Indian senior leaves nothing on the mat in final match
Osage senior Austin Magnuson had just one word to describe his experience at the state tournament in Columbia over the weekend.
“Awesome,” the senior said.
In fact, that might be a good way to describe his final season as an Indian overall as he finished with a record of 37-3. After capturing the district title of the 152-pound class at Clinton the week before, the three-time state qualifier and returning state medalist made a run all the way to the Class 2 championship match and became the first state finalist since 2015 graduate Chris Johnson.
Being the final match of his high school career, Magnuson did not hold anything back and went the distance with Savannah’s Kaden Ehrhardt, who entered the bout with an impressive 50-1 record of his own. The match went all three rounds and the ensuing three overtime periods, but Ehrhardt managed to come away on top with a 5-4 ultimate tiebreaker.
“I was not supposed to even win districts. I was supposed to be a third-seed and not do a whole lot so just to be able to win districts, come here and still be able to go to the finals round was just an awesome feeling,” Magnuson noted.
“It was just one great journey and ended just a little short, but if I could do it all over again I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
Magnuson was the lone wrestler to represent the Indians this year, but he represented his program well as he started off the tournament by winning a 4-0 decision, picked up a pin in the quarterfinals and held on for a 7-6 decision in the semifinals. The senior said confidence was key and he credits his coaches for that.
“Coaches have pushed confidence on me since day one and had faith in me that I could do anything I wanted to on that mat. I came up a little bit short today, but so be it,” he remarked.
But with one final match to go, he would not go down easily.
Ehrhardt struck first with a takedown to secure an early 2-0 lead after the first period, but Magnuson tied it right back up with a takedown of his own in the second. Then, the Savannah grappler regained the lead 3-2 with an escape point before the end of the round and extended his advantage to 4-2 with another escape in the final two-minute period. However, he would be hit with two stalling penalties in the final 30 seconds, including one right before the buzzer, that gave Magnuson new life as the match headed into overtime tied at 4-4.
Magnuson almost claimed the title in the first overtime as he nearly got the takedown for a sudden victory, but Ehrhradt held on and prevented disaster. With the match still tied after two 30-second periods in the second overtime, the state championship would come down to one final 30-second round. Since Ehrhardt claimed the first two points of the contest, Magnuson started in the down position and was tasked with securing an escape or reversal before the clock ran out.
Unfortunately for the Indian senior, the Savannah wrestler’s grasp proved to be a little too strong.
“I’m not going to lie. The first thought is, ‘Dang he is strong and I am tired,’” Magnuson said with a smile after the match. “But he gave me that second chance and it was just another boost of energy. He had a little bit more in the gas tank and pulled it out so kudos to him.”
Osage coach Randy Satterlee certainly could not blame the wrestler for any fatigue he may have felt, especially when it came to trying to get a wrestler of equal weight off his back.
“We knew he (Ehrhardt) was a tough rider and that first takedown hurt us,” Satterlee remarked. “A situation like that, you tell the kid to go 100 percent after he has gone 100 percent for six minutes. Against a tough competitor, it is hard to rise up and he laid everything on the mat out there. He did not leave anything to chance so that is all we can ask and that is the message I told him.”
One reason the wrestler may have been able to go 100 percent is because of all the support he felt from the crowd. Osage fans were ready to go and found a spot right next to the mat, cheering nonstop for their wrestler the entire time.
“It was awesome just to see how no matter win, lose or draw, they were behind me and backing me up,” Magnuson said.
His coaches in Satterlee and assistant Matthew Fuglsang were certainly fans after seeing how far the senior had come over the past four years.
“If you are going to bring one, bring a good one,” Satterlee said laughingly of Magnuson being the lone state qualifier. “Austin is just an awesome competitor and he comes in tough and had his sights set on that state championship. Things did not go our way there in the finals, but hey, to get to second place is amazing.
“He is going to be missed in our program and it is kind of bittersweet being his last match here. As a coach, I have pushed him a long time and it is going to be tough without him.”
And there are a couple of things Satterlee will certainly miss about the grappler.
“To get a person back to that level and to be such a good competitor and well-rounded kid, that is what you look for in the sport Austin definitely emulates that and that is what is important,” the coach pointed out. “He is going to do great things in his life and we are really happy for him.”
As for the wrestlers who will return to the mats next season, Satterlee said there is a thing or two they could learn from Magnuson’s example as well.
“The message is just continue to work hard. I mean, Austin’s work ethic is amazing and all year long he has been a great leader for us,” he stated. “The message to the rest of our team is to look at that and that is what you want to do. You want to work hard, be a good leader in the room and outstanding citizen in the hallways. It brings success and that is what we are hoping for.”
Magnuson offered similar advice on hard work to his returning teammates.
“Hard work and the grind day one from freshman year on. You have to go in there every day knowing that you can be a state champion one day,” he noted.
And as a sign of sportsmanship, he offered his congratulations to a rival competitor from Eldon who was able to accomplish just that. Magnuson warmed up with some Eldon wrestlers before the tournament got underway.
“I want to say kudos to Trenton Dillon for getting first,” he said.
With another wrestling season in the books, Satterlee also took some time to commend those who have supported the program all season and he is looking forward to the road ahead.
“We appreciate our fan support, we appreciate the administration’s support and mid-Missouri wrestling is getting better and better and that is what we are looking for,” he said.