The MSHSAA Class 3 District 1 Sectional results are in, and for the Hillsboro Varsity Wrestling team, it was a big day. On Saturday, February 27th, the Hawks brought 13 grapplers to the Sectional Tournament. When the dust cleared, 12 of those wrestlers found themselves on the podium, successfully qualifying for the grand daddy of them all, the State Tournament.
Wrestling at the 106 lb. weight class, Aidan Black took second place. He won his quarterfinal match by pin in 46 seconds against Liam O’Brien who was 21-16 on the season. Next up for Black, was Minko Brown who had a first round bye, coming in 35-12 on the year. Black won the semifinal match by decision 6-3, putting him in the finals against formidable foe Auston Neff. These two have met before this season and Neff came out on top. Black was looking for a some redemption, but unfortunately, Neff won the grudge match once again. It’s not all doom and gloom for Aiden as he will now compete in the State Tournament.
Gavin Alexander was next at 113. He won first place and moves on to State. Alexander won the quarterfinals by pin at 1:00. He won the semifinal match by decision 5-4. Lastly, he defeated his opponent in the finals by decision, 2-0.
At 120, Aidan Haggard also won first place. He won the quarterfinals by fall in 2:59. In the semifinals, he won a major decision 8-0. Then, he won the finals by tiebreaker, 3-1. Haggard will wrestle in the State competition.
Sam Richardson, at 126, placed first. In the quarterfinals, he won by pin in 2:56. Next he won the semifinals by forfeit. In the finals, he pinned his opponent in a convincing 26 seconds to move on to the State Tournament.
At 132, Evan Morris came in third. He won his quarterfinal match by pin in 53 seconds, but lost the semifinals in sudden victory, putting him in the consolation bracket. He won the consolation semifinals by pin in 3:30, and the third place match by decision 7-0. Morris will also move on to compete at State.
Dalton Litzsinger, at 138, won first place. He pinned his quarterfinal opponent in 49 seconds. Then, he won a major decision 8-0 in the semifinals. He then won the finals by decision 7-0 to move on to the State Tournament.
Litzsinger had a day full of highlights, but gave praise to his teammate Eddie Hines, “One moment that really stands out to me is when Eddie won his third place match against a tough kid from Union that had beat him earlier in the day. He came back after being down a couple of points and won the match right at the buzzer to send him to State!” Hines replied, “I was losing in the third period with only eight seconds left. I didn’t give up and I kept trying until I got the points I needed to win.”
At 145, Raymund Barnett placed third. He won the quarterfinal by pin in 3:33. He was defeated in the semifinals and pushed to the consolation bracket where he won the consolation semifinals by decision 7-0. He went on to with the third place match by decision 4-2, and will compete in State.
Griffin Ray came in second at 152. He won by pin in 55 seconds in the quarterfinals. He pinned his opponent in 49 seconds in the semifinals, but lost in the finals. He will wrestle at State as well.
At 160, Hines placed third and will move on to State. He lost the quarterfinals, moving him to the consolation bracket, but won the first round by decision 7-3. He won the consolation semifinals by decision 6-4, and the third place match by decision 8-5.
Nicholas Green, at 182, lost the quarterfinal round, moving him to the consolation bracket where he won the first round by major decision 10-0. However, he lost the consolation semifinal match, and did not qualify for the next round.
At 195, Zach McNees won first place. He received a bye in the quarterfinals, and in the semifinals, pinned his opponent in 1:25. In the finals, he pinned his opponent in 47 seconds to advance to the State Tournament. McNees was pumped for his teammates as well, and said, “Winning my championship and seeing all my teammates win big matches were the highlight.”
Hunter Rhodes, at 220, placed second. He won the quarterfinals by pin in 1:02. He won the semifinals by pin in 5:14, but was defeated in the finals. He will move on to State also and commented on his semifinal match, “I think I wrestled really well in my second match and was just having a lot of fun in that particular one.”
At 285, Jordan Jarvis placed third. He won the quarterfinals by pin in 37 seconds, but lost the semifinals, putting him in the consolation bracket where he won the consolation semifinals by fall in 2:20. He then won the third place match by decision 3-2, and will compete in State.
Jarvis noted the incredible atmosphere and support shown by his team, “One thing that I thought was pretty cool was in the third place matches and the finals matches, the whole team was mat side for everyone.”
The 12 qualifiers will now have about 10 days to prepare for the State Tournament, taking place March 10th-13th, at the Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri. Until then, these seasoned grapplers will look to improve their fitness and sharpen their skills, as they game-plan to take on the best talent in the state.