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Mallorie Metzger becomes second-ever district champion in Jackson girls wrestling history

Jackson junior Mallorie Metzger won the 120-pound Class 1 District 1 Championship last week. Submitted photo

Last week, Jackson junior Mallorie Metzger made school history by winning the 120-pound weight class at this year’s Class 1 District 1 Tournament.

Not only was it Metzger’s first district championship in her two-year wrestling career, but it was the second-ever individual district title in Indians girls wrestling history.

Fellow Jackson junior Kassie Hodges was the first Indian in program history to win a district championship as she did so last year wrestling at 137 pounds.

“I’m really glad because being a district champion was a goal I had really been working toward this season,” Mallorie said. “To finally do it feels pretty great. It’s a huge accomplishment.”

Metzger etched her name in Jackson’s record books by dominating the competition as she recorded three pinfalls, one major decision and won the championship bout by seven points.

“I was really trying to keep a good mindset — that was really the plan going into districts was to have a good mindset,” Metzger said. “Going out tough and fighting through exhaustion. If you get tired, sometimes you can hold back a little. Whenever I went in, I didn’t want to let that stop me.”

Mallorie (27-6) took on Poplar Bluff senior Alexis Rowland (36-12) for the 120-pound district title, which is the same wrestler she fell to by a score of 2-1 in the SEMO Conference Tournament Semifinals.

This time around Metzger beat Rowland 8-1 for the district championship, and Mallorie credits winning the match in large margin by doing what Jackson head coach Steve Wachter calls “breaking their personality.”

“I knew I could wear her out, and breaking their personality kind of changes their game,” Mallorie explained. “At conference, I feel like my mindset wasn’t where I needed it to be, but with districts I stopped worrying and knew what I needed to do. We started talking about ‘win,’ which stands for what’s important now. That really did sink in for me, and I knew I could really beat her if I wanted to. I really did want to win, and then I did!”

On top of that, Metzger knew she had to be aggressive offensively by taking as many shot attempts as she could and constantly hand-fighting. Mallorie knew if she ever let down that it would end up bad for her since she would no longer be in control of the match.

“My strategy going in to wrestle her was to keep attacking because that eventually broke her,” Metzger said. “I don’t know if that really did happen for her, but I felt like she came out pretty heated in the beginning. Towards the end, she was getting really tired, and I think that’s because I was the one in control.”

To reach the title match, Metzger pinned Rolla sophomore Gracie Clayton (25-13) at the three-minute, seven-second mark in the semifinals.

Mallorie had one other match last three periods, which was her quarterfinal bout versus Northwest freshman Madyson Thomas (26-14). Metzger beat Thomas via major decision, 11-1, and before that she recorded back-to-back, first-round pins.

In the second round, it only took Metzger 21 seconds to pin Ste. Genevieve freshman Hollyn Zangaro (14-19), and before that in the first round she pinned Oakville sophomore Annalise Brown (9-13) at the 1:28-mark.

This week’s state championship wrestling meet will be the first-ever for Metzger, but she’s no stranger to competing at the state level. She’s done so in both cross country and track and field.

“I really do feel honored, and I feel excited,” Metzger said. The support I get from family, friends and coaches really means a lot. I don’t think they know how much the support means because it motivates me to keep doing well.”

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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