As if Mallorie Metzger hadn’t already cemented her name enough in the Jackson wrestling history books as the first female to ever earn all-state for the Indians, Metzger’s opponent’s coaches also made sure she’ll never be forgotten.
Following a season where Metzger finished 40-4 overall and won her second district championship in a row at 120 pounds, she was named by opposing coaches as the Class 2 District 1 Wrestler of the Year. Mallorie earned this honor not just out of everyone in her weight class, but out of all other 13 classes as well.
“Jackson is a really small town compared to most of the teams we had to face in districts, which makes it feel like we are the underdogs, especially with a smaller team,” Metzger said. “The other schools we had to face live in or are closer to big cities, which gives them more resources and a competitive environment to work with to become better athletes.
“Because of this, I thought it would be harder for me to stand out. However, Jackson has always had a good wrestling program, and I feel like the training I received from my coaches has helped me prepare for the hard competition.
“It’s also a nice way to feel recognized by these coaches for the hard work, amount of time and effort I’ve put into this sport. Because of this, this award makes me even more proud to be a part of Jackson’s wrestling program, and I’m excited that it places me further into Jackson’s history.”
Not only is Metzger the first female district wrestler of the year for Jackson after becoming the program’s first girls wrestler to earn an all-state medal and win back-to-back district titles, but there have been no more than five district wrestlers of the year in school history. The Indians have had a total of 12 individual state champions, and not all of them were named district wrestler of the year like Metzger was.
In the district tournament, Mallorie won two of her matches via pinfall and the others by major decisions at scores of 17-2 and 16-2. Metzger pinned both of her opponents to win her first SEMO Conference Championship.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for me to get all-state in wrestling and an honor to be Jackson’s first all-state girl wrestler. But to be voted on by all the coaches in the district to be the district wrestler of the year is really flattering. This award could have gone to a whole lot of other girls in the district, but the coaches decided to choose me. This award is really special to me because it’s a rare occasion and while other accomplishments are in your control, this one is in the hands of your spectators.”
Along with taking home the honor of district wrestler of the year at this year’s annual Missouri Wrestling Association banquet, Metzger also earned academic all-state. Mallorie received the honor with her sister and fellow Jackson senior Gracie Metzger, who won the 115-pound district championship and qualified for state as well this winter.
“Accepting the same academic award as my sister is a touching moment for Gracie, my family and me because our parents have worked hard on raising us to become responsible, disciplined and successful people,” Mallorie said. “My sister and I understand the importance of being students first and athletes second, and we push each other in every way we can, no matter the self doubts we have or the fears of failing.
“This is because we were taught ‘you have to fail in order to succeed.’ This philosophy has helped the both of us get out of our comfort zones and try new things. By taking a chance in life and putting the work in, we are accepting an opportunity for success.
“This is exactly what happened when Gracie encouraged me to try out for wrestling and work hard in it. Because my parents were my best mentor, and Gracie was my best partner and supporter — I give them credit in my successes of achieving all-state, academic all-state and district wrestler of the year.”
The Metzgers will continue their academic and athletic careers at Maryville for track and field. Mallorie qualified for the Class 5 State Meet in track as a member of the 4×800-meter relay team.