Beyond the Mat with Coach Jahaan: Issue 6
January 15, 2014By jahaan ashfaq of Parkway South Wrestling
Welcome back Patriot Wrestling fans. Today I will take a look at the meat-grinder that is the All-Suburban Conference Championships. The All-Suburban tournament is a two day, 31 team tournament that essentially crowns the best wrestler in their weight in Saint Louis. Coming off of two consecutive tournament championships, the Patriots were confident as they made their way to Hazelwood Central in an attempt to establish conference superiority.
In the aftermath of tournaments in two consecutive weeks, the Patriots were banged up a bit in the week leading to the All-Suburban meet. While a team title there would have been nice, the coaching staff looked ahead and made a few lineup changes in order to have the strongest team on the mat come the district tournament. A notable change was holding out senior Jake Hayes. Hayes, who only has one loss on the season, was nursing a small injury and in his best interest the coaching staff decided that to hold Hayes out was to be the right choice. Nonetheless, the coaches believed we could still bring home the title.
The action started fast and furious on Friday night and the Patriots responded true to form placing 6 grapplers into the coveted semi-finals where big team points can be earned. Clawing their way into the semi-finals were David Marlow, Tyler Emerson, Michael Aldrich, Joey Cunninghan, Eddie Morris, and Zach Conley. In a big upset Conley avenged a loss from last season and pinned seeded wrestler Brendan Schulte of Eureka. In a match that saw Conley down most of the match, Zach showed his mental toughness and battled to the very end which saw him earn the pin with less than 20 seconds in the match. The Patriots would only lose two wrestlers from medal contention on the first day, but they would earn team points the following day in the consolation round robin.
Day two would start with the wrestle backs which saw two more Patriots knocked out of medal contention. In the semi-finals the Patriots would take some early losses but would still put two wrestlers into the finals. At 120, David Marlow lost a close decision to returning state qualifier Adam Bogar of Lafayette. At 138, Tyler Emerson fell by tech fall to two time state finalist John Williams of McClure-South Berkeley. In a match that was made personal by his opponent Micheal Aldrich posted a methodical decision and was the first Patriot to make the finals. Joey Cunningham would soon join him pitching a shut out against Jamel Smith of Lafayette. The win was Cunningham’s third of the year over the athletic Smith and is sure to not be the last. Eddie Morris fell to returning state qualifier Adewale Adeoye of Ritenour. Morris was down 5-0 early in the first period but was able to claw his way back to a close match but time ran out on his rally. In the final semi-final bout Zach Conley faced off with returning state medalist Daniel Vaughn of Hazelwood West. Vaughn, who pinned Conley a week before, was in a dogfight from the first whistle as Conley looked to avenge his earlier lost. Conley would fall 3-1 but proved his mettle against one of the elite heavyweights in the state.
As the final round came around the Patriots were in 4th place but had a lot of possible points to collect in the medal matches. The Patriots would win 5 of 8 medal matches. At 138, Tyler Emerson won an impressive 9-2 decision over Noah Reid of Marquette. Reid, a returning state qualifier, was never in the match and lost his first match to a Parkway South grappler in two years. At 160, Michael Aldrich took on 6th ranked Allan Person of Hazelwood Central. Aldrich, doing what he as done all year, ground his opponent down taking the 7-2 decision. At 220, Eddie Morris defeated Jaron Steward of Hazelwood East. This victory marks the 4th victory of Steward for Morris and I’m sure both men would like a break from each other. At the end of the day, the Patriots finished in 4th place behind Lafayette, Eureka, and Seckman, and trailed by McCluer North. There were only 4 points separating the 2nd and 4th place teams and this was one of the tightest team races in tournament history. This also marked the first time that Parkway South was in the top ten, a feat the coaching staff will hope to become a habit.
120: David Marlow 4th
126: Antonio Vaghi 5th
138: Tyler Emerson 3rd
160: Michael Aldrich 1st
170: Lucas Leggett 5th
195: Joey Cunningham 2nd
220: Eddie Morris 3rd
285: Zach Conley 6th
Due to the weather the Patriots will not return to action until January 15th when the Patriots will host the visiting Northwest Lions. The Lions always bring a large and boisterous crowd so please pack the stands for this always entertaining rivalry. Thank you for joining me and as always, GO PATRIOTS!!!