GREENVILLE — Greenville wrestler Jordan Thomas prepared for college wrestling by participating in the National High School Coaches Association 2012 tournament in Virginia last week.
The senior finished second in the 170-pound class, going 5-1 at the tournament.
“It feels good,” Thomas said. “I had to beat something like four state champions to get to the finals. I thought I had a good chance to win it.”
Thomas’s first match was against Connor Fox from New York state, and Thomas pinned Fox in 3:22.
Thomas’ second match was a 5-1 win over Kane Kelly of Kansas. The third match saw Thomas beat Greg Johnsen of South Carolina 11-4. That put Thomas into the quarterfinals, where he downed Morgan Fitzgerald of Missouri 5-1.
In the semis Thomas got by Brett Pfarr of Minnesota 12-7 to get to the championship match.
“I had four wins against state champs,” Thomas said.
The final was Thomas’ only loss, losing to Matt Reed of Kansas 3-1.
Thomas said he had his chances against Reed.
“I got in a lot of deep shots,” he said. “The kid was really athletic and I couldn’t finish the shots. He was good but I thought I was better. A few calls went against me that could have gone either way.”
Thomas was the first person from Michigan to finish in the finals of the tournament.
“I finished in the highest in Michigan,” he said. “I really think it will help me in college.”
The caliber of wrestlers in the tournament is what he thought would help him.
“I’ve wrestled some real good guys in my career,” he said. “But this tournament is tough because all the kids are top two in their state.”
Thomas said he used this tournament to get a feel of what he will get when he moves up to the next level.
“I think that’s a real good look at how college will feel like,” he said. “In high school you’ll get some not-so-good kids. At this tournament every kid is going to be a state champ. So every single kid in college is going to be good.”