Hillsboro hosted the annual Don Fuhrmann Duals on Wednesday, December 30, and did so with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Not only were the Hillsboro Hawks Varsity Boys Wrestlers the defending tournament champions, the team entered the duals tourney with an undefeated 14-0 record so far this season.
The Hawks did not disappoint. Not only did Hillsboro dominate each of their five duals and win first place, the team outscored their opposition 345-39 in total team points, catapulting their record to a perfect 19-0. Hillsboro wrestler Nicholas Green said that the whole tournament was an incredible experience, and added, “Every dual was a highlight. We beat them all and took first place. Everyone did very well.”
Head Coach Matt Mitchell was impressed by his team’s concentration, and noted, “The team wrestled well. It’s always tough to have a tournament in the middle of the Winter break. There can be a lot of distractions. Our athletes have done a good job of focusing when the time comes to wrestle well.”
The opening dual was against Sikeston, whom the Hawks defeated 69-12. Aidan Black, Aidan Haggard, Sam Richardson, Dalton Litzsinger, Griffin Ray, Green, Zach McNees and Hunter Rhodes all won by pin. Evan Morris and Eddie Hines each earned a decision victory.
Mitchell was complimentary of Hines’ performance, and said, “Hines had five matches and won all of them. He knows he still has a lot to learn and work to do in the practice room, but he had a good day.”
Hillsboro then defeated Mehlville by a score of 78-3. Haggard, Hines and McNees each won by pin. Most of the weight classes were forfeited by Mehlville.
In the next dual of the day, against Pacific, Hillsboro won 69-6. Ray, Hines, Green, McNees, Rhodes and Jordan Jarvis each pinned their opponent. Morris, Litzsinger, John Bennett and Haggard, each won by decision.
In the next dual of the day, Hillsboro routed Festus 75-3. Richardson, Morris, Litzsinger, Raymund Barnett, Ray, Hines, Rhodes, Jarvis, Gavin Alexander and Haggard all won by pin.
Also in the Festus dual, Bennett won a decision over a state qualifier in overtime in what Mitchell called “the match of the day.” Mitchell continued, “Bennett stole the show. He beat a solid wrestler he had never beaten and had a great ride out to win. We were really happy for him. He needs to start believing that he is an All-State type of wrestler.”
The final dual for the championship was against Poplar Bluff. Hillsboro dispatched them by a score of 54-15. Hines, Green, McNees, Haggard and Richardson all won by pin. Barnett, Ray and Morris each had decision wins. Richardson doesn’t plan on backing off any and said, “I will keep practicing hard.”
Mitchell says his team will be ready for next week, and commented, “Its always nice to win our home tournament. We never want to lose at home and the boys took care of business. Now we get back in the practice room and look to keep getting better each day.”
The team is back in action at home on Tuesday, January 5, with make-up duals against Rolla and Herculaneum. The next night, Wednesday, January 6, will be Senior night against the Dragons of Ste. Genevieve.