It was a great weekend to be indoors and watching wrestling in Southwest Missouri. With the southwestern parts of Missouri receiving much rain versus the Snow and Ice that much of the Eastern and Northern Missouri areas received, the Branson Pirates Invitational still transpired while many others tournaments in the area and Missouri were forced to cancel due to the weather.
The competition remained strong with ranked teams like Neosho and Monett, unfortunately St. Genevieve and Union were unable to attend possibly due to the weather. Fifteen schools participated on the varsity level with some schools bringing their JV teams, due to other area tournament cancellations and the openings available.
Congrats Caden Lorenz for 3rd place finish at Branson Tournament pic.twitter.com/pufDFMjHAE
— Branson Wrestling (@NoWeakLinksBHS) January 13, 2019
In the team race it was a clash of the top powerhouse teams in Class 3 and Class 2 with Neosho running away with the team championship.
The Neosho Wildcats with 381 team points took home the team championship with an overwhelming 118 points between them and second place Monett with 263 team points. Rounding out the top 5 teams were third place Bolivar with 250.0 points and a narrow margin between fourth place Smithville with 200.5 points and fifth place Bentonville with 200.0 points.
Joseph Semerad (Jr.) of Monett ranked 3rd at 138 lbs. was voted Outstanding Wrestler. Semerad won the championship at 132 lbs. over Kolton Sanders of Neosho in the final seconds when he scored a takedown on the edge of the mat for the 4-3 win in what was one of the best matches of the evening.