By Michael Smith
Pleasant Hill head coach Jeff Wyatt made a checklist with his team and the most important item on it was winning a Class 2 state title.
After Thursday’s Class 2 Missouri State High School Wrestling Championships, the Roosters can check off the last item on their list. The Roosters finished with 137 points to take first as they finished 37 points ahead of Monett and Seneca, both of whom tied for second place. Helias Catholic was fourth with 98.5 points.
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class 2 video interviews below.
The championship was Pleasant Hill’s third in program history.
“We placed fourth last year and we really wanted to win it this year, and the boys worked so hard,” Wyatt said. “We had great game plans, and they executed them and it was awesome.”
The Roosters were led by two-time state champion Sam Ewing (113), who was the team’s lone first-place finisher. Other Roosters to earn state medals were Lane Snyder (third, 120), Dalton Coe (sixth, 126), Garrett Lyons (second, 132), Zach Redwine (fifth, 138), Brayden Bush (third, 145), Ryan Volland (second, 152), Jacob Haynes (fifth, 182) and Lane Brattin (fifth, 182).
Below is a summary of how all the weight classes turned out:
106: No. 1-ranked Brady Roark of Seneca made winning his championship match look easy as he pinned No. 5-ranked Simon Hartline in just 30 seconds to win his first state championship in the finals.
“It’s a great feeling, and all that hard work you put in pays off in the end,” Roark said.
No. 2-ranked Ryan Meek of St. Clair fell to Roark 4-1 in the semifinals but came back to win third place after getting a 15-0 tech fall victory against St. Genevieve’s Gage Gross. In the fifth-place bout, Owensville’s Michael Martin topped Savannah’s Gage Schottel by a pin in 4;07.
1st: Brady Roark, Seneca
2nd: Simon Hartline, Monett
3rd: Ryan Meek, St. Clair
4th: Gage Gross, St. Genevieve
5th: Michael Martin, Owensvielle
6th: Gage Schottel, Savannah
113: Pleasant Hill sophomore Sam Ewing is halfway there to his goal of becoming a four-time state champion as the No. 1-ranked wrestler took down No. 2-ranked Caleb Husch of Cameron 11-0 in the championship match.
“I just work harder than everyone, I feel like I am better than everyone,” Ewing said.
No. 4-ranked Carter Prenger of Helias Catholic fell to Husch 8-6 in the semifinals but bounced back to take third after pinning Savannah’s Bryson Damgar. Harrisonville freshman Chris Sullivan took fifth after getting a 6-4 decision against Chillicothe’s Sheldon Rader in sudden victory.
1st: Sam Ewing, Pleasant Hill
2nd: Caleb Husch, Cameron
3rd: Carter Prenger, Helias Catholic
4th: Bryson Damgar, Savannah
5th: Chris Sullivan, Harrisonville
6th: Sheldon Rader, Chillicothe
120: Helias Catholic junior Jack Lage, ranked No. 1, capped of a stellar season by finishing his season undefeated at 34-0 and winning his championship match 4-2 against No. 2-ranked Cameron junior Ryker Smith.
“You just need to keep positive and keep on grinding at practice,” Lage said of how he stayed undefeated. “Do not ever lay back.”
No. 3-ranked Lane Snyder of Pleasant Hill took third after losing to Lage 3-0 in the semifinals and rebounding for a 11-3 major decision against Eldon’s Aiden Geerber. Joseph Lause of St. Francis Borgia took fifth after a 9-1 major decision against Mexico’s Ricardo Juarez.
1st: Jack Lage, Helias Catholic
2nd: Ryker Smith, Cameron
3rd: Lane Snider, Pleasant Hill
4th: Aiden Gerber, Eldon
5th: Joseph Lause, St. Francis Borgia
6th: Ricardo Juarez, Mexico
126: Mexico junior Keith Ransom, ranked No. 2, got his first state title of his career after defeating No. 1-ranked Landen Davis 6-2 in the title bout after a reversal and a near fall late in the third period.
“He kept trying to get his legs in and I knew he was going to do that,” Ransom said of his match with Davis. “Everything was calculated. I worked into it.”
Sullivan senior Dillon Witt took third after defeating St. Genevieve’s Dalton McNeal 4-0. Seneca junior Kenden Pollard finished fifth after pinning Pleasant Hill’s Dalton Coe in 56 seconds.
1st: Keith Ransom, Mexico
2nd: Landen Davis, Excelsior Springs
3rd: Dillon Witt, Sullivan
4th: Dalton McNeal, St. Genevieve
5th: Kendon Pollard, Seneca
6th: Dalton Coe, Pleasant Hill
132: After finishing third last season at state, No. 3-ranked Brock Woodcock of St. Clair took a couple steps up to finish first after dominating the championship match with a 16-0 tech fall victory against No. 2-ranked Garrett Lyons of Pleasant Hill.
