JOPLIN — The Neosho Wildcats and the Ozark Tigers met each other twice, the first time starting the Missouri Duals in Jefferson City and the second starting a double dual Monday night also including host Joplin at Kaminsky Gymnasium.
Neosho defeated Ozark both times and the Wildcats prevailed 45-27 over the Tigers on Monday before a 72-12 win over future Central Ozark Conference Large member Joplin in the nightcap.
Against Ozark, Neosho won at 113 pounds, 120, 138, 145, 152, 160, 182, and 285, while Ozark prevailed at 106, 126, 132, 170, 195, and 220.
Neosho’s Cayden Auch (113) pinned Jordan Hurst in 1 minute, 15 seconds, Kolton Sanders (120) pinned Sean Evans in 1:48, Trenton Young (138) pinned Logan Sorensen in 1:32, Braxton Barnes (145) won a 26-8 tech fall against Cooper St. John, Jacob Fry (152) pinned Chance Strickler in 3:05, Jeremiah Larson (160) pinned Kaleb Doyle in 1:33, Joey Williams (182) pinned Tyson Albright in 1:40, and Adrian Hitchcock (285) won a 12-4 major decision against Jace Gorn.
The Wildcats definitely maximized their points more effectively than Ozark, with six pins (36 points), one tech fall (five), and one major decision (four).
Ozark finished with three decisions (nine), two pins (12), and one forfeit (six).
Trackwrestling.com has three Neosho wrestlers listed at 13-0 this season — seniors Hitchcock and Young, and junior Barnes. Sanders and Williams are each 12-1, while Auch joins the ranks of the unbeaten at 12-0 for a strong beginning to his prep wrestling career. Another freshman, Drayke Perry, owns a 10-3 record to make seven Neosho wrestlers with double-digit wins after one tournament and several duals in the Missouri Duals and Monday night.
Missouri Wrestling released takedown statistics accumulated early in the season — Sanders and Williams rank second and third in the state in takedowns with 59 and 57, respectively, behind only Liberty’s Greyden Penner with his 68. Barnes comes in at 10th in takedowns with 33, tied with Odessa’s Clint Donovan.
— Neosho returns to the mats Friday and Saturday in the prestigious Kansas City Stampede, one of the elite wrestling tournaments around.
Neosho joins a field that includes Archer (Georgia), Arkansas City (Kansas), Baylor School (Tennessee), Bettendorf-Morningstar-River (Iowa), Blue Springs, Buford (Georgia), Canyon Randall (Texas), CBC, Christian Brothers (Tennessee), Collins Hill (Georgia), Collinsville (Oklahoma), Coweta (Oklahoma), Creston Orient-Macksburg (Iowa), Derby (Kansas), Edmond North (Oklahoma), Farmington, Garden City (Kansas), Goddard (Kansas), Granite City (Illinois), Holt, Jesuit (Louisiana), Kearney, Nixa, Olathe North (Kansas), Skutt Catholic (Nebraska), Park Hill, Perry (Oklahoma), Platte County, Ponca City (Oklahoma), Sand Springs (Oklahoma), Seckman, Smithville, Southmoore (Oklahoma), Staley, Stillwater (Oklahoma), Thompson (Alabama), Tuttle (Oklahoma), and Whitfield.
Nationally-ranked teams by InterMat include No. 24 CBC and No. 32 Tuttle.
Nationally-ranked wrestlers in the field include Sand Springs’ Carter Young (106); CBC’s Cevion Severado (113); CBC’s Malik Johnson, Park Hill’s Weston DiBlasi, and Tuttle’s Rhett Golowenski (126); CBC’s Joshua Saunders (132); Tuttle’s Dustin Plott (160); CBC’s Emille Shannon and Skutt Catholic’s Billy Higgins (170); Park Hill’s Devin Winston (182); Park Hill’s Ashton Sharp (195); Staley’s Zach Elam (220); and Neosho’s very own Hitchcock and Whitfield’s Max Darrah (285).
Wrestling begins at 2 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Hale Arena, Kansas City, Missouri.
In past editions, Neosho placed fifth last season with 347.5 points, behind only Tuttle (564.5), Park Hill (446.5), Sand Springs (409) and Goddard (374.5).
Neosho finished sixth two seasons ago, behind Tuttle, Archer, Allen (Texas), Platte County, and Park Hill. Kyler Rea won a gold division title at 152; Rea now wrestles at West Virginia.
Neosho finished second in 2014, nearly 60 points behind champion Archer.
Neosho took 10th in 2013, fifth in 2012, eighth in 2011, second in 2010, fifth in 2009, and 13th in 2008.