Reflect on the 58th annual T.O.C.

Sophomore+Nick+Treaster+competes+during+day+one+of+Tournament+of+Champions.

Caleb Smith

Sophomore Nick Treaster competes during day one of Tournament of Champions.

Eris Rindt, Reporter

Each year, schools from all across Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri travel to Newton High School to compete in a wrestling competition named Tournament of Champions. This year’s event marked the 58th year that the two day wrestling event has been hosted at NHS. 

At the end of the day on Friday Jan. 15, Newton was standing in fifth place out of 22 teams with a team score of 75 points. However, Newton finished the final day of the tournament in eighth place, scoring 123 points. Sophomore Nick Treaster finished second in the 106 lbs weight class. A year ago, Treaster won first place in the weight class as a freshman.

“T.O.C. is one of the most competitive tournaments in the state of Kansas, filled with teams from all over including some schools from Oklahoma and Missouri,” Treaster said. “This year I [was] excited about being able to wrestle some good kids that I don’t typically get to wrestle during the year.”

Throughout the winter wrestling season, Newton competed against schools in smaller duals and tournaments such as Bishop Carroll, Salina South, Valley Center and Douglass. However, due to the many COVID restrictions, bigger tournaments such as some usually competed at located in Oklahoma were forced to be cancelled. Boys wrestling coach Tommy Edgmon says the team continues to improve this season.  

We have worked on many different things to help each individual and the team get better,” Edgmon said. “This year a lot of the big tournaments we go to have been canceled. We usually wrestle in Oklahoma and this year we could not. Practice is different as we try to limit the number of practice partners.”

Unusual to previous years, spectators were not allowed in the gym to view the T.O.C. matches. The usual performances of the Railiners dance team, the drum line and cheerleaders prior to final matches were not allowed to take place. The wrestling tournament was live streamed on the Newton Athletics Facebook page for parents and other spectators to safely watch from their own homes. All four wrestling mats were available to watch live, which many visiting schools were pleased with the efficiency of. Scores were also posted on Trackwrestling and the Twitter account of Newton Athletics. 

“With this year’s COVID situation, it made the tournament feel much different,” Treaster said. “[A] major difference was the fans because normally T.O.C. for finals is packed, but sadly this year we had to make adjustments to the typical packed stands. Personally, I enjoy the crowds and the fans because they make your adrenaline rush and get you excited for the upcoming match ahead.”

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