By Chris Geinosky
To say the least, it’s been quite a run for the Kearney wrestling program. Eleven all-state trophies have been collected by the Bulldogs in the past 12 years, highlighted by three state championships in that time. And now they’ve also posted two state runner-up finishes after last year’s second-place showing behind powerhouse Neosho.
Top-four team placings at the MSHSAA Wrestling Championships have certainly become the norm for the Bulldogs, who have been a Class 3 force for more than a decade. Even with new faces in the fold throughout the years, Kearney has produced a winning tradition matched by few other programs in Missouri.
“That’s the catch with this program,” head coach Jake Hill admitted. “We graduate some really quality wrestlers every year, but fortunately we’ve had guys waiting in the wings, ready to step up, and replace those guys.”