ST. CHARLES - The Heartland wrestling team had a very strong and exciting weekend.
"Having nine in the championship round is always exciting for any coach," said coach Dan Ruby. "We wrestled very well and this is the right time of year to start winning. The team brought home four first place and five second place."
Bringing home his first championship of the year was Gage Barber. "Gage has practiced so hard this year and he has improved so much," Ruby said. "He shows his determination to win on the mat. Everyone was so proud for Gage when he won the Championship."
Katarious Harrington also won his first place in his weight class. "Katarious had a very good tournament," Ruby said. "He stepped it up a level up there and showed he can wrestle with anyone on the state."
Dustin Ruby had a very strong showing with three pins. "Dustin had a tough championship match that showed how much he wanted to win," Ruby said. "During the match he was bitten pretty good and the match was stopped. We had a choice to have the opponent disqualified or wrestle and Dustin want to win on his terms. Dustin went out and pinned him winning the championship.
Blake Angle came into the tournament on a hot streak and won all three of his matches. "Blake is very competitive and it shows on the mat," Ruby said.
Also in the championship round but coming up short were the Middleton brothers. "These brothers are very tough, Ruby said. "When you go to a tournament as a coach there are kids you can always depend on winning and Cody and Garrett are those kids for me.
Cody Anderson and Tyler Dame joined the team a few weeks ago and their making a great impact on the club. Bringing in these older boys help build character with the younger ones. Cody had a tough tournament coming home with a second place finish. Tyler had a very good day with having five matches in about two hours." Dame went 3-2 in the tournament finishing in second place.
Matthew Schmidt also finished second on the day. "This was Matthew's first tournament win of the year," Ruby said. "Austin Bewley and Tyler Smith both wrestled very strong on the day. These little guys are learning so much and they're up in St Louis wrestling kids two years older than them. This is the best experience they could be getting."
The team will compete in the AAU State tournament on February 28th.