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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Roark wins title, leads Indians to third

  • Seneca's Will Roark reached the pinnacle of high school wrestling while helping lead his Indians to a third place finish at the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena on Saturday.
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  • COLUMBIA, Mo. — Seneca's Will Roark reached the pinnacle of high school wrestling while helping lead his Indians to a third place finish at the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena on Saturday.
    After a pair of reversals gave him a 4-0 lead in the title match, Roark, who finished the season at 54-1, cruised to the Class 1, 120-pound state title with a pin over Jacob O'Neal of Carrolton in 2:31.
    Indians coach Jeff Sill couldn't contain his emotions.
    "He's been working really hard ever since last year in the finals here," Sill said. "He dedicated to winning a state championship and it really showed up in his performance tonight and all season long.
    "You could see it in his face. He looked prepared and you could tell he was ready to go. I had no doubt in my mind what he could do."
    While Roark was the Indians' only state champ, he wasn't alone on the medal stand, as five Indians brought home hardware.
    Quentin Cotten
    At 113 pounds, Cotten began Saturday in the consolation semifinals against Caleb Osborn of Lathrop, where he was pinned in 2:11. The loss dropped Cotten into the fifth place match where he was again pinned, this time by Marshall Wilson (Warsaw) in 44 seconds to claim sixth place.
    Cole Lankford
    Lankford went 2-0 on Saturday en route to a third place medal at 126 pounds.
    His day began with a pin over Maryville's Nathan Alexander in 3:49 in the consolation semifinals. Lankford then edged Trey Heckadon (Butler), 10-7, for third place.
    Jesse Rhoades
    Lost by pin to Jesse Oldham (Stanberry) in 4:55 in the consolation semifinals, and then lost a 5-3 decision to Michael Lopez (Adrian) in the fifth place match.
    Jalen Skaggs
    Skaggs brought home fourth place after pinning Joe Collins (Adrian) in 47 seconds in the consolation semifinals. He then lost a major decision, however, in the third place match to William Hahn (Whitfield), 8-0.
    Sill said he was pleased with how his Indians performed not only at the tournament, but on the season as a whole.
    "We've come through a lot as a team," Sill said. "We kind of talked about it in the hotel room how this season has been a rocky road, ups and downs and kind of a rocky ride, but the kids really came through adversity and they really wrestled well.
    "You can't say just one person stepped up. Will won a championship, but a lot of kids stepped up and placed that a lot of people didn't think were going to place. And even the ones that didn't place scored points. That's all you ask the kids to do is get up here, perform and wrestle their butts off. They did that."
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