Solid Opening Day for Smith-Cotton Wrestlers
The Smith-Cotton wrestling program started its season Saturday with both varsity and JV meets on the road.
Blake Pomajzl took first in his weight class for the varsity team at the Grain Valley Tournament. The Tigers took sixth place as a team, as Gauge Young (second), Leo Linares (third) and Kris Houk (fourth) also placed in their weight classes.
“Our seniors helped jump start us with some big wins,” said S-C head coach Eric McNeal. “Houk picked up a couple of falls. Gauge went toe-to-toe with a returning state champ, even throwing him to his back and holding him for near fall. Blake gained two falls and major decisioned a state qualifier in the finals to capture his championship."
In addition, Linares finished with three falls. McNeal said the Tigers started slow but from the second round forward, “we were a different team. We battled hard and wrestled six-minute matches."
Four Tigers were within one round of medaling, including Jackson Hazel at 220 (freshman) and Dylan Wissman at 195 (soph). Juan Cantu, Drake Keele, and Emilio Linares also picked up wins..
“I am proud of how they worked through adversity and finished strong,” McNeal said.
At the Blue Springs JV meet, Austin Lauer won his weight class while Brock Cooper, Matthew Diaz, Cain Young, Ezra Kraft and Cody Collins each took second.
S-C JV Coach Pat Pyle said, “Most everyone had the jitters but once they settled down, they wrestled well. The kids made some mistakes out of inexperience, but overall wrestled and represented well.”
In the photo: The Smith-Cotton Tigers varsity team finished in sixth place Saturday at the Grain Valley Invitational wrestling meet. Front row, from left, are meet medalists Leo Linares, third; Gauge Young, second; and Blake Pomajzl, first.