T-Birds open inaugural wrestling season with split squad tournaments

T-Birds open inaugural wrestling season with split squad tournaments

CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College wrestling team called a quick audible to begin the 2017-18 season, forgoing the originally scheduled Harold Nichols Cyclone Open and instead sending split squads to the Dan Harris Open, hosted by Baker University, and the OCU Open in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

"Our focus is getting guys the most matches that we can early in the season and we felt sending a group to Baldwin City and a group to Oklahoma City, just looking at the individual weights and where everyone was at, we felt it was the way to get the most matches," said Cloud County head coach, Chris Freije.

Freshman 141-pounder Austin Eldredge out of McPherson, Kansas highlighted the weekend on the mats for the T-Birds as he went 3-1 en route to a second place finish at the OCU Open.

Fellow freshman Jorge Vega (125) had a solid showing in Oklahoma City, as well, as he went 2-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket.

Out in Baldwin City, Cloud County sent seven attached wrestlers and five unattached to the Dan Harris Open. Sophomore Noah Aziere was the T-Birds' top performer, wrestling in the 174-pound division, as he went 3-2 in the tournament and finished just outside the podium after battling back to the consolation bracket semi-finals.

"Everyone at both tournaments kind of finished where we assumed and thought they'd finish," Freije said. "The big thing we took away from this weekend was our guys were going out there and competing. Right now it's more process driven than results, so it was nice to see those guys go out there and compete."

Cloud County will now turn its attention to Thursday's Black and Gold Dual intersquad scrimmage, set for 7 p.m. this Thursday inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium.

"It's something we're excited about for our guys. It's an opportunity for them to compete in front of the home crowd before we bring in other competition during the dual season," Freije said. "It's a nice way to ease them in to the weekend of competition, as well. Definitely excited about it. I think we should have some pretty exciting matches."