Monett didn’t allow disappointment to be a possibility this time around.
Entering the Class 2 Missouri State Wrestling Championships as the favorite for a second straight year, the Cubs took care of business and wrapped up the team title with a wrestleback victory from Wesley Merriman. In 2018, they were seemingly positioned to take the crown with four state finalists but finished second to Mexico.
Monett brought nine qualifiers — no seniors — this year and left with seven medals, three finalists and two state individual state champions.
Karter Brink (120 pounds) and Matthew Bahl (126 pounds) won back-to-back championship matches with late takedowns. Brink, a junior, became a repeat champion at the weight with a 4-3 decision over sophomore undefeated defending state champion Sam Hrabovsky of Fulton. Bahl followed with a win by the same score, beating previously unbeaten sophomore Kade Willis from Central (Park Hills) — the third state finalist for a program still looking to crown its first state champion.
Bahl had been the state runnerup to Hrabovsky as a freshman.
Monett actually had three straight finalists, but defending state champion Joseph Semerad dropped the 132 final 5-2 to Logan-Rogersville junior Jay Strausbaugh. Semerad, a junior, is now a three-time finalist and two-time state champion.
Monett’s other medalists include former state finalist Gunnar Bradley (sixth, 152), Ethan Umfleet (third, 160), Wesley Merriman (fourth, 195) and Harrison Merriman (sixth, 220).
Included in this wrap-up below:
- Bolivar burgeoning under Davis
- Herman shocks Curd to finish St. Clair brothers sweep
- Logan-Rogersville perfect again
- Buffalo’s brother-sister championship combo
- Boonville’s Whitaker wakes up
- Fulton goes 1-for-2
- Nichols adds to Mexico’s history
- Gross wins title for Odessa
- Eldon adds a champion
- Priory crowns a champion
- Bodine best in Class 2 for Centralia
Bolivar burgeoning under Davis
Monett totaled 145 points to easily take the title, but Bolivar won a four-team chase for the runnerup spot. The Liberators put up 109 points in coach Jeff Davis’ first season at the helm.
This marked the best state finish in Bolivar’s history, bettering the fourth-place showing from 2012.