MONETT, Mo. — The Seneca Indians will have their entire wrestling team at the sectional tournament in Seneca in two weeks after a dominant showing on Saturday.
All 14 starters for Seneca placed top-four at their respective weight classes as the Indians ran away with the team title at the Class 2 District 5 tournament at Monett High School. Seneca, which placed fifth as a team at the Class 2 state tournament a year ago, had 11 finalists and six champions on the day.
This year’s prep postseason features a different format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wrestlers who placed top-four in Saturday’s district round advance to the sectional round, where they’ll have to place top-three to qualify for the state tournament in Independence in early March.
Saturday’s round of finals matches opened with Seneca’s Brady Roark pinning Monett’s Mason Hartline in the second period. The Indians later had back-to-back champions at 126 and 132, with Kendon Pollard pinning Buffalo’s Connor Pinkley before Andrew Manley claimed an 8-6 decision in sudden victory over Rogersville’s Riley Williams.
Clayton Swadley (145) became Seneca’s fourth champion after he earned a second-period fall over Cassville’s Jake Anthonysz. Gabriel Commons (170) and Zane Cotten (195) capped the Indians’ string of finals wins, with Commons earning a 9-7 decision over Reeds Spring’s Evan Wilson and Cotten logging a first-period fall over Buffalo’s Brock Maverick.
Other sectional qualifiers for Seneca were runners-up Alex Mejia-Jerez (113), Brayden Thiel (120), Lincoln Renfro (152), Dane Napier (182) and Jakob Tate (220). Garret Babbitt (285) placed third, while Cole Whitehead (138) and Jeremy Williams (160) both placed fourth.
Seneca finished with 229 points to take the top spot in the team results. The Indians were followed by Monett (134), Rogersville (110), Cassville (83), Buffalo (80), Reeds Spring (54) and Hollister (19.5)
Defending Class 2 state champion Monett had eight sectional qualifiers with five champions, one runner-up, one third-place finisher and one fourth-place finisher.
Karey Anderson (113) was the first champion to be crowned for the Cubs after he defeated Mejia-Jerez by a 12-6 decision in the finals. Monett later had back-to-back champions at 152 and 160, with Elias Barrientos pinning Renfro and Corbin McCully downing Buffalo’s John Jenkins by a 3-2 decision.
Ethan Umfleet (182) and Harrison Merriman (285) wrapped up the individual titles for Monett, with Umfleet earning a 13-4 major decision over Napier and Merriman earning a 9-5 decision over Reeds Spring’s Eben Crain.
Zach Coenen highlighted the day for Cassville with a first-place finish at 220, defeating Tate by a 3-1 decision in the finals. The Wildcats also had sectional qualifiers in runners-up Game Hunter (138) and Anthonysz, third-place finishers Kurt Deaver (106) and Matthew Whittenburg (126), and fourth-place finisher Gavin Moore (132).
HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Nevada had seven wrestlers punch tickets to the sectional round in the Class 2 District 6 tournament at Harrisonville High School.
Kynndrick Brooks (106) and Skylur Mashek (285) both claimed individual titles, while Ethan Dighero (132) placed second, Braylin Brooks (113) and Jace Lee (170) both placed third and Mokey Dawn (126) and Logan Smith (220) placed fourth.
Nevada, which will also wrestle in the Seneca sectional, finished fourth as a team with 101 points. The top three teams were Pleasant Hill (233), Osage (169.5) and Harrisonville (120).
OZARK, Mo. — Carthage crowned two champions and had 11 sectional qualifiers in total at the Class 4 District 5 tournament at Ozark High School.
Carthage placed second in the team standings with 187 points, finishing just 4 1/2 points behind Ozark. Nixa placed third with 151 points and was followed by Waynesville (128), Joplin (79), Republic (78.5), Kickapoo (70) and Central Springfield (32.5).
The round of finals saw Davion King (145) win the first individual title for Carthage as he downed Ozark’s Brock Sundlie with a pin in the first period. Luke Gall (182) later became Carthage’s second individual champion with a first-period fall over Ozark’s Harper Kisee.
Carthage also had sectional qualifiers in runners-up Dagan Sappington (132), Eli Sneed (138), Braxdon Tate (152) and Grey Petticrew (160), third-place finishers Bradyn Tate (113), Carlos Reyes (120), Kip Castor (126) and Karen Vogt (220) and fourth-place finisher Dylan Huntley (106).
Sam Melton (106) placed second to highlight the day for Joplin, which qualified six wrestlers.
Other Joplin qualifiers were third-place finishers Josiah Vaughn (132) and Gunner Price (285), as well as fourth-place finishers Rocky Walker (126), Drew VanGilder (170) and Scott Lowe (195).
Area wrestlers will compete in the Class 4 sectional tournament at Ozark High School on Feb. 27.
BUTLER, Mo. — Individual titles claimed by Cody Behler (152), Landon Clement (182) and Tyler May (220) headlined the day for Diamond, which had seven sectional qualifiers in total in the Class 1 District 4 tournament at Butler High School.
Diamond finished fifth as a team with 111 points. Adrian took home the tem title with 136 points and was followed by El Dorado Springs (131), Sherwood (122) and Butler (114.5).
In the finals, Behler was the first Diamond grappler to clinch a title as he defeated Sherwood’s Matthew Smith by a 5-2 decision. Clement followed that up three matches later with a first-period fall over Adrian’s John Wackerman, and then May closed out the round with a 10-7 decision over Adrian’s William Brown.
Other sectional qualifiers for Diamond were runner-up Brandon Calentine (145), third-place finishers Brayden Pelt (106) and Ty Douglas (195), and fourth-place finisher Cody Neal (126).
Diamond’s qualifiers will compete in the sectional tournament at Versailles High School on Feb. 27.