SIKESTON - The Heartland AAU wrestling team recently won the Missouri National Challenge at Northwest High School.
"These kids are showing so much heart," said team coach Dan Ruby. "They are working very hard in practice, and when they go to a tournament of this size and win, their hard work and determination shows."
The team came home with 10 placers on the day. Kenneth Moy had a very impressive tournament with three very tough matches, winning the championship in his weight class. Katrious Harrington started working harder in practice the past two weeks, with winning on his mind. There was no one keeping Harrington from being the champion in his weight class.
Steven Wheatley came home with the championship in his weight class. This was Mary Deason's first tournament and she came out very strong with a second place finish.
Also Cody Middleton has shown that wrestling comes natural to some He has had a very good first season and shows improvement with every match. He finished second place on the day.
Dustin Ruby had a very good tournament. He went 4-1 on the day. His only lost came in the second round when he lost to the 2003 AAU State runner-up. After that Ruby came back with three pins in a row finishing third in his weight class.
Blake Angle had a very impressive day. He is a very aggressive wrestler and he's all business on the mat. Blake went 4-1 in the tournament with a third place finish. He lost the second round and wrestled back to find the wrestler that beat him fighting for third place also. He showed his determination and won 13-6.
Darian Dicus had a very tough tournament. He was the only Heartland wrestler still undefeated on the year. The first lost is always tough, but Darian stepped up and came back with a 4th place finish.
Trevor Wheatley is showing improvement with a 4th place in his weight class. Gage Barber is proving his self on the mat. Gage is very strong for his age and won 5th place in the tournament. The team is getting prepared for the Ozark Association Championships on Jan. 18. The club is also hosting Nick Purler NCAA All-American wrestler Jan. 24. He will focus on takedowns and high percentage moves. This will help the club prepare for the AAU state wrestling championships in February.