“”I am more focused on wrestling and I got more into my spirituality with God,” Woodcock said of the difference between last season and this year. “I was praying all day.”
No. 1 ranked Sam Hrabovsky of Fulton fell to Woodcock in the semifinals 7-0, but rebounded to take third after getting a 12-1 major decision against defending state champion Shon Badder of Odessa. In the fifth-place bout, Seneca freshman Andrew Manley beat Helias Catholic’s Jacob Schimpf 7-3.
1st: Brock Woodcock, St. Clair
2nd: Garrett Lyons, Pleasant Hill
3rd: Sam Hrabovsky, Fulton
4th: Shon Badder, Odessa
5th: Andrew Manly, Seneca
6th: Jacob Schimpf, Helias Catholic
138: Central Park Hill’s Kade Willis, ranked No. 2. got a bloody nose in the middle of his match with Osage’s Ryan Schelpers, ranked No. 4, but was able to block that out and win a tight 3-2 decision to earn his spot at the top of the podium.
“I was just trying to stay away,” Willis said of his strategy late in the third period against Schelpers. “I was up on points and I didn’t need to rush anything or force anything.”
No. 1-ranked Owen Uhls lost to Schepers by fall in the semifinals, but salvaged his tournament with a third–place finish after earning a 6-3 decision against No. 5-ranked Tyler Murphy of St. Joseph Benton.
Pleasant Hill’s Zach Redwine won the fifth-place bout 7-3 against Brecken Gates of Cameron.
1st: Kade Willis, Central (Park Hills)
2nd: Ryan Schpers, Osage
3rd: Owen Uhls, Fulton
4th: Tyler Murphy. St. Joseph Benton
5th: Zach Redwine, Pleasant Hill
6th: Bracken Gates, Cameron
145: Ayden Dolt, ranked No. 1, wrestled the first two years of his career at the storied Liberty program in Class 4, and made it to state twice without earning a medal. For his junior year, he transferred to Excelsior Springs and the move appeared to pay off for him as he won the 145 state championship following a first-period pin of No. 4-ranked Cameron Simcox of St. Clair.
“I think I would have done better in Class 4 if I wasn’t cutting as much weight,” Dolt said. “The level of the classes are even. I am big, strong and healthy and that’s why I dominated this class today.”
No. 5-ranked Bayden Bush of Pleasant Hill took third after falling to Simcox 10-6 in the semifinals and bouncing back to defeat Harrisonville’s Brayden Talley 5-3 in sudden victory.
Helias Catholic’s Wyatt Forck took fifth after edging St. James’ Cody Wilfong 8-7 in the consolation finals.
1st: Ayden Dolt, Excelsior Springs
2nd:Cameron Simcox, St. Clair
3rd: Brayden Bush, Pleasant Hill
4th: Brayden Talley, Harrisonville
5th: Wyatt Forck, Helias Catholic
6th: Cody Wilfong, St. James
152: After falling short during his first three years, Monett senior Elias Barrientos, ranked No. 1, finished his high school career with a flourish as he took first following a 6-2 decision against No. 2-ranked Ryan Volland of Pleasant Hill.
Helias Catholic Nikolai Careaga took third after earning a 5-1 decision against Oak Grove’s Carson Smith. Clinton’s Matt Balke took fifth after a 4-2 decision against Ty Shetley of Sullivan in the consolation finals.
1st: Elias Barrientos, Monett
2nd: Ryan Volland, Pleasant Hill
3rd: Nikoli Careaga, Helias Catholic
4th: Carson Smith, Oak Grove
5th: Matt Balke, Clinton
6th: Ty Shetley, Sullivan
160: Odessa senior Gavin Gross, ranked No. 1, got a couple of rare opportunities at Thursday’s state tournament. He got to wrestle a championship match at the same time as teammate Bryce Palmer and got to compete for his third state championship. He won No. 3 after getting a takedown in overtime to take down Excelsior Springs’ Damon Ashworth, ranked No. 2, 4-2 in the finals. Gross, who seems to always have nailbiters in state championship matches, won all three of his state titles by two points or less.
“Ever since little league, Bryce and I have been practice partners,” Gross said. “We just kept grinding and iron sharpens iron. It helped us become the wrestlers we are today and that’s why we pull out these close ones.”
No. 3-ranked Eli Batiste of Blair Oaks took third after taking an ultimate tiebreaker 4-2 against Helias Catholic’s Alex Tesreau. Jacob Hanes of Pleasant Hill was fifth after earning a 2-0 decision against Kirk Birden of Westminster Christian Academy.
1st: Gavin Gross, Odessa
2nd: Damon Ashworth, Excelsior Springs
3rd: Eli Batiste, Blair Oaks
4th: Alex Tesreau, Helias Catholic
5th: Jacob Hanes, Pleasant Hill
6th: Kirk Briden, Westminster Christian Academy
170: Bryce Palmer, ranked No. 3 has been through a lot of adversity during the 2020-21 season. His mother recently passed away and he dedicated the season to her. Palmer surely made his mother proud after winning his first state championship as a senior by defeating No. 4-ranked Gabriel Commons in the title bout. Palmer also scored a huge victory against previously unbeaten Chase Cordia, ranked No. 1, of Osage 2-1 in an ultimate tiebreaker in the semifinals.
