Lake area grapplers to tussle with the best in Missouri
A total of five Lake area girls from Camdenton, Osage and Versailles already punched their tickets to the first womens’ state tournament in Missouri. This past weekend it was time for the boys to settle things on the mat as grapplers from those three schools and Eldon went to battle at various district tournaments around Missouri.
Camdenton was in Class 3 District 3 action in Union, Osage and Eldon took on the Class 2 District 3 Tournament in Monett and Versailles faced the competition of the Class 1 District 2 Tournament in Knob Noster. Each district featured 15 different schools and only the top four wrestlers of each weight class would earn the right to wrestle in the final show of the year in Columbia this weekend. By the time each match was complete, the Lake area produced 13 state qualifiers.
Camdenton finished eighth in the final team standings as the 13 Lakers who wrestled accumulated 71.5 points while Neosho captured the team title with a full lineup of 14 that picked up 219 points.
Camdenton’s Taylor Mustain was the first Laker to qualify for state last week and now three boys will be joining her as Jacob Fuglsang, Grant Garrett and Cort Petty all made the cut.
Fuglsang (34-11) earned his first trip to state after wrestling his way to a fourth place finish in the 113-pound class behind a bye, 10-1 major decision, loss by fall in the semifinals, a pin in the consolation semifinals and a pin defeat in the third place match.
Garrett (49-4) did not have much trouble in the 120-pound bracket and will head to state with momentum as a pin, 20-2 technical fall, 7-4 decision and 4-0 decision led to his first district title and first trip to state.
Petty (32-9) also joined the ranks and will be going to Columbia for the first time after finishing third in the 220-pound showdown. Petty’s path to state included a pin, 3-2 decision, loss by pin in the semifinals and two falls to finish out strong.
There were also two other Lakers who nearly earned a spot as Dakota Davis (34-15) lost a 5-3 sudden victory in overtime of the 195-pound consolation semifinals while Marcus Stepehens (21-32) lost a pin in the 285-pound consolation semifinals.
School of the Osage sent 11 wrestlers to districts and placed ninth with 69 points while host Monett captured the team title with 184 points among its 13 wrestlers in action.
Every Osage wrestler going to state will be taking in the sights and sounds of the state tournament for the first time. Alana Douglas and Abbey Cordia made the cut last week and will be joined by Ryan Schepers and Chase Cordia.
Schepers (38-3) finished second at 120 pounds with a bye, pin, 6-4 decision and 13-8 defeat in the title match.
Meanwhile, his teammate Cordia (37-5) also placed second while taking on the 138-pound bracket. Cordia won three straight pins before losing an 8-3 decision in the title match.
Kody Dowell (28-8) nearly joined them after losing a 5-0 decision in the 126-pound consolation semifinals and Jack Creasy (39-7) was also just a single win away with a 5-2 decision defeat in the 170-pound consolation semifinals.
Eldon was represented by 10 wrestlers at Monett who battled to a seventh place finish at 86 points. At the end of the tournament, three Mustangs were left standing as Isaiah Simmons, Dawson Brandt and Kaden Dillon earned their spots.
Simmons (26-2) missed some time this season due to injury, but it did not prevent him from becoming a four-time state qualifier in pursuit of his second state medal. Simmons captured the title of the 113-pound class with a bye and three straight pins with the first two pins taking less than a minute. He will now try to move up the podium after finishing fourth in the 120-pound class a season ago.
Brandt (48-2) also walked away as a district champion after winning two pins, an 11-3 major decision and 8-7 decision in the title match of the 182-pound class. Brandt heads to state as a three-time state qualifier and will also look to improve his standing after finishing fourth in the same weight class last year.
Dillon (36-4) will also have plenty of confidence going into state as he rounded out a trio of Mustang district champions (school record) by winning the 195-pound bracket. After a bye in the first round, Dillon won three straight pins to leave little doubt and become a two-time state qualifier in pursuit of his second state medal after last season’s sixth place finish in the same weight class.
Versailles brought a full lineup to districts and the result was a third place team finish as the Tigers racked up 130.5 points, trailing only Seneca (177.5) and host Knob Noster (134).
Bethany Howard and Alana May earned trips to state last week and five more Tigers will join them as Levi Rand, Clayton Coleman, Payton LaFoy, Michael Trotter and Riley Rademann earned one more tournament.
Rand (31-3) grappled his way straight to the title match at 113 pounds and will be making his first appearance at state with two pins and a 12-3 major decision before losing by pin in the finals.
Coleman (15-12) finished third at 120 pounds and will be making a second appearance at state after a bye, 5-4 decision, loss by pin in the semifinals and a 9-1 decision in the consolation semifinals led to a 7-4 decision win in the third place match.
LaFoy (31-11) captured second at 126 pounds and will making a second straight trip to Columbia after two pins and a 9-1 decision led to a 14-5 major decision defeat in the title match.
Trotter (38-3) became a district champion at 182 pounds with a bye and three straight pins and he will wrestle in his third state tournament where he will look to improve upon two fifth place finishes at 170 and 182.
Last but not least is Rademann (40-6) who became a state qualifier for the first time in his career after finishing second at 195. Rademann started his tournament with two straight pins and won a 6-3 decision before losing a 7-0 decision in the title match.
There were a few other Tigers who nearly made the cut as Kannen Wilson (22-17) lost by pin in the 106-pound consolation semifinals, Brycen Reynolds (31-14) was injured in the consolation semifinals at 132 pounds, Connor Lehman (20-27) lost a 10-1 major decision in the consolation semifinals at 152 pounds and Gage Tessier (30-7) was disqualified in the consolation semifinals at 220 pounds.
The state tournament at Mizzou Arena will start Thursday morning at 9 a.m., and conclude Saturday evening with the finals at 4 p.m.