The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 8, 2013

Rematches highlight wrestling districts

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— Rivalries will be renewed this weekend at the MSHSAA district wrestling tournaments.

Webb City, Carthage and Neosho of the Central Ozark Conference will join Carl Junction and McDonald County in the Class 3, District 3 tournament, which begins at 5:30 p.m. today at Willard.

Seneca and Diamond are in the Class 1, District 2 tournament at Versailles. Monett and Nevada are in the Class 2, District 3 tournament at Clinton. Joplin is in the Class 4, District 3 tournament at Jefferson City.

Neosho, with its No. 2 state ranking and dominant showing in the COC Large Division tournament at Webb City, is favored to win the team championship.

“We’ll see a lot of rematches from the COC tournament and the Neosho dual,” said Carthage head coach Kenny Brown. “Neosho is far and away the favorite, but we’ll definitely have a shot at redemption after how we wrestled in our dual.”

Carthage was 12-1 in duals this season, with the only loss against Neosho. The Tigers won the Bolivar, Carl Junction and Springfield Holiday tournaments and placed third in the COC tournament.

Half of the 14 weight classes feature Neosho wrestlers as the No. 1 seeds — Kyler Rea at 106, River Buttram at 120, Dakota McGarrah at 126, Nate Rodriguez at 132, Jacob Brock at 182, Ben Elledge at 195, Christian Lopez at 220 and Aaron Clardy at 285.

Other top seeds include Trevor Feagans of Carthage at 138, Jacob Dalton of McDonald County at 145, Nick Koon of Carl Junction at 152, Brayden Goff of Webb City at 160 and Jordan Moffett of McDonald County at 220.

At stake in the district tournaments are seedings for the state tournament Feb. 14-16 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

“Depending on the wrestler, you’re looking for different things,” Brown said. “For our top wrestlers, the better they do at district, the better they’ll do at state.

“Our No. 5 and 6 seeds, you hope they’ll wrestle better than their seeds. Seedings can be all over the place. Sometimes, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Monett has seven wrestlers among the top three seeds in the district tournament at Clinton, led by Chase Brennan, the top seed at 113. Seedings for the district tournaments at Jefferson City and Versailles weren’t available.

First-round matches, first-round wrestlebacks and quarterfinals are scheduled for today. The tournaments conclude on Saturday.