Out of all the lake area schools with a wrestling program, School of the Osage's program is the youngest, beginning in 2009. And out of the three lake schools with the sport, Osage sent the fewest to state.
But in the 2012-2013 season, it was the only school to have earned a medal at the state competition, which marks the first time the Indians have won a medal at state in the sport.
"For us, this is huge," Coach Randy Satterlee said. "We had a really young group. This year, we had more kids on bubble rounds, which is the matches they had to win to get through, than any other year, which tells us that we're progressing. We're really proud that we got the kids there, and proud of what they did."
Chris and Kyle's State Run:
Osage's two state finalists, Kyle Carroll and Chris Johnson, traveled to Columbia to take part in the state tournament. Coach Satterlee would be the first to tell you how great these two are, both on and off the mat.
"Chris and Kyle are top-quality kids," Satterlee said. "Kyle is an all-around great student. He has one of the best characters on our team, and Chris is the same situation. Chris is respectful, and does what is asked of him. They're great representatives of the school. I think that they have the mindset of a winning wrestler; they're disciplined in everything they do."
Carroll was knocked out of contention early on, but Johnson finished fifth in his weight class in the Class 3 tournament.
Carrroll's first trip to state began with a tough draw, as he faced Josh McClure of Fulton, and despite his best efforts, Carroll fell to McClure by tech fall with a score of 16-1. McClure would go on to become the state runner-up.
Carroll's next matchup was against St. Genevieve's Ryan Griesharber, who won 13-6 by major decision, ending Carroll's state run.
Johnson, on the other hand, had prior experience at state, having made the tournament in the previous year. This time, though, he left with a medal. After winning his first match, Johnson lost Jacob Best of Oak Grove by a score of 27-12. He recovered in the next match, pinning Brody Lamb of Smithville in 2:58 and Reid Hanmore from St. Charles in 58 seconds.
Johnson's next match would be a rematch against Slade Stiles of Nevada, who the Indians saw in their district final. After a tough fight, Johnson fell to Stiles, 4-2. Johnson advanced to the 5th place match, where he faced Hunter Smith of Mexico. Smith had beaten Johnson at the Harrisonville tournament in December, but this time, Johnson would emerge the victor after pinning Smith in 3:58 to claim the fifth place title.
Page 2 of 2 - The Future of Osage Wrestling
With two kids advancing to state, and a number of younger wrestlers falling just short of state, Osage's wrestling program looks to be prepared to take another big leap in the next few years.
"Next year, we will really feel like we will be a force to be reckoned with," Satterlee said. "Our districts are really tough, one of the toughest in the state. We felt that if we could get out of our districts, the kids would advance."
The great thing for the Indians is that the team will only graduate two wrestlers, meaning they will have nearly the whole squad back.
"We were young this year, but eventually, that will work out in our favor," Satterlee said. "I would say that our lineup is going to be tough to beat."
One of the things that could eventually work out in the Indians' favor is the number of younger guys wrestling in the heavier weight classes. Osage's younger guys were facing juniors and seniors throughout the majority of their season, and still stood their ground.
That experience could prove to be the deciding factor in next year's success or failure.
Whatever the case, the Indians' wrestling program is on the rise, and with Johnson and Carroll leading the way, the team looks to be moving forward in the right direction.