Eldon Mustangs, Osage Indians and Versailles Tigers ready to hit the mat

ELDON MUSTANGS

From Head Coach Ryan Bird:

Class/District: Class 2, District 3

2017-18 Record or Finish: 9th place finish at state (highest finish in school history)

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Trenton Dillon (state champion)

Top Returners and any Accolades: Dawson Brandt (4th in 2018, 5th in 2017), Isaiah Simmons (4th in 2018, state qualifier in 2016 and 2017) and Kaden Dillon (6th in 2018)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2018 season?

A: I'm looking forward to seeing the growth that the team makes. We have a lot of guys with varsity experience, that we fully expect to see them make the jump to the next level. We are in, without a doubt, the toughest district in all of Class 2. We've got to continue to improve if we plan on wrestling in Columbia, in February.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: We have a good returning core, that have been in the program for years. They know the expectations and how we go about our business. We also have three returning state medalists to lead our team.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: We need to get better in every aspect: Neutral, top, bottom, cardio and mentally. If we can improve on those things, we will do fine.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say are the keys to success are for this year?

A: The goal is always to bring home a trophy from the state tournament. In order to do that, we have to stay focused and continue to work hard. Like I always tell the athletes, we will be better sons/daughters, students and citizens. If we can take care of those things and continue to train the right way, we will do well. The end goal for this program is to prepare student-athletes for life.

OSAGE INDIANS

From Head Coach Randy Satterlee:

Class/District: Class 2, District 3

2017-18 Record or Finish: 12-13 in dual competition with a state finalist (Austin Magnuson)

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Austin Magnuson (2nd at state) and Steven Crosby

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2018 season?

A: This will be our 10th year as a wrestling program! This is also the inaugural year for girls’ wrestling in Missouri. We are young but we are looking forward to a productive year. The kids have a great attitude coming into this season and we, as coaches, are looking forward to some very exciting matches. This will also be the first year our conference will keep conference individual and team records. We have some great wrestling in the Tri –County and the matchups will be extremely competitive.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our real strength is our experience and enthusiasm. Although our team only has two seniors, the young lineup does have a great deal of wrestling experience.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: First of all, we want to keep our kids healthy and injury free. I am hoping our team can develop our lineup and transition into filling the weight brackets. We hope to make our team individually successful as well as a solid dual team. If we can keep the kids mentally focused throughout the season, I think It will be interesting for our fans to watch our team grow.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: I have some personal goals for our team. It’s a long season so we will need to keep our focus and take on our competition one match at a time.

VERSAILLES TIGERS

From Head Coach Shawn Brantley:

Class/District: Class 1, District 2

2017-18 Record or Finish: 9-5 dual record, 5-0 in the Tri-County Conference for a conference title with two state medalists in Kooper Wilson (6th) and Michael Trotter (5th)

Moved or Graduated Wrestlers: Kooper Wilson (4-time state qualifier who placed 6th in 2015 at 113 pounds and 6th in 2018 at 138 pounds) and Walker Schotte.

Top Returners and any Accolades: Senior Michael Trotter (placed 5th in 2017 at 170 pounds and 5th in 2018 at 182 pounds), senior Clayton Coleman (state qualifier at 106 pounds in 2016), and junior Payton LaFoy (state qualifier at 120 pounds in 2018). Seniors Gage Ward and Joe Shady; juniors Brycen Reynolds, Gage Tessier and Riley Rademan; sophomores Keston Benton, Ben Dornan, Damian Murray, Mason Hibdon and Zach Goodson.

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2018 season?

A: Just to see how much this group can improve. We are a very talented team, but still very young. We could start as many as five freshmen. Girls’ wrestling is now separate from the boys. We only have six girls out, but we are hoping to build the girls’ program to the same level as our boys’ program. Bethany Howard and Alana May wrestled last season, but the other four are brand new. It will be exciting to see how they progress and build the foundation for girls in the future.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: We have good numbers and a very hard working group that wants to get better and continue the tradition that has been built.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Just being consistent in all aspects. Approaching every practice and every match the same way regardless of who the opponent is. The other thing will be to clean up some things technique wise.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: Our goals have been the same for the last four or five years: Conference champs, districts champs and a state trophy. For those goals to be realized, the team will have to stay healthy and continue to improve as the season progresses.

Camdenton was unavailable at the time of press. Stay tuned for a preview of the Lakers as soon as information becomes available.