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Jackson wrestling teams compete in Lafayette ‘Fred Ross’ Invitational

Sophomore 106-pounder Landon Vassalli (middle) was the only wrestler for Jackson to win his respective weight class at the Lafayette “Fred Ross” Invitational this past weekend. Submitted photo

Over the weekend, the Jackson wrestling teams traveled north to compete in the Lafayette “Fred Ross” Invitational, where both the boys and the girls teams placed in the top 10.

The Indians boys squad placed the highest at fifth overall with 152.5 team points as host Lafayette won the tournament with 221 points, while Seckman (176.5 points), Centralia (175) and Lebanon (165.5) placed second, third and fourth, respectively. Jackson’s girls team finished in ninth place at 62 points, while Lebanon won it all with a score of 255.

Jackson’s boys team had four wrestlers reach their respective championship match, while only one Indian did so for the girls.

The only wrestler for either program to come away with gold was sophomore 106-pounder Landon Vassalli, who defeated Lafayette’s Jackson Tenny via a 6-3 decision for the individual championship.

Vassalli won his first two matches via pinfall by bringing both of his opponent’s shoulder’s down for the count in less than a minute. Vassalli beat Centralia’s Bryson Dubes 13-0 to reach the championship match.

The three other Indians to reach their respective title bouts for the boys team were senior 152-pounder Jace Davis, junior 182-pounder Griffin Horman and senior heavyweight Liam Bryant. The lone girl wrestler for Jackson to reach the championship match was junior 120-pounder Mallorie Metzger.

Unfortunately for Metzger, she was pinned by Lebanon’s Kaylyn Rogers three minutes, 33 seconds into the 120-pound title match.

As for Bryant, Davis and Horman, all three of their first-place matches went all three periods. The closest match out of the three was a tie between Bryant and Horman’s since Davis was shutout by St. Clair’s Cameron Simcox at 3-0.

Horman ended up scoring the most points in his championship match for the 182-pound title with two, but he ended up falling to Seckman’s Jayden Ashlock by three points, 5-2.

Unlike the other matches, Bryant’s heavyweight title bout against Centralia’s Seth Hasekamp actually went into sudden victory with a 1-1 tie. However, Hasekamp was able to score two points after the first three periods to take home the gold.

Jackson’s boys team had two other wrestlers make the championship semifinals, but failed to pull out the win and instead competed in the third-place match to conclude the invitational. The Indians girls team also managed to have one wrestler compete for third place as well.

Taking third overall in their respective weight classes for Jackson’s boys team were senior 160-pounder Flint Guilliams and junior 195-pounder Tyler Beyatte.

To no one’s surprise, Beyatte and Guilliams both won their third-place bouts via pinfall as Tyler pinned Kirkwood’s Nathan Hodo at the 3:45 mark. As for Flint, he pinned his opponent — Marquette’s Nick Keim — 45 seconds sooner to take third as well.

Both Beyatte and Guilliams fell to the eventual tournament runner-up in the semifinal round. Beyatte lost to Sikeston’s Dylan Carlton by a 8-1 decision, and he fell to Lafayette’s Andrew Wier 9-4 for the 195-pound title.

As for Guilliams, he was beaten by Seckman’s Cole Ruble at two points, 4-2, in the semifinals. Ruble went on to lose in the championship by three points to Centralia’s Brayden Shelton.

Winning third place for Jackson’s girls team, in fact, was Mallorie’s sister and fellow junior Gracie Metzger, who won her final match of the tournament convincingly over Centralia’s Madie Shelton with a 37-second pin.

The Indians boys team had one more wrestler place in the top five as sophomore Russell Coy took fifth overall at 113 pounds with a 7-4 victory over Hazelwood East’s Charles Morgan. Jackson junior Kassie Hodges also managed to place in the top five of her 130-pound weight class by defeating St. Clair’s Riley Ostendorft at 10-0 for the consolation title.

Next up for both teams will be the SEMO Conference Tournament. The girls conference tournament will be next Thursday, while the boys is going to be held Friday and Saturday.

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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