Diamond steadying on participation, state qualifiers but looking for state medal breakthrough

By: Ross Martin

The anchors to the lineup have graduated, but Diamond coach Bill Gray has a good mix of experience and potential in his practice room. The biggest question to answer remains how to turn the regular season success into medals at the Class 1 Missouri State Wrestling Championships.

Diamond qualified five last year after placing fourth in Class 1 District 1. However, seniors Owen Gray (sixth at 220) and Justin McGough (two-time state qualifier) finished their solid careers with 50-plus win seasons. The Wildcats sent four to state and medaled none in 2018.

“This team is going to be fun to coach,” coach Gray said. “There are different personalities and skill sets. We have kids that rely on their neutral talents, others that look to punish people from the top and others that are just good overall wrestlers. These guys want to leave their mark on the program, and we have begun discussing what they can do.