The Smith-Cotton Wrestling program had its annual Black and Gold Scrimmage on Tuesday night in the S-C gym, with plenty of fresh faces getting in competitive mat time.

Sedalia School District 200

First-year head coach Eric McNeal was pleased with the effort put forth by all of his athletes.

"We battled hard. We had a lot more six-minute matches than I might have anticipated," McNeal said. "To wrestle six minutes is one of the toughest things to do, and once kids learn they can do it and not give in, the sky's the limit."

McNeal said his wrestlers were "fighting off their backs" to avoid pins and keep matches competitive.

Seniors Blake Pomajzl and Gauge Young both recorded pins in their matches. McNeal sees both as leaders for his young Tigers squad.

"Gauge and Blake and several of our other kids put in work over the summer," McNeal said. "They're the kind of kids you want to build a program around. Theyre dedicated to what they do, theyre dedicated to diet, staying in shape and perfecting what makes them good."

S-C opens its season Saturday at the Grain Valley Tournament.

POMAJZL: Smith-Cotton senior Blake Pomajzl works on top to control Kris Houk in the final match of the S-C wrestling program's annual Black and Gold Scrimmage on Tuesday night in the S-C gym. Pomajzl, a three-time state meet qualifier, posted a second-period pin.

YOUNG: S-C senior Gauge Young looks to the official as he has opponent Zane Schnakenberg in a pinning predicament during their match. Seconds later, Young recorded the pin.

LINARES: Leo Linares works to escape the grasp of Dylan Wissman, who won their match by a 7-3 score.

CANTU: Juan Cantu, top, torques on the arm of Brock Cooper as he tries to get Cooper to his back in their march. Cantu later won by pin.