El Dorado News-Times
El Dorado ready for regional
A week after El Dorado’s girls wrestling team made their postseason debut, the boys will take center stage today with the 5A South Regional Meet, which gets underway at 10 a.m. and is being hosted at Lake Hamilton.
Dunte Maker, who has signed with Ouachita Baptist, enters as the No. 1 seed in the 215-pound weight class after wrestling most of the year at 190, and coach Wes Ables said the practices leading up to the event have been spirited.
“The intensity has definitely been picked up over the last couple of practices,” Ables said. “Dunte is going to be the one seed in the 215-pound class. He has wrestled most of the year around the 190 mark. He has a really good shot at making the state tournament based on his seed.
“Everyone else is going to have a really tough time. We only have two other kids that are in the top four seeds and their two classes have smaller groups, so they will have a good shot at getting into the state tournament, but everyone else has got pretty stiff competition. They’re going to have to wrestle really, really well Saturday to be able to crack that top four.”
Although several wrestlers face long odds of qualifying for the state tournament, Ables said they are more than capable of qualifying.
“We’ve got several good wrestlers,” Ables said. “I think any of our guys can win a couple of matches on Saturday and crack that top four. It’s going to be how well they compete in that specific moment. Shaun Shults is a senior that has wrestled really well all year. Those seniors, this is their last shot, and I
would really like to be able to see those guys be able to get in there.
“A lot of other guys are underclassmen. Tyler Finch is coming back from an ankle injury. He’s going to compete in the 190 class. He’s been hurt most of this semester. Our heavyweight at 285 is Kevonte Moody. He’s our other senior, so those seniors, you really kind of pull for them hoping they do get to go and compete at the state tournament.”
On the girls side, EHS will have a trio of No. 2 seeds for the state tournament next week.
“We had four girls competing and all four girls were already guaranteed to make the state tournament,” Ables said. “Maddie (Aguiluz) in the 100-pound class lost her match, so she ended up as the two seed going into the state tournament. Amy Jacobs in the 110-pound class ended up third. Katelyn Hayden ended up being a two seed for the state tournament and Sharnesia Tate at 235 also is going to be a two seed.”
Ables said he was happy with what he saw from the girls last week at Acorn.
“I thought they did well,” Ables said. “We had a few opportunities we missed. All of the girls had really good opportunities to gain the one seed. We just didn’t take advantage of the opportunity that we had at the moment. In a split second, things can change and go from about to get a pin to win the match to losing the match really, really fast. I thought they competed well.”
As far as the boys are concerned, Ables said regardless of the outcome, they will leave everything on the mat.
“I think they will go out there and they’ll compete really, really hard,” Ables said. “I think they’ll leave it all on the mat. That’s kind of what you can ask for. The odds are stacked against you, so just go out there and leave it all on the mat, and I know they’ll do that. We’ve got a great group of young men out there on our wrestling team.”