By: Ross Martin
Oak Grove has gone an almost unthinkable two years without a state trophy. While many can only aspire to reach that level tradition, the Panthers continually embrace their yearly expectations and want to get back to their 2016-17 Class 2 Missouri State Wrestling Championships team title form.
“Expectations are to always compete for a state title,” Oak Grove coach James Morgan said. “But first we must build on our belief, work ethic and drive to win.”
Notably, Oak Grove must replace four-year state qualifier, three-time finalist and two-time state champion Tyler Curd along with Noah Sears, a sixth-place medalist at 170 last season as a senior. The Panthers had six qualifiers total a year ago while placing fifth in Class 2 District 3, and they went on to have four state medalists but faded to ninth with the four teams in front of them finishing in the top five.
Now, Oak Grove makes a return to its more traditional space along with rival and District 3 and state runnerup Odessa.