UNION — The Neosho Wildcats earned their 12th consecutive district title, as they had nine wrestlers qualify for the upcoming Class 3 state tournament and three grapplers win district titles en route to scoring 219 points, beating Lebanon by 17 points.
Cayden Auch (126 pounds), Braxton Barnes (145), and Drayke Perry (182) each won district titles and Landon Kivett (106) finished third, Hayden Crane (113) third, Kolton Sanders (132) second, Alec Rothman (152) second, Keaton Sanders (160) fourth, and Zane Persinger (220) second.
Auch rolled to the finals with three wins by pin and then he earned a 12-0 major decision against McDonald County’s Oscar Ortiz in the finals. Keep in mind that Ortiz’s the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 126 behind Auch. Auch pinned Carl Junction’s Silas Walker in 42 seconds, Marshfield’s Devin Nimmo, and Webb City’s state-ranked Josh Copher in 2:16. Auch improved to 35-1.
Barnes reached 50 wins on the season with four victories at districts, culminating with a 9-1 major against Marshfield’s Will Snider in the finals. Barnes pinned Republic’s Isaiah Madson in 21 seconds, McDonald County’s Junior Teriek in 1:48, and Lebanon’s Elijah Arl in 3:34 en route to the finals.
Perry pinned all three of his opponents en route to a district crown, taking down Marshfield’s Clay Wilson with 11 seconds remaining in regulation of their district title bout. Perry pinned Branson’s Max Petrucelli in 4:40 and Willard’s Jonah Keohane in 50 seconds.
Kolton Sanders won his first three matches, including a 6-2 semifinal decision against Republic’s Michael Taylor, an opponent he defeated a couple weeks earlier for a conference title. In the finals, Rolla’s unbeaten Nathan Pulliam won a 15-5 major against Sanders. In his first two matches, Sanders pinned Marshfield’s Braeden Brooks in 2:19 and Glendale’s Clint Wigginton in 4:31.
Rothman edged closer to 50 wins on the season, as his three at districts pushed his record to 48-8. Lebanon’s Trevor Christian pinned Rothman 36 seconds into the third period. Before that, Rothman pinned Parkview’s Elisha Valentine in 23 seconds, Rolla’s Andre Ridenhour in 48 seconds, and Willard’s Tallon Heimbach in 3:26, as the Wildcats continued to earn those critical bonus points.
Persinger pinned his first three opponents en route to the finals and took a 9-0 loss to Union’s nearly unbeaten Haiden Meyer in the finals. Persinger pinned Lebanon’s Jon Berry in 3:51, McDonald County’s Jarred Maggard in 1:34, and Camdenton’s Cort Petty in 41 seconds.
Kivett, Crane, and Keaton Sanders each won the critical consolation semifinal match that punched their ticket to state.
Kivett pinned Union’s Sam Inman in 20 seconds.
Crane won a 15-6 major against McDonald County’s Eh Doh Say.
Keaton Sanders won a 13-5 major against Marshfield’s Jordon Irwin.
Only Ortiz and Jack Teague (152) qualified for state for McDonald County.
Ortiz moved to 40-4 on the season, with nearly all his losses this season have come against Auch. En route to the finals, though, Ortiz pinned Parkview’s Bryan Lam in 1:23 and Willard’s Timothy Stevens in 46 seconds, then he won a 5-2 decision against Rolla’s Zach Fennell, giving the Rolla wrestler his first loss this season.
Teague won that critical consolation semi match by pinning Marshfield’s Isaiah Ragsdale in 4:26 and he made his way through three rounds of consolation matches.
CLASS 3, DISTRICT 3
at Union High School
Team scores — Neosho 219, Lebanon 202, Willard 164.5, Rolla 134.5, Marshfield 110, Webb City 90.5, Carl Junction 75, Camdenton 71.5, Union 70, Branson 62, Republic 56, McDonald County 49, Parkview 31, Glendale 19, Hillcrest 13.
Individual champions — 106, Christian Finley, Willard. 113, Michael Finley, Willard. 120, Grant Garrett, Camdenton. 126, Cayden Auch, Neosho. 132, Nathan Pulliam, Rolla. 138, Jonathan O’Connell, Republic. 145, Braxton Barnes, Neosho. 152, Trevor Christian, Lebanon. 160, Hayden Fane, Rolla. 170, Jed Brandon, Willard. 182, Drayke Perry, Neosho. 195, Landen Smith, Lebanon. 220, Haiden Meyer, Union. 285, Race Cottongin, Lebanon.