Area wrestlers qualify for state

Feb. 19—The Neosho Wildcats boys wrestling team finished in second place at the MSHSAA Class 4 District 3 championships this past weekend at Raymore-Peculiar.

The Wildcats finished with 158.5 points — behind district champion Willard's 175 points — and crowned two district champions.

Freshman Anthony Stotts (38-8) was the first Wildcat to claim a district title after a pin of Republic's Phillip George (39-11) in their 113-pound bout.

At 144 pounds, Neosho sophomore Carter Howard won an ultimate tiebreaker at 5-5 over Willard's Caleb Caldwell (25-3) en route to a district title.

Wildcat freshman Kelton Shaffer (27-10) narrowly missed a district championship after dropping a 5-4 decision to Ozark's Keaton Hurst in their 126-pound match.

Neosho sophomore Everson Tomlinson (31-17) also qualified for state, finishing third with a pin of Raymore-Peculiar's Pierce Hazen (26-19) in the heavyweight division.

Neosho freshman Lincoln Howard (25-18) qualified for state with a fourth-place finish after losing a 5-0 decision to Lebanon's Andrew Bowling (39-7) in their third-place 150-pound match.

Sophomore Chase Kivett (36-11) also qualified with a fourth-place finish after falling 4-1 to Gavin Birkett (34-6) of Raymore-Peculiar in their 165-pound third-place match. Sophomore Dayton Kivett (29-17) also was fourth at 195 pounds, after dropping a 12-0 major decision to Raymore-Peculiar's Patrick Martin (35-7).


Carthage finished eighth at the meet with 92.5 points and crowned a pair of district champions, while qualifying four wrestlers for state.

Carthage junior Tanner Putt (38-5) claimed a district championship at 106 pounds with a pin of Lebanon's Kaleb Branch (30-14), and senior Bradyn Tate (48-2) held on for a 2-1 decision over Nixa's Aidan Ward (30-13) at 138 pounds. Junior David Recinos (33-9) qualified with a third-place finish after posting a 4-2 decision over Ray-Pec's Aidan Carver (31-11) at 215 pounds, and freshman Caden Groom (29-15) finished fourth after losing a 5-2 decision to Lee's Summit West's Zach Pruitt (32-8) at 113 pounds.


Joplin was 14th in the 16-team field with 35 points and will send one wrestler to state. Freshman Lucas Allen (21-11) finished fourth after dropping a 6-5 match to Republic's Corbin Massey (40-10) at 106 pounds.

State wrestling championships will be held this week at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Boys Class 1 and Class 2 and girls Class 1 will wrestle Wednesday and Thursday, and boys Class 3 and Class 4 and girls Class 2 will wrestle Friday and Saturday. This year marks the 94th boys MSHSAA wrestling championships and the sixth girls MSHSAA wrestling championships.


The Diamond Wildcats qualified three wrestlers for the Class 1 state championships after finishing 12th in the 16-team field at the Class 1 District 2 championships in Butler this weekend.

Diamond junior Brayden Clement (26-8) finished third with a pin of Holden's Andrew Johnston (19-12) at 215 pounds.

Sophomore James LaFever (19-12) was fourth after a 15-0 technical fall at the hands of Eldorado Springs' Emory Crawford (38-8) at 150 pounds, and Diamond senior Kendal King (17-2) finished fourth after dropping a 4-3 tiebreaker to South Callaway's Eli Benningfield (37-7) at 190 pounds.