Bobcat wrestlers make mark in Maumelle tournament
By Scott Loftis
The Berryville Bobcats don’t shy away from top-level competition on the wrestling mat. Sometimes that means the results aren’t always pretty for the Bobcats. But it also prepares them well.
Last weekend, the Bobcats showed off what they have learned so far this season as they finished third in the 23-team field at the Sam Ginn Hornet Swarm at Maumelle High School.
“We had a good tournament,” Berryville coach Derrek Aynes said. “It’s good for our kids. We got our confidence back up some. We went down there and competed hard and gained some confidence.”
The Bobcats were the highest-placing Class 4A team at the meet, as Class 5A Hot Springs Lakeside and Russellville took the top two spots. Berryville finished with 141 points, while Lakeside had 189 and Russellville 185. The next highest-finishing team in Class 4A or lower was Class 3A Glen Rose in ninth place with 86.5 points. Class 4A Pulaski Academy was 11th with 69 points.
Individually, Berryville was led by first-place finishes from Caleb Record at 106 pounds, Christian Lemus at 182 pounds and Colton Record at 285 pounds.
Caleb Record won his first three matches by pin before beating Russellville’s Conner Kennedy by mahor decision in the first-place match. Lemus won all four of his matches by pin, defeating Sheridan’s Alec Stitchfield by pin for first place. Colton Record won his first three matches by pin before defeating Greenbrier’s Landen Mazur in an ultimate tiebreaker for first place. The victory was Record’s 11th without a loss this season.
Berryville’s Cesar Martinez placed third at 138 pounds. He won his quarterfinal match by pin, then lost by decision in the semifinals before winning by pin in the consolation semifinals. He then defeated Sheridan’s Brandon Abshire by a technical fall in the third-place match.
Brett Parsons also had a third-place finish for Berryville, at 152 pounds. Parsons won his quarterfinal match by major decision. After losing in the semifinals, he cam back to win by pin in the consolation semis, then pinned Valley View’s Zachary Lutz in the third-place match.
Berryville’s Xavier Hand finished fourth at 285 pounds. He won his first two matches by pin before losing to teammate Colton Record in the semifinals. Hand then won his consolation semifinal by pinning Sheridan’s Chris Taylor. Hand lost the third-place match by pin to Little Rock Christian’s Ben James.
At 120 pounds, Berryville’s Dominic Henry and Dylan Sperduto each won two matches, as did Isaac Weston at 132 pounds and Carlos Escobar at 160 pounds and John Barrios at 170 pounds.
Freddy Roque at 160 pounds, Hayden Smith at 170 pounds and Damian Helmlinger at 195 pounds each won one match.
This weekend, Berryville will be among 30 teams competing in the Battle for the Belt tournament in Fayetteville. The field is loaded with teams from larger schools in Arkansas as well as teams from Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Aynes said the level of competition only makes Berryville’s wrestlers better.
“You take your lumps, but you learn a lot,” he said. “I think it helps a lot when we go back to face teams on our level.”