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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Six qualify for state tournament

Monday, February 17, 2003

(Photo)
The Sikeston Bulldogs sent six wrestlers to the Class 2 Sectional meet in Farmington Saturday and all six qualified for the state meet
(Submitted photo)
Most SHS wrestlers to state since 1991

FARMINGTON - The Sikeston wrestling team sent six wrestlers to the Class 2 Sectional meet in Farmington and they qualified all six for the state tournament in Columbia.

The six qualifiers is the most Sikeston has sent to state since 1991 when they sent eight. It also ties for the second most qualifiers ever when the Bulldogs did it in 1984 and 1987.

The state meet will on this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Hearnes Center on the campus of the University of Missouri.

"This is the goal that I set at the beginning of the year," said Sikeston head coach Chris Hodgkiss. "Last year we sent three kids to state and this year we wanted to double that number. We couldn't ask for a better sectional meet."

Wrestlers that qualified are Adam Miller (119 pounds), Kyle Weeks (135), Lance Berry (152), Scotty Keenan (171), Andy Croxford (215) and Joe Johnson (heavyweight).

"This is probably the first tournament this year that they actually exceeded their own expectations," said Hodgkiss. "We're very happy. I was proud of the way they wrestled. That's the best those kids have wrestled all year. It's good to see that they're peaking at the right time."

Miller finished third with a 3-1 record to improve to 30-9 on the season. The senior also qualified his sophomore for the state tournament.

Weeks and Johnson, who both went 2-1 to finish second, are Sikeston's other two returning qualifiers. Weeks is 32-7 on the season while Johnson is 25-8.

Berry went 3-1 and took third to improve to 29-11 on the season. Keenan went 3-1 and took third to improve to 27-13. And Croxford went 2-2 and took fourth to improve to 25-16.

"We had four guys that had to come through the loser's bracket," said Hodgkiss. "In their elimination match they all won by pin."

Croxford's match was the sixth and final qualifying match for Sikeston. Down 13-3 to Kent Slinkard from Farmington, Croxford won the match by pin with 12 seconds to spare.

It was the perfect ending to a near-perfect day for the Bulldogs.

"In the last three weeks our wrestlers have really picked it up," said Hodgkiss. "I can't take a lot of credit for Saturday. All six got together and they all kind of made a pact that they were all going to go to state."