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January 08, 2014
DALLAS — The Dallas High wrestling team isn't letting a shortened start to its season stop it from making a big statement.
The Dragons took first at the Northwest Duals on Dec. Dec. 27-28 and the Pacific Coast Wrestling Champi-onships in Vancouver, Wash. on Friday and Saturday.
The ear-ly part of the 2013-14 season has been anything but normal for Dallas. Its first two tournaments were cancelled due to weather and, since then, the team's been working to find its groove.
Add in a knee injury to two-time state champion Matt Hofenbredl that has sidelined him since the start of the season, and Dallas' victory at the 35-team Pacific Coast Wrestling Champi-onships is even more impressive.
"It was a 32-man bracket so if you were in that top tier of that bracket, you’re a pretty tough dude," Dallas coach Tony Olliff said. “Most of the guys that placed had to go through a lot to get there, so we’re really proud of them.”
The Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships, which was a last-second addition to the schedule, Olliff said, featured a first-place finish from Cody Bibler (106 pounds) and third-place finishes from Nolan Miller (113), Ryan Spencer (145), David Rebischke (170) and Riley Sipe (220).
Dallas may have lost two tournaments because of weather, but its win last weekend more than made up for it, wrestlers said.
“I think this one tournament was a little bit better than what we could have done at those two (cancelled) tournaments,” Bibler said.
The chance to face new wrestlers provided an opportunity for Dallas to continue working on its individual weaknesses.
“Sometimes if you’ve wrestled a guy before and you know what he’s going to do, you might get a little nervous and let it go to your head,” Bibler said. “If you don’t know anything about him, you can just focus on what you’re going to do.”
But while the team's victories were nice, the Dragons are looking at the bigger picture. With preseason expectations for the squad high and now with two major tournament wins under its belt, the team wants to meet and surpass expectations.
"We go out and try to fulfill it," senior Ryan Spencer said. "Everyone expects us to be one of the top teams at state, so that's what we practice every day. We're not practicing to be the best at Northwest Duals or the best at Lebanon. Our goal is to be the best we can be in February.”