This much is for sure when it comes to the Barton men’s wrestling team. There is no way the Cougars had the look of a first year program just getting its feet wet this past Saturday.
No. Barton had the look of a team that competes at the national level. The Cougars left their mark in their first NJCAA qualifier, placing second as a team and advancing all 10 wrestlers to the NJCAA Tournament at the West Central District Championship.
The Cougars had eight automatically qualifier with top four finishes in their weight group and two more get one of the wildcard invitations after finishing fifth at Neosho County in Chanute.
Northeastern Oklahoma won the NJCAA West Central District with 170.5 points. Barton was a distance but solid second at 131 followed by Pratt with 104.
“It was a very good team accomplishment finishing second ahead of all Kansas junior colleges and behind the number one ranked team in NJCAA,” Barton Coach Mikes Bammes said.
“All 10 wrestlers stepped up knowing that qualifying for the National Tournament was on the line. We’ve been working all year for this moment and all 10 came through and did what they needed to do to put themselves in a position helping them qualify for nationals.”
The Cougars had one district champion in Will Bardezbain at 125. Bardezbain rolled to the title by hardly breaking a sweat. He won by forfeit in the quarterfinals then racked up technical fall wins in the final two matches.
In the semifinals, Bardezbain won by a 17-2 score for the technical fall win over Jay Maxville of Neosho. In the finals be defeated Levi Maes of Northwest Tech by a 21-3 count. Bardezbain, the team’s only sophomore and the top seed in the weight, becomes Barton first district champion. The Wichita native will take a 23-12 record the NJCAA Championships.
Kade Sander also made the championship match at 157 finishing second. Sander started his day in the quarterfinals, where he easily defeated Monquez Townsend of Colby, 20-3. Sander, the third seed, advanced to the finals with a 10-7 win over second seeded Victor Haro of Northwest Tech – a wrestler who had beaten him earlier in the year.
In the finals Sander battled the draw’s top seed in Dawaylon Barnes of NEO. Barnes been on the mat for less than three minutes in his first two wins. But Sander, a Great Bend freshman, gave Barnes all he could handle before losing 8-2.
A bulk of the Barton wrestlers found themselves wrestling in the third place match as six Cougars did battle in that match. Four won take third place while two more finished fourth.
Zach Vesta at 149 perhaps had a tough draw as the No. 7 seed. He was matched against nemesis Andrew Beck of Pratt in the opening round. Vesta, a freshman from Manhattan, lost that match by technical fall then cruised the rest of the way for third place.
Beck would go on to win the championship in easy fashion with a fall and a forfeit. Vesta, meanwhile, made quick work of his foes, winning his final three matches by fall. In the third place match he pinned Cole Franklin of Neosho County in just 1:42.
Caysen Smith and Tim Johnson both made the semifinals in their respective brackets on the way to third place efforts.
At 133, Smith won his opening match by major decisions, 11-0 over Colby’s Austin Swartz. In the semifinals Smith lost an 11-3 decisions to Cy Trindle of Labette. Smith, a freshman from Abilene, then won by decision in both the consolation semis and third place match. In the third place match, Smith defeated Swartz again, 10-6.
Johnson took a similar route with a pin of Colby’s Bo Brown in 1:37 in the quarterfinals before losing 11-2 to Micah Felton of Pratt in the semifinals. Johnson, a freshman from North Carolina, scored a pin in the consolation semifinals then won 9-1 over Ramberg Tristan of Labette in the third place match at 184.
Jonathan Bowen lost his quarterfinal match at 197 to fall into the consolation bracket then never lost again. In the opening match, Bowen lost a tough 4-3 decision to Josh Walker of Neosho. Bowen, a freshman from Texas, scored a fall to start the consolation draw then moved into third place match with a 14-3 majority decision win. Bowen easily won the third place match in a bit of redemption, 12-1, over Walker.
At 165, Sean Taborksy came in as the lowest seed at No. 8 but wrestled himself to the third place match. Taborsky lost by fall to nationally ranked Colton Looper of Neosho then won his next two matches to reach the third place match.
The biggest win of the day came over another nationally ranked grappler to reach the third place match. Taborsky, a freshman from Wichita, won by fall over Pratt’s Syed Ali in the consolation semifinals in 4:22. Saul Ortiz of NEO defeated Taborsky 10-6 for third.
Justin Scarbro won his quarterfinal match at 285 by major decision to open his bracket then ran into top ranked wrestler in the nation in Blake Andrew of NEO. Scarbro, a freshman from Texas, lost that match by fall then won an exciting 3-1 decision over Onosai Rule of Wentworth Military Academy in the consolation semis before taking fourth.
Barton’s other two wrestlers will move on as well after fifth place finishes in Jadon McRoberts and Devon Baker.
McRoberts, a freshman from Dodge City, lost his opener to eventually champion Mitch Sellers of NEO then won a 10-3 decision over Shaquille Wright of Labette at 141. McRoberts just missed out on a spot in the third place match with a tough 11-10 loss to Dallas Vesta of Pratt. In the fifth place match McRoberts won a 4-2 decision over Brady Franklin of Wentworth.
Baker was also the No. 8 seed and lost in the quarterfinals to the top wrestlers in the nation at 174. Jacobe Smith won all three of his matches by fall in less than one minute on his way to the title the Most Outstanding Wrestler award. Baker, meanwhile, picked up a forfeit win then defeated Thomas Galley of Colby by fall to advance to the consolation semis before falling to Bloomer Skyler of Labette. Baker, a freshman from Wichita, won the fifth place match by technical fall over Noland Puletasi of Wentworth.
