Josh Saunders didn’t immediately know CBC sealed a second straight Class 4 Missouri State Wrestling Championships team title. The senior had just dominated the 152-pound championship match with a 10-3 decision to win his third straight individual title.
When informed the three Kansas City teams chasing CBC were mathematically eliminated from the team chase?
CBC came into the season with questions after graduating Malik Johnson, DJ Shannon and Cevion Severado, who combined for 11 state medals, nine state finals appearances and eight state championships.
The cupboard didn’t sit bare. Saunders became a three-time state champion, and the Cadets showed off more depth than their previous top heavy run to the championship. They had eight total medalists, but the big points again came thanks to four finalists.
CBC won four straight individual titles from 132 to 152, allowing the Cadets to maintain the slim lead they held entering the championship matches. They totaled 169½ points to beat out nationally ranked Liberty (159½) and Park Hill (146½) and Staley (131) in what very early on became a four-team race for the four state trophies.
Also, a very impressive stat for the CBC Cadets, led by head coach Cornell Robinson, the 2019 wrestling team had a cumulative GPA of 3.63. The Cadets got it done on the mats as well in the classroom.
This is why @wyatthenson9 became a Cadet @CBCHighSchool The 2019 State Championship CBC wrestling team (all medalists) has a cumulative GPA of 3.63!!#Code1 #Academics #CBCWrestling #Back2Back pic.twitter.com/hgbsI7jAr8
— the bull🐂 (@sammiehenson) February 20, 2019
“Since we lost literally our three best guys, we had to rely on guys that weren’t going to win state, kids that weren’t supposed to place that placed,” Saunders said. “I feel really happy for coach Robinson. He’s been through so many hard times in his life, and just having these two straight state titles and me being with him for as long as I can remember, it’s really an amazing feeling.”
Vincent Zerban, a sophomore, started the championship run at 132 in his second straight finals appearance. A runnerup in 2018, Zerban pinned Park Hill junior Trey Crawford in an important head-to-head semifinal matchup and then won a technical fall (17-2) in 5 minutes, 9 seconds over Jaylen Carsen of Lafayette (Wildwood).
Wyatt Henson, a sophomore out-of-state transfer, continued CBC’s success with a 3-2 decision in the 138 final over Parkway South senior Garrett Kloeppel, who finished his career as a three-time state runnerup.
At 145, CBC senior Kyle Prewitt finished his career as a state champion with a pin in the second period of the final against Staley freshman David Brooks. Saunders then finished the run and the team competition.
CBC’s other medalists included sophomore Alex Flerlage (fourth, 113), senior Will Edgar (fifth, 160), sophomore Lucas White (fourth, 170) and freshman Jack Darrah (fifth, 182).
Also included in the wrap-up
- Liberty makes history
- Winston wins again for Park Hill
- Staley stalls late
- Orine flashes 3rd state title for Seckman
- Schrader passes Class 4 test at Carthage
- Peterson finally prevails for DeSmet
- Howell’s Skillington scores heavyweight title
Liberty makes history
Liberty entered the tournament as the favorites to earn the first state title in school history. Instead, the Blue Jays settled for a school record eight medals and the program-best runnerup finish — just the third top-four showing for the program.
With 11 qualifiers, Liberty put 10 in the quarterfinals and eight in the semifinals, but the Bluejays went 3-for-8 in that round and lost control of the team race. The results were still impressive with freshman Ayden Dolt unable to compete due to an injury suffered in the third-place match of the Class 4 District 4 tournament the week before.
“I feel very proud of the team,” Liberty junior Jeremiah Reno said. “Last year, we qualified six and got seventh. … This year, we got second.”