Kinnick Red Devils capture Kanto mat title
TOKYO – Mystery solved.
After finishing second in four straight tournaments to St. Mary’s, Kinnick finally broke through in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools finals.
The Red Devils amassed seven individual titles and outpointed the Titans 104-94 in their last action before the Far East Tournament, which begins Wednesday at Osan Air Base, South Korea.
Rather than having a few guys win weight classes, everything came together for Kinnick on Saturday, coach Gary Wilson said.
“We had all of our guys on (their game) at the same time,” Wilson said, crediting assistant coaches Dustin Haney and Dan Joley for the team’s success in Saturday’s meet at St. Mary’s.
“They keep the kids focused, the kids listen; that’s part of the magic,” Wilson said. “And the kids wanted it. They were tired of giving St. Mary’s all the hardware. Having everybody on all cylinders the same day, the same time, it was fun to watch. Everyone was game. I loved it.”
Leading the parade were reigning Far East champions Lucas Wirth (122 pounds) and Dwayne Lyon (180). Also capturing titles were Charlie Labato (108), Chon Dareing (115), Devoney Stanley (129), Jacob Castro (148) and heavyweight Mark Domery in a two-man weight class.
Despite falling short, Titans coach Shu Yabui saw some good takeaways for the defending Far East Division I champions.
Austin Koslow finally beat Darius Swenson in the 158-pound class, while Wirth’s 12-11 victory over defending Far East champion Rio Lemkuil “could have gone either way,” Yabui said.
“There were many matches in which we had opportunities to win, but lost it,” he said. “It was just Kinnick’s day. I’m sure next week will be different.”