Tuesday was a special night for the Neosho wrestling program. Celebrating Mat Warming, the Wildcats’ annual homecoming event, and senior night, Neosho went on to pick up a pair of dual victories in its final home dual of the season.
Not only did the Wildcats come away with two easy victories — downing Columbus (Kan.) 67-9, and Caney (Kan.) 76-6 — but one of their own, senior wrestler Montana Drum, was crowned queen during the festivities at the intermission before she joined teammates Peter Elwise, Christian Lopez and Nate Rodriguez during the intermission to be honored on senior night.
“Tonight was a pretty big night for me and my buddies that are seniors,” Lopez said. “It was a big night for us, and it was a big win for not just our seniors, but for our team.”
While Drum traded her wrestling gear for a dress on Tuesday, she was probably itching to get on the mat with her teammates as they, along with the Seneca Indians, dominated the competition in a Missouri vs. Kansas format. For the Wildcats, it was more proof that they continue to improve as a team.
“(We’ve) definitely come a long way since our first dual,” Rodriguez said of the team. “It’s been a lot of fun, it’s still not over yet. We still have a long ways to go.”
Columbus and Caney both featured several open weight classes. Columbus had five open weights to Caney’s three. Columbus was open at 106, 113, 120, 132 and 138 pounds. Caney was open at 106, 113 and 195.
Results for the Wildcats against Columbus, with Neosho wrestlers listed first, were: 126 pounds, Dakota McGarrah pinned Derek Creel, 1:20; 145, Kyle Hostetter pinned Ryan Thomas, 4:52; 152, Elwise pinned Cornwal, .49; 160, Garrick Fausett lost to Taylor Wilkins; 170, Austin Hailey won by decision over Jace McDown, 2-1; 182, Jacob Brock pinned Austin Napier, 1:05; 195, Ben Elledge lost to Gavin Houser; 220, Lopez won by major decision over Bradley Von Hoose, 20-7; 285, Aaron Clardy pinned Shad Rudolph, .55.
Neosho’s results against Caney were: 120, Toby Friend lost to Chance Stanton; 126, McGarrah pinned Guy Kinder, .35; 132, Rodriguez pinned Joe Armitage, 1:08; 138, Jason Box pinned Colton Stalford, 3:45; 145, Hostetter pinned Blake Hollandsworth, .21; 152, Elwise pinned Dalton Owen, .50; 160, Fausett pinned Brycen Gulick, 2:47; 170, Hailey pinned Derek Bayless, 1:30; 182, Brock pinned Wyatt Anderson, .39; 220, Lopez won by decision over Ethan Gustus, 17-5; 285, Clardy pinned Stephen Baker, 1:25; 132, Bradley Ratliff pinned Kayser, .59.
With a large crowd on hand and two Neosho victories, Wildcats coach Jeremy Phillips couldn’t have been happier with how the night progressed.
“What a great crowd (and) an exciting atmosphere for our last home dual, but most importantly senior night,” Phillips said. “Very proud of all our seniors, and the way they finished wrestling at home, and happy for Montana being recognized homecoming queen.
Page 2 of 2 - “(I) thought that we showed some good growth and, again, that we are well on our way to (peaking) as a team when we need it most.”
Seneca, meanwhile, also whipped both Kansas teams as they rolled Columbus, 72-3, and Caney, 60-16.
Results for the Indians, with Seneca wrestlers listed first, were: 126, Cole Lankford pinned Creel, .24; 145, Logan Grady pinned Thomas, 1:29; 152, Butch Ferguson pinned Cornwall, 1:38; 160, Jalen Skaggs lost to Wilkins, 7-1; 170, Ryker Skelton won by decision over McDown, 12-7; 182, Jeff Butler pinned Napier, 4:45; 195, Dylan West pinned Houser 3:53; 220, Devin Madison pinned Von Hoose, .51; 285, Dakota Schick pinned Cayenteno, 3:36.
Results for the Indians against Caney were: 113, Quentin Cotten won by forfeit. 120, Roark pinned Stanton, 1:03; 126, Lankford pinned Armitage, .19; 132, Rhoades pinned Kinder, 1:44; 138, open to Stalford; 145, Grady pinned Hollandsworth, .43; 152, Ferguson pinned Owen, .30; 160, Skaggs pinned Gulick, .37; 170, Skelton lost by decision to Bayless, 12-0; 182, Butler pinned Anderson, .43; 195, West won by forfeit; 220, Madison pinned Gustus, 4:36; 285, Schick pinned Baker, 1:15.
Said Indians coach Jeff Sill, “I thought we did pretty good. I was kind of expecting more matches for everybody, so it was kind of tough to get really into a dual with this many opens. But coming off a real tough Platte County Tournament over the weekend to tonight, I thought the kids did real well. Some things we talked about, the kids showed.”