Wrestling in his last state tournament, Neosho senior Payne Hatter made sure he would not leave anything left in his gas tank.


Wrestling in his last state tournament, Neosho senior Payne Hatter made sure he would not leave anything left in his gas tank.

And he also made sure he would not leave the 2011 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena without a state medal.

On Saturday — a day after losing his bid for a gold meal after getting pinned by Cole Reedy of Ft. Zumwalt North — Hatter rebounded with a pair of victories on the back side of the bracket to place third.

The three-time state qualifier can now add state medalist to his high school wrestling resume.
In the fourth round of wrestlebacks Saturday, Hatter decisioned Casey Bartee of St. Charles West 6-0 to wrestle for third place.

And in the bronze medal match, Hatter dominated Steeler Seaburn of Willard and won by pin in the second period.

Hatter ends his state tournament run with a 4-1 record, and even though he wanted gold, he was happy to have taken bronze and contributed major team points.

“It has a heartbreaking loss in the semis, but I knew my team still needed me so I had to wrestle well on the back side to get third,” Hatter said. “I got the bonus points for third place, too, with the pins, and that was big. I am feeling pretty good right now, a lot better than I was (Friday). This just give me more to work for now, going into nationals this spring and college next year.”

In the semifinal match Friday night, Hatter and Reedy were tied 4-4 after the second period, and then Hatter took the lead with a reversal early in the third.

Hatter then shrugged off two strong reversal chances by Reedy, before giving in on his third reversal try that tied the match at 6 with 40 seconds left.

Hatter responded with a reversal of his own with 15 seconds left, but couldn’t hold on for the win in regulation. Reedy scored another reversal with two seconds remaining in regulation to tie it at 8-8 and force overtime.
In the overtime, Reedy gained the advantage and ultimately the win by pin.

“The loss was disappointing because I realized I did not wrestle my match out there,” Hatter said. “If I could change it I would, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was important to forget that loss, because there are a lot of upsets in the state tournament because big guns go down after a head loss. I couldn’t let it get the past of me, because I had more wrestling to do.

“Overall, it was a good weekend and (Saturday) was a better day than Friday.”

Neosho head coach Jeremy Phillips said Hatter wrestled Saturday like he did all season — leading the way for the team.

“He was our leader all season, and he wrestled like a leader (Saturday),” Phillips said.