Wrestling State Champions

Team Wins State for First Time

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For the first time in school history, the wrestling team won the state championship. The team competed in the MSHSAA State Tournament on the weekend of Feb. 16 in Columbia, Mo.

The group began preparing to come back after the 2016 state tournament, and they were determined to do better and keep pushing toward a better season against their competition. In the 2015-2016 season, the team earned fifth at the state tournament.

The wrestlers got back on the mat for the true beginning of the season in November 2017. After finishing the regular season strong with a dual record of 32-2 and winning tournaments like Winnetonka and the Taney Duals, they won the district title before claiming the Class 4 state title.

“It is pretty amazing bringing back the title. It hasn’t set in still because our whole team knew we were going to win,” said senior Charley Genisio.

At the state tournament, the team lived up to their performance ability, according to the staff and their predictions. On Feb. 16, five wrestlers won matches they were not predicted to win.

“At the end of the day, most titles sound like a long haul, and that is what these guys did — the long haul,” said head coach Gary Mayabb.

The team scored 31 points from wrestlers who did not get on the podium to place, and that does not normally happen, and is what probably won them the title, Mayabb said.

On Feb. 27, the school celebrated the team’s accomplishment with a schoolwide ass

embly. It included the presentation of the state trophy to principal Clark Mershon, the reading of the state wrestlers’ names and the presentation of the state banner to the school in the gym.

“It was an exciting experience because I had never been called and walked out in front of the whole school. Seeing the seniors walk around carrying the trophy was cool, and getting to see our hard work shown off,” said freshman Khyler Brewer.

The team not only focused on winning, but also the relationships and work ethic that went into taking the title.

“I am gratified for our students and our staff, and I think these young men did a great job. Because at the end of the day, it is about the relationships and the work ethic the squad had,” said Mayabb.