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High School Wrestling: Jackson wins very own tournament scramble as seven Indians take first

With tournaments like the Kinloch Classic and others held at Francis Howell and Lafayette not happening this winter due to COVID-19 concerns, the Jackson wrestling team is still finding ways to face top-notch competition in preparation for the postseason.

Last week on Tuesday, the Indians held a six-team scramble and faced Class 4 District 1 opponents Oakville and Seckman as well as Class 3 Rockwood Summit and SEMO Conference opponents Dexter and Kennett (both Class 2). Jackson came out on top with a team score of 239 as Seckman finished as the runner-ups at 224.

Jackson filled 12 of the 14 overall weight classes as all but one of those wrestlers finished outside of the top two in third place. Seven of those Indians took home first place in freshman Landon Vassalli (11-2) at 106 pounds, junior Jace Davis (16-0) at 145, junior Flint Guilliams (8-2) at 152, senior Garner Horman (11-0) at 160, sophomore Griffin Horman (10-0) at 170, senior Cole Parker (7-0) at 182 and finally junior Liam Bryant (11-0) at 285.

The four Indians to take second place were sophomore 126-pounder Craig Aufdenberg (10-5), freshman 138-pounder Jacob Shirrel (3-6), junior 195-pounder Tanner Mitchell (8-6) and sophomore 220-pounder Tony Terry (8-3).

Starting with the current undefeated wrestlers for Jackson, Davis won four of his five matches by pinfall with the last being decided by major decision in round five. Davis faced Oakville senior Ibragim Makhmudov (17-2) in his final match of the scramble and won 10-1 after three periods.

Not one of Davis’ previous four matches went past the first round as pinned Rockwood Summit sophomore John Berry (7-9), Dexter senior Jacob Medler (5-6), Seckman senior Camron Taylor (6-11) and Kennett junior Jarrot Ward (0-5) all within one minute and 32 seconds.

Garner Horman only had one of his matches last all three periods as well, which was in the fifth and final round against Seckman sophomore Cole Ruble (12-1). In a battle of unbeatens, Horman handed Ruble his first loss of the year with a 5-3 win.

Horman won his other four matches by fall with pinfalls over Kennett freshman Justin Brooks (3-7), Dexter junior Carter Pennington (2-8) and Oakville sophomore Tyler Updike (13-6) in under one minute. Horman’s final fall was a technical fall against Rockwood Summit senior Ty Brunk (7-4) by a score of 16-0.

Horman’s younger brother  Griffin also faced off against a fellow undefeated 170-pounder in Seckman freshman Jayden Ashlock (11-1) as they wrestled in the fifth round. To no one’s surprise, the match lasted all three periods as Horman came out on top by two points at 9-7.

Horman received one bye and medical forfeit over Kennett sophomore Otrevia Walls (1-6) and won his other two matches of the day by pinfall. Griffin pinned the likes of Kennett sophomore Luis Olguin (1-3) in 45 seconds and Rockwood Summit senior Charles Ploesser (14-4) with 39 seconds left in the third period.

As for Parker, none of his three matches wrestled went into the third period after receiving byes in rounds one and two to start. Parker’s first two bouts didn’t last more than one minute as he pinned Dexter junior Harrison Pennington (1-6) in 40 seconds and then Seckman sophomore Michael Stivers (5-5) in 59.

Parker’s final match of the scramble went into the second period as he didn’t pin Rockwood Summit sophomore Caelin Stegmann (12-3) until the 3:01 mark.

The final Indian to have not suffered a defeat yet is Bryant, who only had one of his matches last all three periods, which happened to be his first bout of the tournament. Bryant faced Rockwood Summit junior Devon Reeve (4-1) to start things off and was able to pick up a 4-0 win.

Bryant then won his next three and final matches all by pinfall over Seckman sophomore Matt Zeller (1-11), Kennett junior Emmitt Austin (3-5) and Dexter sophomore Kolin Simpson (5-5). Bryant received a medical forfeit against Oakville junior Makhamedali Akhmedov (11-6).

Vassalli nor Guilliams received a bye or medical forfeit in their respective weight classes as they each wrestled a match in all five rounds to take first place. Both of these wrestlers placed in the top three at the Tiger Classic.

None of Guilliams matches went all three periods as he recorded pinfalls in each as only one of them went past the first period. This was Guilliams’ first match as he took on Kennett senior Chase Malone (7-2) and pinned him with 17 seconds left in the second period.

Guilliams then went on and didn’t have a single match last one and a half minutes with pins over Kennett sophomore Elliott Nelson (4-3) at 1:15, Oakville sophomore Justin Venable (4-9) at 1:20, Seckman senior Cain Frey (7-6) at 1:12 and Dexter senior Luke Blocker (2-8) at the 43-second mark.

Vassalli had final two matches of the scramble last all three periods against Seckman freshman Brayden Burke (8-1) and Rockwood Summit freshman Minko Brown (13-6). Vassalli handed Burke his first defeat of the season with a 11-6 decision and then beat Brown by major decision at 13-2.

Vassalli won his first three bouts handedly starting with a technical fall at 17-0 over Kennett sophomore Gavin Patterson (6-4). In rounds two and three, Vassalli pinned Oakville freshman Joshua Bayer (3-15) and Dexter junior Diego McCormick (2-6) in the first period.

Out of Jackson’s second-place finishers, Aufdenberg and Terry were the only ones to wrestle at least four matches as Mitchell and Shirrel received two byes.

In the first round, Terry fell to Seckman sophomore Domanic Medeiros (8-4) by one point at 6-5. Terry won his next two matches by pinfall and lost to Oakville freshman Ethan Venable (11-1) by decision at 9-4.

Aufdenberg’s lone defeat was to Seckman senior Zachary Warren (7-5) via pinfall in the first period. Aufdenberg then won his three other matches via pinfall.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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