KEARNEY, Mo. — The contenders were established early, but in the end, no one else in the Class 3 District 4 tournament could match the defending state champions.
Kearney put seven into the championships matches in the new fieldhouse at Kearney High School and came away with five individual titles and 189 points to take the team title. Platte County surprised some by matching the Bulldogs’ nine qualifiers for this weekend’s Class 3 Missouri State Wrestling Championships but ended up with a solid runner-up showing (167½ points).
The final team standings were again top heavy with state trophy contenders, and Kearney did nothing to change the positive outlook for repeating as the Class 3 team champion. The Bulldogs have placed top four in the state in 10 of the last 11 years and ended Neosho’s five-year run of state championships a year ago.
“Everyone kind of takes care of their personal goals, and once you obtain your personal goals, that big picture — you focus on those little things — and the big picture takes care of itself,” Kearney senior Chopper Mordecai said after winning one of Kearney’s five district titles.
After the first day, Smithville held the team standings lead over surging Grain Valley, but both of those teams suffered through difficult second days to fade back.
Kearney took a commanding lead with semifinal wins at 106 (freshman Eli Ashcroft), 113 (sophomore Garrett Deason), 120 (senior James Freitag),