The NJCAA National Tournament will take place February 26-27 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
1. Northeast Oklahoma 170.5
2. Barton 131.0
3. Pratt Community College 104.0
4. Neosho County Community College 86.5
5. Northwest Kansas Technical College 79.5
6. Colby Community College 72.5
7. Labette Community College 69.0
8. Wentworth Military Academy 30.5
9. Arkansas Baptist College 8.0
125 - Will Bardezbain (23-12) won Championship
Quarterfinal – (2) Bardezbain (Barton) won by forfeit over Joan Martinez (Wentworth Military Academy)
Semifinal - Bardezbain (Barton) won by technical fall over Jay Maxville (Neosho) (17-2)
Championship Match - Bardezbain (Barton) won by technical fall over Levi Maes (Northwest Tech) (21-3)
133 - Caysen Smith (25-16) placed 3rd
Quarterfinal - Smith (Barton) won by major decision over Austin Swartz (Colby) (11-0)
Semifinal - Cy Trindle (Labette) won by major decision over Smith (Barton) (11-3)
Cons. Semifinal - Smith (Barton) won by decision over Dy`Juan Carney (Pratt) (5-2)
3rd Place Match - Smith (Barton) won by decision over Austin Swartz (Colby) (10-6)
141 - Jaden McRoberts (12-16) placed 5th
Quarterfinal - Mitchell Sellers (Northeast Oklahoma) won by fall over McRoberts (Barton) (0:48)
Cons. Round 1 - McRoberts (Barton) won by decision over Shaquille Wright (Labette) (10-3)
Cons. Semifinal - Dallas Vesta (Neosho) won by decision over McRoberts (Barton) (11-10)
5th Place Match - McRoberts (Barton) won by decision over Brady Franklin (Wentworth Military Academy) 10-12 (4-2)
149 - Zach Vesta (26-15) placed 3rd
Quarterfinal - Andrew Beck (Pratt) 18-8 won by technical fall over Vesta (Barton) (18-2)
Cons. Round 1 - Vesta (Barton) won by fall over Dominque Evans (Northwest Tech) (4:53)
Cons. Semifinal - Vesta (Barton) won by fall over John Peeden (Colby) (2:20)
3rd Place Match - Vesta (Barton) won by fall over Cole Franklin (Neosho) (1:42)
157 - Kade Sander (37-18) placed 2nd
Champ. Round 1 - Sander (Barton) received a bye
Quarterfinal - Sander (Barton) won by technical fall over Monquez Townsend (Colby) (20-3))
Semifinal - Sander (Barton) won by decision over Victor Haro (Northwest Tech) (10-7)
1st Place Match - Dawaylon Barnes (Northeast Oklahoma) won by decision over Sander (Barton) (8-2)
165 - Sean Taborsky (16-23) placed 4th
Quarterfinal - Colton Looper (Neosho) won by fall over Taborsky (Barton) (4:07)
Cons. Round 1 - Taborsky (Barton) won by fall over Corey Coombs (Northwest Tech) (1:40)
Cons. Semifinal - Taborsky (Barton) won by fall over Syed Ali (Pratt) (4:22)
3rd Place Match - Saul Ortiz (Northeast Oklahoma) won by decision over Sean (Barton) (Dec 10-6)
174 - Devon Baker (8-18) placed 5th
Champ. Round 1 - Baker (Barton) 8-18 received a bye
Quarterfinal - Jacobe Smith (Northeast Oklahoma ) won by fall over Baker (Barton) 8-18 (0:57)
Cons. Round 2 - Baker (Barton) won by forfeit over Jose Cortez (Pratt)
Cons. Round 3 - Baker (Barton) won by fall over Thomas Galley (Colby) (1:54)
Cons. Semifinal - Bloomer Skyler (Labette) won by fall over Baker (Barton) (3:46)
5th Place Match - Baker (Barton) won by technical fall over Noland Puletasi (Wentworth Military Academy) (18-1)
184 - Tim Johnson (24-15) placed 3rd
Quarterfinal - Johnson (Barton) won by fall over Bo Brown (Colby) (1:37)
Semifinal - Micah Felton (Pratt) won by major decision over Johnson (Barton) (11-2)
Cons. Semifinal - Johnson (Barton) won by fall over Aaron Hudson (Northwest Tech) (6:22)
3rd Place Match - Johnson (Barton) won by major decision over Ramberg Tristan (Labette) (9-1)
197 - Jonathan Bowen (16-18) placed 3rd
Quarterfinal - Josh Walker (Neosho) won by decision over Bowen (Barton) (4-3)
Cons. Round 1 - Bowen (Barton) won by fall over Turah Reed (Northwest Tech) (3:34)
Cons. Semifinal - Bowen (Barton) won by major decision over Collin Mahanay (Colby) (14-3)
3rd Place Match - Bowen (Barton) won by major decision over Josh Walker (Neosho) (12-1)
285 - Justin Scarbro (15-20) placed 4th
Quarterfinal - Scarbro (Barton) 15-20 won by major decision over Scott Kleinert (Neosho) (13-2)
Semifinal - Blake Andrews (Northeast Oklahoma) won by fall over Scarbro (Barton) (2:14)
Cons. Semifinal - Scarbro (Barton) won by decision over Onosai Pule (Wentworth Military Academy) (3-1)
3rd Place Match - DeVante Ragland (Colby) won by fall over Scarbro (Barton) (Fall 0:22)