The Neosho Wildcats opened their season Saturday with a team victory in the 31st annual edition of their home invitational tournament.
Neosho parlayed five firsts, three seconds, two thirds, and two fourths into 228.5 points, 74.5 more points than second place Willard.
Neosho sophomore Cayden Auch (126 pounds), a Class 3 state champion last season at 106 pounds, won a 11-3 major decision over McDonald County's Oscar Ortiz, a fellow state champion last season, for the championship. Auch pinned Hillsboro's Marcos Lopez in 2 minutes, 27 seconds, Farmington's Robbie Simmons in 1:40, and Willard's Tim Stevens in 1:20 en route to the finals. (Belton's Brayden Bradley gave the 126-pound division three wrestlers with Class 3 state championships.)
Kolton Sanders (132) won a 12-4 major decision against Bentonville West's Daryl Easterling in the finals, Easterling an Arkansas individual state champion last season. Sanders pinned his first four opponents, Belton's Austin Reynolds in 1:55, Kickapoo's Quinton Papa in 1:47, Farmington's Drew Felker in 2:39, and Hillsboro's James Short in 4:45.
Braxton Barnes (145) pinned Branson's Caden Lorenz late in their championship match, 36 seconds into the third period. Barnes pinned Kickapoo's Garrett Greve in 43 seconds and won a 20-3 tech fall against Rolla's Justin McEnaney.
Alec Rothman (152) won a 10-6 decision over Willard's Tallon Heimbach for the title and he pinned Kickapoo's Tai Koyama in 49 seconds, Farmington's Colby Vinson in 1:19, Branson's Austin Hadaller in 3:16, and McDonald County's Jack Teague in 4:00.
Caleb Elliot (195) rolled up five wins by pin during his championship run, taking down Branson's Max Petruccelli with 32 seconds remaining in their title match. Elliott pinned Kickapoo's Evan Bowler in 1:17, Farmington's Judd Cunningham in 3:45, Bentonville West's Shane Minnick in 2:37, and Farmington JV's Johnathan Russell in 3:34.
Landon Kivett (106) pinned his first four opponents to reach the finals, but unbeaten Christian Finley of Willard pinned Kivett in 1:17 in the championship match. Kivett pinned Kickapoo's Mitchelle Lambert in 34 seconds, Branson's Anthony Cornett in 1:50, Farmington's Dayton Boyd in 1:52, and Bentonville West's Jamon Ireland in 2:40.
Noah Reiboldt (138) took second after taking a 4-2 loss to Rolla's Dathan Mickem in the finals. Before that, though, Reiboldt pinned Hillsboro's Benny Alley in 5:16, won a 8-7 decision against Farmington's Andrew Lappe, pinned Kickapoo's Tristan Upp in 3:58, and pinned Branson's James Miller in 2:30.
Zane Persinger (220) finished second after a 2-0 loss to Farmington's Dalton Berg in the finals. Persinger pinned Kickapoo's Corey Choates in 1:14 and Hillsboro's Jordan Cage in 5:04 en route to the finals.
Additionally, Hayden Crane (113) placed fourth, Keaton Sanders (160) third, Jeremiah Larson (170) third, and Joe Armstrong (285) fourth.
Neosho returns to the mats Tuesday at Nixa for duals against Central Ozark Conference foes Joplin and Nixa. The Wildcats then compete over the weekend in the Missouri Duals in Jefferson City.
Team scores: Neosho 228.5, Willard 154, Farmington 146, Belton 139, Rolla 128, Hillsboro 99, Bentonville West 80, Kickapoo 70, Branson 62, McDonald County 57.5, Willard JV 18, Farmington JV 16.5, Rolla JV 15.5, Neosho JV 7, Branson JV 1.5.
Individual champions: 106 pounds, Christian Finley, Willard. 113, Austin Wadlow, Farmington. 120, Dalton Litzsinger, Hillsboro. 126, Cayden Auch, Neosho. 132, Kolton Sanders, Neosho. 138, Dathan Mickem, Rolla. 145, Braxton Barnes, Neosho. 152, Alec Rothman, Neosho. 160, Andrew Gamble, Belton. 170, Robert Weber, Belton. 182, Jack Goin, Belton. 195, Caleb Elliot, Neosho. 220, Dalton Berg, Farmington. 285, Joe Becker, Hillsboro.