HP swagger.
Azle. How the mighty have fallen. Last year Azle ran away with this tournament soundly beating both HP and Bowie. This year a disappointing 8th place.
St. Mark’s/Colleyville/Keller. All have a few studs and a lot of wrestlers that need experience. This tournament gave a number of these kids a chance to prove themselves and many did. The better these teams develop their less experienced wrestlers the more competitive they will become during the year. All three programs are on the rise.
2006 Tournament of Champions
1. Bishop Lynch 176.0
2. Highland Park 137.5
3. Martin 136.0
4. St. Mark’s 109.5
5. Colleyville 88.0
6. Keller 69.0
7. Centennial 42.5
8. Azle 38.0
9. Seguin 29.0
10. Irving 8.0
11. Arlington Hts 0.0
2006 Tournament of Champions
November 18, 2006
103 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Tobin Fulton – Highland Park Maj Dec (14-5) (2) Eric Frick – St. Mark’s
Third Place Jordon Adams – Colleyville Fall (1:49) (3) Jared Snapka – Bishop Lynch
112 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Scott Collins – Bishop Lynch Fall (4:57) (2) Colby Valentine – Martin
Third Place (3) Michael Slack – Keller Bye () Bye
119 Pound Weight Class
First Place (2) Troy Silver – Bishop Lynch Fall (1:55) (1) Vincent Tenorio – St. Mark’s
Third Place Juan Dominguez – Centennial Tech (15-0) Sang Dao – Seguin
125 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Jeremy Sandoval – Colleyville Fall (1:10) (3) Jason Mozley – Martin
Third Place (4) Tommy Sheils – Bishop Lynch Dec (5-3) (2) Tommy Schober – Highland Park
130 Pound Weight Class
First Place (2) Dak Adamson – Bishop Lynch Fall (3:14) (1) Josh Sandoval – Colleyville
Third Place (3) Zach Vick – Highland Park Tech (20-3) Colt Gibson – Keller
135 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Tanner Eitel – Bishop Lynch Fall (3:04) (2) Cliffton Thompson – Martin
Third Place (4) Michael Hortman – Azle Fall (6:33) (5) Chad Gallatin – Highland Park
140 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Chase Gallatin – Highland Park Dec (7-4) (3) Justin Cedeno – Martin
Third Place Carlos Flores – Colleyville Dec (9-8) (2) Bill Sessions – St. Mark’s
145 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Justin Armstrong – Bishop Lynch Dec (7-5) (2) David Henry – St. Mark’s
Third Place (5) Taylor Clipper – Martin Dec (11-5) (3) Erik Sands – Azle
152 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Johnny Koepp – Bishop Lynch Maj Dec (14-2) (2) Jordan Couch – Keller
Third Place (3) Yusef Jasari – Martin Dec (8-4) Tom Klessig – Highland Park
160 Pound Weight Class
First Place (2) Alex Munoz – Bishop Lynch Maj Dec (12-1) (1) Erik Parsons – Azle
Third Place (3) Camron Couch – Keller Fall (3:14) (4) Alex Odom – Martin
171 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Kyle Anderson – Highland Park Tech (15-0) (3) Joey Laster – Martin
Third Place (4) Johnny Shaw – Colleyville Dec (7-5) (2) Andrew Ellis – Bishop Lynch
180 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Ted Gambordella – Highland Park Dec (8-7) (2) Jeff Kirwan – Martin
Third Place (3) Jorge Estrada – St. Mark’s Dec (9-4) Garyn Glodston – Irving
189 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Ben Grisz – St. Mark’s Fall (1:07) (2) Jayce Jenkins – Martin
Third Place John McFadden – Keller Fall (2:40) Justin Gentry – Seguin
215 Pound Weight Class
First Place Mark Baumann – Centennial Fall (3:00) Angel Sanchez – Seguin
Third Place (1) Adam Starks – Highland Park Fall (1:02) Julian Ham – Irving
285 Pound Weight Class
First Place (1) Matt Lupardus – Keller Tech (19-4) (2) Will Plunket – St. Mark’s
Third Place Bye Bye () Bye