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Jackson and Notre Dame wrestling sending a combined 12 to state

Sophomore 113-pounder Graidy Rice, second from left, qualified for state by being one of Jackson’s four wrestlers to take second in their weight class at the Class 4 District 1 Tournament Saturday in Wildwood. Submitted photos

One week after the girls wrestling district tournaments were held, districts for the boys wrestlers in Missouri were held this weekend to see who would move on to the state tournament or have their season come to an end.

Jackson ended up having the most state qualifiers as seven Indians punched their ticket to state by placing in the top four of their respective weight class at the Class 4 District 1 Tournament. Four of those Jackson wrestlers even made it to their district championship match, but none of them came away as champions unfortunately.

Nonetheless, the Indians placed third overall at 168 points as Lafayette won the district championship with a final score of 242, while Seckman took second place (169.5). Lafayette finished with not one but six individual district champions, coming at 106 pounds, 113, 126, 144, 190 and 285.

Five of Jackson’s state qualifiers are underclassmen — all sophomores — as three of them even made their championship match. Those Indians were sophomores Graidy Rice (32-9) at 113 pounds, Kade King (36-12) at 132 and Brysen Wessell (38-6) at 215.

While Rice and Wessell are both now first-time state qualifiers, they came up just short of winning a district championship. Both of these wrestlers, who have two more seasons with Jackson wrestling, each lost their district title match by only one point.

Wessell faced off against Oakville senior Ethan Venable (29-1) for the 215-pound Class 4 District 1 championship, falling via tiebreaker at 2-1.

Wessell pinned Fox senior Tommy George (43-6) in the second period at the three-minute, three-second mark of the semifinals to reach the title match and qualify for state. To advance to the championship semifinals, Brysen pinned Kirkwood junior Gus Orton (21-16) at 1:03 in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the first round.

As for Rice, he ended up falling to Lafayette sophomore Calum Brown (34-10) by a 7-6 decision for the 113-pound district championship. Like Wessell, Graidy also recorded pinfalls in his first two matches and did so against Seckman freshman Dorrian Clark (28-11) with five seconds left in the third period of their semifinal match.

Rice rightfully made easy work of his quarterfinal opponent Lindbergh freshman Kole Delahunty (4-9) by pinning him in the first period at 1:20 after having a bye in the first round to start the tournament.

King was unable to finish his 132-pound district title match versus Seckman senior Draegen Orine (39-3) as he suffered an injury in the first period at the 1:21-mark to bring the bout to an end. Kade advanced to the state tournament by pinning Fox freshman Ahmet Mamakhov (41-10) with 11 seconds left in the semifinals.

King didn’t record a pin in the quarterfinal round like Wessell and Rice, but he did beat Saint Louis sophomore Tommy Onder (16-10) handedly by major decision at 12-0.

The fourth and final Indian to make their district championship match was junior Tyler Hudson (27-17) at 285 pounds. For the title, Hudson was pinned in 19 seconds by Lafayette senior Brandon Wunderlich (20-11).

Also making it to state for Jackson was senior 126-pounder Landon Vassalli (36-6) and sophomores 120-pounder Kadon Shaw (23-13) and 106-pounder Kamden Gerhardt (37-10). Both Shaw and Vassalli, who took fifth place at 113 pounds at state last season, placed third as Gerhardt finished in fourth.

These seven Indians as well as Kayleigh Milam (32-10) for the girls team will compete at state at Mizzou Arena this week.

Moving on to the Class 1 District 1 Tournament, Notre Dame’s boys wrestling team managed to have three qualify for this week’s state tournament. In fact, the Bulldogs had the only district champion between both wrestling programs in The Cash-Book Journal’s coverage area.

This was Notre Dame senior Charlie West (36-2) as he won the 215-pound Class 1 District 1 Championship by pinning St. Mary’s South Side Catholic senior Derron Perkins (44-2). West did so in the third and final period at the 4:44-mark, and to no surprise he pinned his other two opponents as well.

West received a bye in the first round and then pinned Maplewood Richmond Heights sophomore Alex Kastanias (8-27) in nine seconds in the quarterfinals. Charlie qualified for state a second-straight time when he pinned St. Pius X (Festus) junior Justin Lehn (29-10) in the second period at 3:18 in the semifinal round.

Also qualifying for state for the Bulldogs was sophomore Parker Lemmons (26-19) at 144 pounds and freshman Oscar Kester (22-15) at 106. Lemmons took second in his weight class, while Kester placed fourth overall.

Lemmons fell to St. Francis Borgia sophomore Lincoln Schaefer (31-14) by pinfall in the title match.

Also wrestling in the state tournament for Notre Dame this week at Mizzou will be senior Lily Ahlvin (15-7) on the girls side.

Notre Dame’s 215-pound senior Charlie West was the only wrestler in The Cash-Book Journal’s coverage area to win a district championship this past weekend.

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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