Neosho senior Zach Plummer took his sophomore year away from wrestling in high school, but came back to be a part of two Class 3 state championship teams his junior and senior years.

Neosho senior Zach Plummer took his sophomore year away from wrestling in high school, but came back to be a part of two Class 3 state championship teams his junior and senior years.
Wrestling at 195 pounds, Plummer finished fourth at the state tournament and contributed to Neosho’s fifth straight state title.
On Tuesday, Plummer officially signed on the dotted line to wrestle at NCAA Division II Lindenwood.
Neosho head coach Jeremy Phillips had to work on Plummer’s belief in himself and his wrestling.
“The big thing about Zach is that I always confident and more confident in him sometimes,” Phillips said. “That’s something I want to challenge him with, not only to grow technically in his wrestling but mentally have more confidence. I told him ‘You need to look in the mirror.’ He likes taking his shirt off … I’m like ‘You need to look in the mirror before you step on the mat, because I know those muscles mean something.’
“Once he got that confidence, probably about after three-quarters of our season was over, he started rolling and doing well and wrestling to his potential. I want him to go on to college with that understanding. He has the potential to do great things. Honestly, I think he has a lot of talent that’s yet to be tapped into … turn him over to Dallas Smith, who is a former wrestler at Neosho. He’s a national champion at the Division II level and now the head assistant coach at Lindenwood.”
Crowd members whistled at Plummer and requested he take off his shirt. Plummer did not.
The Lions of Lindenwood are based in St. Charles and their coaching staff includes Smith, who earned his national title as a wrestler his senior year at Ouachita Baptist.
“I liked their campus,” Plummer said. “It’s a beautiful campus and there’s a lot of history to it, so I was interested by that.
“It will be cool. He (Smith) and I are close. He’ll be able to teach me a lot of stuff. I’ll able to work with him a lot and learn from him. I can’t wait to see what I can improve on at the college level. It will be fun.”
Plummer becomes the first Neosho wrestler at Lindenwood since Smith came aboard.
As many before him, Plummer benefited from wrestling in the Neosho program.
“It helped out a lot,” he said. “How Coach Phillips runs his practices and everything, I mean they’re hard. It just prepares us even more if we want to go to the next level. It helped us especially mentally.”
“Everything kinda runs together with these guys,” Phillips said. “Zach started in junior high with us and took his sophomore year off, then came back with a vengeance his junior year. Due to an injury, he was able to get a lot of varsity time for us as a junior and was literally seconds away from being a state qualifier his junior year. It was obviously something that bothered him, but I think it was something that motivated him to have the senior year that he had. He came back and worked hard in the offseason preparing for his senior year.”