FARMINGTON - The Sikeston wrestling team qualified three for the Class 3A state meet on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia.
Sikeston took six wrestlers to the sectional meet at the Farmington Civic Center on Saturday.
Qualifying for the state meet are sophomore Kyle Weeks (125 pounds), senior Cleveland Anthony (130 pounds) and freshman Joe Johnson (heavyweight).
"I'm happy for those three guys," said Sikeston head coach Chris Hodgkiss. "All three have had good seasons and I'm proud of them for making it to state. You always like more guys to go, but those three deserve it and they wrestled well this weekend."
Wrestlers that competed at the sectional meet but did not qualify are Justin Keller, Jackie Cowley and Scott Heuiser. Keller and Cowley each won one match.
"Justin and Jackie both had their matches come down to the last 15 seconds," said Hodgkiss. "It could've went either way but they both just barely fell short. Scott was in a tough weight class. He's had a really good year and he improved tremendously throughout the year."
Weeks and Anthony each took fourth place with 2-2 records. Johnson took third place with a 3-1 record.
"It surprised me to see him qualify to tell you the truth," said Hodgkiss. "Joe has really improved a lot in the last month and a half. He hasn't even nearly reached his potential so that's pretty exciting to see a freshman qualify for state, especially at heavyweight."
Anthony qualified for the state meet as a sophomore but the other two are inexperienced. Hodgkiss is still optimistic with his trio of wrestlers.
"Even though they took fourth and third, which means they'll face the top seed and the No. 2 seed from other sectionals, I like their chances," said Hodgkiss. "Because they've wrestled tough competition all year and I think they're ready for this."
Weeks will enter the meet with a 30-9 record this year; Anthony is 30-11 and Johnson is 21-18.
Anthony also broke a school record for most career takedowns on Saturday, breaking 1996 graduate Nathan Askew's record of 233. Anthony now has 243 takedowns.
Hodgkiss, now in his third year as the head coach, has seen steady improvement from his wrestling program. Two wrestlers qualified for state his first year and just one qualified last year.
"I like the way our program is headed," said Hodgkiss. "Our numbers are up and we're getting kids out that are dedicated. That's what you've got to have to have a good program. I'm losing a good group of seniors, but I've got some young kids that are dedicated and will put the time in."