All three Hillsboro Hawks Wrestling teams were in action on Wednesday, December 23, taking part in the Liberty (Wentzville) quad event, which also included Lindbergh and Timberland. The Boys Varsity squad competed in duals against Liberty (Wentzville) and Lindbergh, while The Girls Varsity team went against Liberty (Wentzville), Lindbergh and Timberland. The Junior Varsity team also competed once, against Liberty (Wentzville).
Head Coach Matt Mitchell thought the team did great, and said, “The team wrestled really well for being our last day before the Winter break. Sometimes it can be hard to keep that concentration.” He noted how important it was to have a good showing against Liberty because the two schools are in the same class at the State Tournament.
First, the Hawks Boys Varsity team defeated Liberty (Wentzville) 54-12. Of the 11 contested weight classes, Hillsboro won nine. Gavin Alexander, Sam Richardson, Raymund Barnett, Griffin Ray, John Bennett and Jordan Jarvis all won by pin. Aidan Haggard, Zach McNees and Hunter Rhodes all won by decision.
Mitchell liked what he saw from McNees and Rhodes, and mentioned, “McNees had a solid win over a kid he beat at state last year. It was a close match, but he wrestled really smart.” Mitchell continued, “Rhodes also beat a state qualifier from last year. He is putting together a nice resume, and will continue to work hard in the room.”
Ray was excited after the matches, but knows the team can not get complacent, and commented, “Right now I’m wrestling with a fire inside me after taking the loss at Smithville. The team got it done; now on to the next.”
The Hawks then defeated Lindbergh by the score of 46-23. Mitchell commented, “We had some good matches. We competed hard and came away with some big wins. Of the 11 contested weight classes, Hillsboro won seven. Dalton Litzsinger, Barnett, Ray, Eddie Hines and McNees all won by pin. Alexander and Rhodes each won by decision.
Mitchell was especially impressed with Barnett’s performance against Lindbergh, and said, “Barnett had a really good match again. He just keeps getting better and better. He is definitely our most improved wrestler since a year ago.”
Rhodes also knows that his team must continue to make progress, and said, “The duals went really well, but there are some things we can touch up. It’s right back to the practice room we go.”
Happy with the result, but knowing their is still work to be done, Litzsinger added, “The team wrestled well. We had a couple of the guys pick up some big wins for their season, and we looked good going into the break, now at 14-0. Everyone on the squad knows what is expected of them to stay focused. When we come back, nothing will be changing. We are still keeping our nose to the grindstone and chasing a state title!”
Hines also knows that even though he is improving, this is no time to pat yourself on the back. He said, “All of these good wrestlers that I keep competing against remind me of how much I want to get better. So when I come back to the practice room after a loss, I bounce back and work harder.”
In the Girls first dual, the Varsity Team defeated Liberty (Wentzville) 18-6, with their three wins coming from forfeited weight classes.
The team then lost against Timberland, by the score of 48-28. Of the four contested weight classes, Hillsboro actually won them all. Katie Hendrix, Jada Green and Marissa Hudman also scored pins, while Grace Johnson won a decision. Unfortunately, the Hawks forfeited eight weight classes, costing them the dual.
In the final dual against Lindbergh, the Hawks won 21-6. Hendrix pinned her opponent, while Hudman won by decision.
The Junior Varsity Hawks also had a successful dual defeating Liberty (Wentzville) 54-12. Hillsboro won five of the seven contested weight classes, all by pin. Dawson Owens, Colton Gronberg, Jacob Hooss, Wyatt Johnson and Wyatt Yeager each had victories.
Mitchell also enjoyed what he saw during the JV dual, and mentioned, “They wrestled really well. They are finally starting to come along. I was really impressed with Hooss and Logan Kay. They both had good wins. Gronborg continues to work hard and wrestle well too. We have a solid young group at the lower levels that create good depth on our team.”
Mitchell was complimentary of his program, and said, “Overall I was happy with the way we competed. Now we get a little bit of a break. We will regroup on Sunday and start getting ready for our home tournament, the Don Furhmann Duals, which are set for next Wednesday, December 30. We always want to compete well at home and we hope to defend our own tournament win from last season.”
The humble Hawks remain undefeated nearing the midpoint, but realize that the only thing that matters is how they finish the season.