The Ste. Genevieve Wrestling Dragons scorched the competition on Saturday, February 13th, at the MSHSAA Class 2 District 1 Tournament, scoring 211.5 team points, more than any of the seven other competing schools, en route to a first place finish. The team entered 14 grapplers into the tournament and were able to advance 12 to the next round, the Sectionals.
The Dragons came home with a truck load of hardware as well, including four Gold Medals and eight Silver Medals, making it quite a successful day.
Wrestling at the 106 lb. weight class was Gage Gross, who placed first and scored 22 team points. He won his semifinal match by pin in only 37 seconds, and pinned his opponent in the finals in 1:59 to take home the Gold medal and qualify for Sectionals.
Bryant Schwent, at 113, also placed first and earned 21 team points. He won by major decision, 16-3, in the semifinals, and pinned his opponent in the finals in 1:55 to move on to Sectionals.
At 120, Nicholas Wirick brought home a Silver Medal and 16 team points. He pinned his opponent in the semifinals in 1:47, but lost in the finals. Yet he still moves on to Sectionals as well.
Wrestling at 126, Dalton McNeal won a Gold Medal and 22 team points. He won by fall in 47 seconds in the semifinals, and won the finals by injury default. He will wrestle at Sectionals.
Gavin Gross, at 132, took first place and 21.5 team points. He pinned his opponent in the semifinals in 51 seconds, and won the finals by technical fall 17-0. He will move on to Sectionals as well. When asked about his performance, Gavin Gross said, “It’s a whole new mindset going into Districts. I know what I need to change and I will spend a few days working on my mindset and getting ready for Sectionals because this is what will punch my ticket to State.”
At 138, Nathan Selby placed second and scored 16 team points. He won by fall in 1:16 in the semifinals, and then lost in the finals, but advances to Sectionals nonetheless. Selby commented, “I treated the finals match the same as any other day. I try to not let stuff like pressure get into my head and just focus on what I’m best at on the mat. For sectionals I’ll be focusing on preparing my mind more than anything. Being this late in the season it’s difficult to get better with my on-mat skills other than just sharpening them. There is always room for improvement in the mind.”
Justin Schwent, at 145, scored three team points. He lost in the quarterfinal round, which moved him to the consolation bracket. He won the first round by fall in 2:15, but lost in the consolation semifinals.
At 152, Levi Wiegand took home a Silver Medal and scored 16 team points. He won the semifinals by pin in 2:47, and then lost in the finals, but will still wrestle in Sectionals.
Kaleb Myracle, at 160, placed second and added 14 team points. He won the semifinals by decision 7-2, but lost in the finals. He too will wrestle at Sectionals. Myracle noted, “For the pressure, I was trying to keep my mind occupied, and I will just keep sharpening up my skills to get better for Sectionals.”
At 170, Ethan Ogden took second place, and scored 14 team points. He won the semifinals by decision 3-2, and lost in the finals, but still qualifies for Sectionals.
Elijah Holifield, at 182, lost in the semifinals, moving him to the consolation bracket, where he lost his first match.
At 195, Gabe Willett won a Silver medal and earned 16 team points. He won the semifinals by pin in 1:54, but lost in the finals. He qualifies for Sectionals.
Dale Propst, at 220, took second place and added 16 team points. He won the semifinals by fall in 4:18, but lost in the finals, and will wrestle at Sectionals.
Lastly, at 285, Ryan Schmelzle placed second and scored 14 team points. He won by sudden victory in the semifinals 2-0, but lost in the finals, and moves on to Sectionals.
While the Dragons would have liked to have added a few more Gold medals to their trophy case alongside the District Championship plaque, the team showed their wrestling prowess. They will now prepare for the next step on the road to the State tournament, the Sectionals, which take place on Saturday, February 27th. It will be business as usual for the next two weeks, as the team prepares to march onward and upward.