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Farmington edges Jackson for wrestling crown
The Indians finished second for the second straight year.
SIKESTON -- The final round of the SEMO Conference wrestling tournament was not quite a dual-meet showdown between Jackson and Farmington, but it had that feeling with three head-to-head championship matches and several more bouts that had both teams in control of their final scores.
Farmington thrived, recording wins in all six of its championship matches. Jackson, on the other hand, finished the night with just two wins in eight championship matches, including the three losses to the Knights.
That allowed the Knights to walk out of Sikeston Field House on Saturday night with the SEMO Conference team championship. Farmington scored 385 1/2 points; Jackson scored 369.
"I thought we probably wrestled as well as we could," Jackson coach Steve Wachter said. "Farmington has an outstanding coaching staff, and they wrestle well. We knew they were good. You still have to wrestle as hard as you can and give it all you can."
It wasn't enough for the Indians to win the program's 17th conference championship Saturday. The Knights had four pins and two decisions in the championship matches.
They overtook the Indians midway through the finals and clinched the crown with a decision in the 215-pound weight class when unbeaten Kendall May held on for a 3-1 decision against Jackson's Blake Peiffer, who suffered his fifth loss of the season.
"I thought Blake wrestled a good match at 215," Wachter said. "May is an athlete."
Wachter said the same thing about Farmington's Craig Wilson, who won the meet's outstanding wrestler honors after wrapping up 145-pound honors with a pin against Jackson's Jamie Schumacher.
Farmington's Bradley Wisdom pinned Jackson's Doug Froemsdorf in the 125-pound final. That signaled the beginning of Farmington's run and the beginning of Jackson's skid.
The Indians had picked up wins in the first two championship matches of the night, as freshman Levi Rayburn rode out a 2-0 victory against Poplar Bluff's Ethan Swingle at 103 pounds and sophomore Clay Rouse avenged a defeat from earlier in the day by beating Ste. Genevieve's Jordan Ritter 5-3.
"I had to stop his shots and be more offensive," said Rouse, who had lost a 6-3 decision to Ritter in pool matches.
For Rayburn, who improved to 35-10, the championship was the first tournament victory of his high school career. Rouse butted in that the 103-pounder is successful because of his 112-pound training partner.
"He does help me out a lot," Rayburn said. "I think I'm hitting my peak. I felt I wrestled pretty tough this weekend. I was doing pretty good on my feet."
Justin Miller (152), Demarcus Huddleston (189) and heavyweight Jacob Bullinger joined Froemsdorf, Schumacher and Peiffer with runner-up finishes.
"We felt confident when we were 20 points up," Rouse said, "but we had a lot of tragedies in the finals and couldn't pull it off."
Bullinger's loss came by pin in his fourth meeting of the year with Central's Trey Grovener.
After a scoreless first period, Grovener scored a reversal and then pinned Bullinger at the 3:21 mark.
"When you face someone for the fourth time, you know what they're good at and what they're not good at," said Grovener, who improved to 17-11 overall and 3-1 against Bullinger.
He won an earlier meeting between the two Saturday with a pin in double overtime.
"I'm really happy with the way the season is going and proud of the conference championship," Grovener said. "I just want to do well the rest of the season and keep on going to state."
Central had runner-up finishes by Desmond Howard (119) and Zach Wilson (160). The Tigers finished sixth in the 11-team field, cracking the 200-point barrier with four top-four finishers.
Jackson had 12 top-four finishers in the 14 weight classes while finishing as the runner-up for the second straight year.
"Last year, we didn't have any individual champions," Wachter said. "As far as effort and wrestling hard, we probably did as well as we could. I'm definitely proud of them."
Jackson will get another shot at Farmington at home Jan. 29.
"It'll be a close dual," Rouse said, "something for everybody to come out and watch."
Team scores -- Farmington 385.5, Jackson 369, Ste. Genevieve 337, Imperial Windsor 251, Poplar Bluff 232, Cape Central 207, North County 192, Dexter 184, Park Hills Central 71.5; Sikeston 63.5; New Madrid County Central 48.5.
Championship -- Levi Rayburn (J) dec. Ethan Swingle (PB), 2-0.
Third place -- Zach Portell (W) pinned Todd Brackett (F) :33.
Championship -- Clay Rouse (J) dec. Jordan Ritter (SG) 5-3.
Third place -- Zach Surque (PB) dec. Jacob Murphy (Sikeston) 3-1.
Championship -- Joe Lamar (W) pinned Desmond Howard (CC) :27.
Third place -- Mike Henley (D) dec. Seth Revelle (NC) 4-3.
Championship -- Bradley Wisdom (F) pinned Doug Froemsdorf (J) 2:42.
Third place -- Brandon Bounds (PB) pinned Matt Kraenzle (SG) 1:23.
Championship -- Josh Kelleher (F) pinned Gary Schenz (SG) 1:23.
Third place -- Chris Hurst (J) pinned Storm McClure (PB) 1:22.
Championship -- Branden McDowell (F) pinned Kyle Warren (W) 5:06.
Third place -- Jordan Henningson (PB) pinned Perry Hazelwood (J) 1:46.
Championship -- Nicholas Hoehn (F) dec. Aaron Wehner (SG) 9-4.
Third place -- Blake Hooe (J) dec. Tim Herrel (W) 5-3.
Championship -- Craig Wilson (F) pinned Jamie Schumacher (J) 2:29.
Third place -- Dallas Berry (PB) dec. Raymond Woldtvedt (CC) 4-2.
Championship -- Cody Compton (NC) major dec. Justin Miller (J) 12-4.
Third place -- Chris Petty (SG) won by default vs. Greg Bonnell (F).
Championship -- John Vogt (SG) pinned Zach Wilson (CC) 5:47.
Third place -- Tayler Decker (NC) pinned Patrick Goforth (NMCC) 1:36.
Championship -- Gavilan Bland (Sikeston) pinned Tyler Thomure (SG) 5:41.
Third place -- Brad Bader (F) major dec. Mitchel Montgomery (J) 11-2.
Championship -- Tim Waltenberger (W) dec. Demarcus Huddleston (J) 6-0.
Third place -- Kelton Thompson (PB) pinned Jake Gegg (SG) 2:38.
Championship -- Kendall May (F) dec. Blake Peiffer (J) 3-1.
Third place -- Brandon Campbell (W) pinned Tyler Friend (PHC) 3:18.
Championship -- Trey Grovener (CC) pinned Jacob Bullinger (J) 3:21.
Third place -- Josh Vaughn (F) pinned Michael Spencer (D) 3:14.