Liberal, KS

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Mata Places 2nd at State

Joe Denoyer - March 14, 2024 8:47 am

Topeka, KS was flooded with wrestling families from all over the state for the USAWKS
State Folkstyle Tournament this past weekend. Six individuals from Liberal Wrestling Club
competed in this tournament and represented Liberal very well.

On Friday, the high school divisions wrestled their full brackets. Brian Casas (HS boys
113) went 1-2 and battled with an ankle injury. Aidan Schwindt (HS boys 150) also went 1-2 for
the tournament. “Both of these boys battled it out hard. It was definitely not the ending we hoped
for but we are proud of them for their efforts and for representing Liberal the way they did,”
Coach Krista Holcomb said.

Saturday started with the team parade. Liberal was seen this year with their bright pink
state shirts and brand new banner. This alone was an experience for the wrestlers.
Jason Fraire (8U 110), Juan ‘JJ’ Mata (10U 170) and Sofia Torres (10U girls 65) all
wrestled Saturday and Sunday. Fraire started his day with a tech fall, winning 15-0. He ended
the tournament 1-2 and is a first year wrestler. Torres went 2-2 and went up against some very
tough girls.

Mata won his first match by fall in 1:42. He then won 6-1 taking him to the championship
match on Sunday. He lost the championship match which put him in second in the state. “JJ is
the nicest and most caring laid back wrestler that seems to muster up the strength and will to do
anything he sets his mind to. I am very proud of the wrestler and person that JJ is, and he
continually seeks ways to improve himself in all aspects of wrestling and life,” Coach Bill
Holcomb said.

Now that the Folkstyle State Tournament is over, Liberal Wrestling Club will move to their
Freestyle and Roman Greco season. “Freestyle and Greco are uncommon in our area but are
the official Olympic styles that are represented at the world level. Here at Liberal Wrestling Club
we are striving to take leaps and bounds toward building interest and opportunities for Freestyle
and Greco in Western Kansas, Southeastern Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma panhandles,”
Coach Bill Holcomb stated.

Practices will start Tuesday, March 19 at the armory. For more information, contact Krista
Holcomb at 620-655-3850 or follow us on facebook.


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