“I wrestled two of the toughest kids I ever wrestled in back-to-back rounds,” Palmer said. “I don’t know what got into me. It had to have been my mom. I felt great. I did this for her.”
Cordia took third after pinning Kirksville’s Jaden Ballinger. Jokiah Sewell of Mexico took fifth after a 9-3 win against Levi Haney of Blair Oaks.
1st: Bryce Palmer, Odessa
2nd: Gabriel Commons, Seneca
3rd: Chase Cordia, Osage
4th: Jaden Ballinger, Kirksville
5th: Jokiah Sewell, Mexico
6th: Levi Haney, Blair Oaks
182: Monett junior Ethan Umfleet, ranked No. 2, always seems to be ranked in the top 6, but hadn’t captured a state title coming into Thursday. That all changed after he defeated St. Joseph Lafayette sophomore Jay Greiner, ranked No. 1, 8-2 in the finals.
“It was amazing,” Umfleet said of winning a state title. “I finished third the last two years, and everyone strives to get to the top of the podium. I put in the work and my teammates helped me through it.”
No. 3-ranked Camden Meeks ended up taking third after squeaking out a 5-4 victory against Priory’s Adam Rolwes. Lane Brattin of Pleasant Hill finished fifth after he got a third-period pin against Chillicothe’s Brock Miller.
1st: Ethan Umfleet, Monett
2nd: Jay Greiner, St. Joseph Lafayette
3rd: Camden Meeks, Blair Oaks
4th: Adam Rolwes, Priory
5th: Lane Brattin, Pleasant Hill
6th: Brock Miller, Chillicothe
195: St. Charles senior Trey Ward, ranked No. 4, pulled off an upset over No. 1-ranked Seneca senior Zane Cotton in the championship match of his weight class after getting a fall in 1:20. It was the first state title in the program’s history. He said he remembered when he went home and cried after he was only one of nine members of the team to make it to state after sectionals.
“I cried that night and that morning, but looked in the mirror and told myself to pull it together,” Ward said. “I told myself I have to bring home a state championship for my team.”
No. 3-ranked Odessa senior Jake Evinger took third after getting a pin in 4:32 against No. 6-ranked Kieren Watkins of Maryville. Fifth place went to No. 2-ranked Jackson Creasy of Osage. He pinned Cameron’s Keegan Reynolds in the third period.
1st: Trey Ward, St. Charles
2nd: Zane Cotten, Seneca
3rd: Jake Evinger, Odessa
4th: Keiren Watkins, Maryvillle
5th: Jackson Creasy, Osage
6th: Keegan Reynolds, Cameron
220: No. 6-ranked Zach Coenen will shoot his way to the top of the rankings after what he did Thursday. He topped No. 2-ranked Peyton of Boonville 4-1 in sudden victory during the semifinals and capped off his tournament with a 2-1 tiebreaker win against No. 3-ranked Jarrett Kinder of Moberly.
“All respect to him, he was a really good wrestler,” Coenen said of Kinder. “He’s a strong wrestler. We went to overtime, and I found a way to win. I am the first boy for Cassville to ever win a state title. So it feels good to make history.”
Hahn ended up taking third after grinding out a 1-0 decision against Harrisonville’s Carson Miller. No. 1-ranked Zander Brinegar of Oak Grove took fifth after a 5-2 victory against St. Charles West’s Alex Meyer.
1st: Zach Coenen, Cassville
2nd: Jarrett Kinder, Moberly
3rd: Peyton Hahn, Boonville
4th: Carson Miller, Harrisonville
5th: Zander Brinegar, Oak Grove
6th: Alex Meyer, St. Charles West
285: No. 4-ranked Camren Hedgpeth of Cameron lost to Oak Grove’s Caleb Groff twice during the regular season, but third time was a charm for the Cameron senior as he earned a 4-2 decision over Groff in the finals.
“We had the game plan set and I went with it,” Hedgpeth said. “It worked out perfectly. It was about shot and snap defense.”
Defending champion Harrison Merriman, ranked No. 1, was upset by the No. 2-ranked Groff in the semifinals following a 6-5 defeat, but he bounced back for a fall in 2:21 over Bryce Kertz of Kirksville in the third-place match. Reeds Spring’s Eben Crain took fifth after a first-period pin over Potosi’s Luis ortiz in the consolation finals.
1st: Camren Hedgepeth, Cameron
2nd: Caleb Groff, Oak Grove
3rd: Harrison Merriman, Monett
4th: Bryce Kertz, Kirksville
5th: Eben Crain, Reeds Spring
6th: Luis Ortiz, Potosi