Milestones may signify a turning point in Osage’s wrestling program
The tide may be turning at School of the Osage.
A program that began in 2008 produced its first state champion in Chase Cordia last season and the boys program put together its best team finish at that state tournament with a fifth place finish that had the Indians one place shy of a state team trophy in Class 2. Those results produced some great momentum to build upon and that momentum has continued with a trio of wrestlers who recorded some significant milestones on the mat this year.
Cordia, now a junior, has already secured his 100th career pin, returning third place medalist Jackson Creasy has racked up the most wins in program history with 150 to his name as a senior and senior Mason Dulle has earned 100 career wins. It is a sign that things are changing for the better as success becomes more of an expectation, rather than an exception.
“The kids have all done exceptional, they’ve wrestled year-round and that shows in their performances during our season. To have milestones like 100 pins, 150 wins and 100 wins even are significant at any program,” Osage coach Randy Satterlee said. “To have that quality of wrestler in our program, it affects everything we do. It affects our room and it affects our kids that wrestle with them and against them every day in practice. We are fortunate to have that caliber of athlete wrestling for us.”
What has already been accomplished and what is still to come will be remembered, too, because the accomplishments over the past 12 years of the program’s existence are up on the wall in the program’s wrestling room. Located at the historic Heritage Gymnasium in Lake Ozark where the Indians host their wrestling meets, one can see the names upon the wall of state qualifiers, state medalists and wrestlers who have reached significant milestones.
“I just think it is pretty cool because we have three of us do it in the same year,” Creasy said of the milestones. “You look up there (accomplishments) and there are five years in between. So, for us three to all do that in one year, I think it is pretty cool.”
The senior, like other wrestlers in the program, are hoping what they accomplish now can ignite the spark and provide the motivation for the wrestlers who come after them to be even better. He was once one of those wrestlers with high aspirations.
“I have been working for that every day of wrestling season since I was 5 years old and to finally break the school record, it kind of made it all worth it,” he said of his career wins, breaking the school record of 132 previously held by 2015 graduate Chris Johnson.
He is thankful he even got have a season, considering the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality shortly after his junior year.
“Personally, I was really scared coming into this school year during football and things like that,” the senior said. “I didn’t know if we were going to have a season and if I didn’t have a wrestling season this year I’d still be trying to figure out what I’m going to do after high school. That could have really affected people negatively if there was no wrestling season this year.”
Satterlee said just simply getting some conference matches in would have been nice in the middle of a pandemic, considering the circumstances. Now, the team is at the finish line with the Class 2 State Tournament taking place.
“Here we are into a postseason and, getting kids to state, we are thankful we are having the opportunity to get these kids to wrestle,” he said. “We are excited about it.”
One wrestler among the four Indians who qualified for state this season may be particularly excited with the opportunity to win consecutive state titles. Cordia, who won the championship at 160 pounds as a sophomore, will try his hand among the 170-pound wrestlers this season. He is currently unbeaten at 46-0 and has won 88 of his past 89 matches- many of them pins- and he became the first wrestler in program history to get to 100.
“I just think it took focusing on trying to pin them throughout the match instead of just trying to win,” the junior said after obtaining 100 of them. “Of course, all the hard work and stuff since I was 7. You have to have it in your mind before the match you want to pin them and not just win. You’re not out there to get three team points, you are going out there to get six no matter what.”
Looking ahead to the future, Cordia said it is important to get younger kids involved so the program doesn’t skip a beat.
“I think we need to work with the younger kids and try to have them help us win team points next year. We graduated a lot of people last year and are graduating everyone else this year,” the junior said. “”So, we just have to build up the younger kids to be on that level.”
Well, one thing that should help is the camaraderie that exists in the program.
“I really don’t think there are any other teams like this in the state just because we have fun, but we work hard. We have fun and act like we all enjoy it,” he said of his time wrestling with Osage. “We hang out all the time outside of this and I feel like that also helps us.”
One thing the senior wants his younger teammates to remember going forward is how quickly it all passes by.
“I just remember last year as a junior it seemed like forever,” said the senior who is looking at his final high school matches on Thursday. “It just seems like it flew by so don’t take it for granted.”
As another wrestling season is drawing to a conclusion- one that previously began with plenty of uncertainty in the midst of a pandemic- Satterlee can smile seeing where the program is now compared to where it once was.
“We beat some teams that 10 years ago we looked at as some of the best teams in the state and we wondered if we could ever hang with them,” he remarked. “To go out and beat them at sectional and district competitions, it was pretty fun and neat. It speaks volumes to where our program started from and where we’ve evolved to.”
And for the head coach, it does not come down to some secret formula. It is simply meeting expectations.
“We talk all the time about being champions and what that takes. We hammer home the commitment they have to have,” Satterlee pointed out. “They are here every day, they are working every day and they put in the work so it shows on the mat. Those extra times some kids are laying off, these guys are working and trying to get better.”
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-346-2132