By Michael Smith
After missing seven wrestlers just two weeks ago due to injury and illness, Grain Valley head coach Jeff Bowman is getting closer and closer to getting his full varsity lineup back.
He had a handful of wrestlers return in time to compete in Tuesday’s tri dual against Truman and Blue Springs South, including 2020 state medalist Hunter Newsom. That helped the Eagles capture a 46-27 win over the Patriots and 43-33 victory against the Jaguars at Truman High School. South defeated Truman 42-36.
Jayden Jacobson (160) and Brock Smith (120) also made their returns from quarantine from COVID along with Newsom. Bowman also noted that Dru Azcona and Donovan McBride, two of the Eagles top wrestlers, should be back soon, as well.
“It’s great to get those guys back,” Bowman said. “We are finally getting the band back together.”
Grain Valley started off against Truman and got pins from Jacobson, Tanner Barker (138) and Cameron Mickelson (170). Newsom, Gavin Parks (106), Tyler Groves (113), Newsom and Andrew Czeschin (220) all won by forfeit. Smith earned a 11-1 major decision.
“Tanner Barker is our anchor,” Bowman said of his Class 3, No. 3-ranked wrestler according to the MissouriWrestling.com poll. “He’s Mr Consistent throughout the year for the most part. He’s passing the eye test right now.”
The Patriots got forfeit victories from Elijah Wigfall (126) and Gray Cowdey-Mota (145). Senior Dylan McCutcheon got a pin in 1:37, Coleton Treloar (182) won by injury forfeit and Lucas Estes (132) earned a 12-6 decision.
Versus the Jaguars, Newsom had his first match in weeks getting a pin in 1:46 against Cooper Boyles.
“It’s a process because it’s a weird year with COVID and everything,” said Newsom, who’s ranked No. 2 in Class 3 in his weight class. “I am really excited to get back to work and be with my teammates.
“Cooper Boyles is a buddy of mine. It was a great, hard match. Luckily I came out on top.”
So did Parks. He went against a familiar opponent in Logan Mainard. He hooked Mainard in a cradle for a second-period pin.
“We grew up wrestling with each other so we were looking forward to this match,” Parks said. “I went out there and got it done.
“I am 23-2 now, but there are still things I want to do. I want to place at district, go to state and place there, too.”
Groves, Smith, Mickelson and Barker all got forfeit wins for Grain Valley. Justin Deweese (132) earned a 12-2 major decision and Shane Duckworth (182) squeaked out an 8-7 victory.
For South, Tommy LaPour (220) got a pin in 1:23, Sean Rojas (285), Tyler Fields (126) and Jacob Williams (145) got forfeit victories, Trey Greiner (152) pinned his opponent in 33 seconds Kendall Outlaw (160) got a 3-2 win.
The Jaguars took on Truman in the final team match of the night, and with the score tied at 36-all, Greiner got a pin in 3:06 for the deciding victory in the team score.
“The people I practice with help me out a lot and the coaches,” Greiner said. “The coaches work with me on my moves and drill us hard and fast.”
LaPour was another Jaguar wrestler to finish 2-0 on the day. He’s coming off a second place finish at the Suburban Conference Championships last weekend and got a forfeit victory in this match at the tri dual.
“”The coaches really helped me improve a lot this year,” LaPour said. “My teammates pushed me a lot. This was a really great week. I faced an amazing wrestler in Xavier Doolin in the championship match. It’s starting to build my confidence and my double leg (takedown) is getting better.”
Boyles, Rojas, Will Larsen (113) and Mainard won by forfeit and Taylor Williams (145) earned a pin.
“Being short handed, I knew we would be in some tough matches,” said South coach Doug Black, who has five wrestlers in quarantine. “We left some points out there in both duals. We can’t do that. Not when it’s January. It’s going to cost you big time, but we’ll get there.”
For Truman, McCutcheon celebrated Truman’s Senior Night with a pin against August Kienast.
“I was really happy with myself,” McCutcheon said. “I was pretty close to going to 145 tonight because we have a two-pound allowance. But I decided to go to 152 because I felt a had a better chance there.
“I knew the kids I was going to wrestle weren’t state champs, but they weren’t bad. I knew it wasn’t going to be east and I knew I would have to fight.”
Nathan Noda (138), Treloar and Estes all earned pins. John Chapin (170) and Jericho Vhale (120) both won by forfeit.
“I tried some new moves I had been practicing,” Treloar said of his match against South. “It was a good time to try those in real-life situations.”