Based on the final results, Whitfield looked like a dominant beginning-to-end team champion at the Class 1 Missouri State Wrestling Championships. In actuality, the Warriors were in second — by a slim margin — after the first day.
Whitfield went 9-for-9 in Friday’s quarterfinal round to build its insurmountable lead. There were nine state finalists out of the nine semifinalists.
“After we saw Lathrop catch the lead, we were like, ‘We got to do something about this. We’ve got to get pins. We’ve got to get as many points as we can.’ That’s what sparked it,” Whitfield sophomore Logan Ferrero said.
The nine medalists led Whitfield to a team total of 192 points — a whopping 65 ½ in front of second-place Seneca. The Warriors have now won three straight state championships and eight of the last 11 in Class 1.
State champions for Whitfield were Evan Binder (106) and Ferrero (120), while Jason Shaw (113), Wade Raeman (138), Matthew Schueddig (152), Chase Brock (160) and Keith Miley (220) were runners-up. Impressively, Zac Russell (170) and Ethan Hovis (182) both came back to place third after semifinal losses to the eventual state champion.
Ferrero became a two-time champion and remained on track to become the next four-timer in Whitfield’s continually expanding history.
“It’s something that motivates me because I strive to be the best I can be at anything I do,” he said.
Included in the the wrap-up below:
- Seneca succeeds
- Wright leads Lathrop to history
- Lawson’s Ross repeats
- Arch stands at the top
- Brooks finished at Brookfield
- Marceline matches up
- Hallsville’s first state champion
- Estes finally tastes gold
- Elwell goes for 2
- Fourth no more - Graydee Rains
- Teague of his own
Ok, let's get started
With only eight state qualifiers, Seneca still managed to finish second to Whitfield for a third straight year and continued a run of top-two finishes. The Indians have either won the title or finished as runner-up five consecutive seasons, including the 2016 state title.
Seneca had a pair of finalists and seven total medalists.
Dayton Fields, a senior, provided a huge boost when he held on to beat Whitfield’s Russell by a score of 3-2 in the 170 semifinals. Fields had an early takedown and then exchanged escapes with Russell in the final two periods.
“I was really wanting to go for two or three takedowns and push the pace of the match,” Fields said, “but I knew that one (takedown) was going to put me ahead and start me off pretty well. I knew I would be all right on bottom so I wanted to make sure I got the early lead.
“That was a big win for Seneca, too.”
Fields finished his career with two third-place finishes plus a runner-up showing in 2018 before capping it with a title on Saturday night. After beating Russell, Fields dominated his final and won a 10-2 major decision over Lathrop sophomore Dorian Walters.