By: John Zetmeir
The Dodge City High School wrestling team lost just one dual all of last season in a head to head format.
The Red Demons fell to Great Bend 32-30 after the Panthers won the last four matches of the dual. Dodge City head coach Lars Lueders called the loss a wake up call for the team. It was a loss that stuck with the team throughout the rest of the season.
‘I think it was a wake up call last year during the season but I think it was also a wake up call going into this year to really have a mindset of not being complacent or not looking over people,’ Lueders said. ‘Especially, not just thinking about the results.
‘Last year happened because we were thinking that we were going to win and that’s good enough. When really the result shouldn’t be all you’re thinking about, it rather should be how you approach the match and how you wrestle. Win or lose, you should wrestle the same every dual.’
Last season’s dual with Great Bend was ultimately decide in the final match of
the night between Dodge City’s Tylor Garcia and his opponent. Garcia’s loss cemented the win for the Panthers.
It was a loss that the two-time state place winner remembers.
‘There was a lot of pressure on me,’ Garcia said. ‘I think I just got a little afraid that if I shot that I would get in a bad position. So I think all I need to do this year is just wrestle the way I wrestle and hopefully I come out on top.’ The Red Demons will host Great Bend on Thursday night in their first of three home duals of the season.
While it is Dodge City, not Great Bend, that enters the dual as a ranked team, the Red Demons won’t be overlooking the Panthers. Not only because of what happened last season but because Dodge City has beaten Great Bend in a dual only once during Lueders’ tenure as head coach.
‘Two years ago when we had Great Bend at home it was a super exciting dual,’ Lueders said. ‘We ended up winning big but our crowd was huge, the atmosphere was great and it was really fun. So having Great Bend first is a great first dual to have.’
The dual is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Dodge City High School.