ST. LOUIS - The Heartland Wrestling team brought home 14 AAU state placers with three state champions. This was a very good opportunity for these wrestlers to show their abilities on the mat. We have practiced so hard this year and these kids drilled and worked on their conditioning that they deserved everything they won up there.
We had three state champions this year and they were Josh Stinnett (heavyweight), Blake Angle (65 pounds) and Gage Barber (heavyweight). Josh wrestled with a lot of determination up there. He won all his matches by pin. When you win the state championships by pinning every opponent you face, it shows how hard you worked throughout the season.
Angle came home as a state champion winning his weight class in style. Blake had a tough weight class and had to work for everything he got. Blake placed fifth last year and knew what he was facing to win the tournament.
Barber won his first state championship, showing the season he has had. Gage stepped it up a level at this tournament at the perfect time. He faced some tough wrestlers and had some good matches.
We had one runner up and that was Trevor Wheatley. Trevor lost in the first round and stepped back up to win the rest of his matches to finish second place.
We had three third place finishers in Dustin Ruby, Zach Shaw and Wesley McCollough. Dustin had finished third last year at state and then this year again. Dustin (100 pounds) had a very tough bracket starting out as he lost in double overtime in the first round and that was tough on him because he had pinned the kid twice this season.
But when you get to state, it's a new level. Dustin wrestled back to pin his next two opponents to finish third.
Shaw (65 pounds) is one of our first-year wrestlers that has learned the sport well. Any time you place in the state tournament you're showing your talent. Zach has a lot of ability to compete at any level we put him at.
Wesley placed third in the 135 pound class. He came over from Dexter this year and helped the club a lot. He's in the seventh grade and is getting ready for junior high next year. He wrestled a good tournament.
We had several others place in Drew Harper, Kenneth Moy and Levi Henson, all of which placed fourth after wrestling very good matches.
We had two fifth place finishers and they were Trey Smith and Cody Middleton. These two are very determined wrestlers that have improved so much this year.
Finishing in sixth place were Brandon Flippo and Darin Dicus. These guys had a tough day up there but wrestled well.
We also had some wrestlers compete but come short of medaling. They were Austin Bewley, Chase Rodgers, Garrett Middleton, Clay Williams, Zach Stinnett, Jacob Stinnett and Josh Overall. These guys had a very good season.
My goal as a coach is to see each one of these boys win an AAU state championship before they reach high school.
I believe with our coaching staff and our busy offseason programs we will see more several champions next year. The club has a full schedule this summer and it will only help these boys.
The Heartland Wrestling Club would like to thank the following sponsors: Sikeston Jaycees, Miner Baptist Church, Alan Wire, SEMO Title, Good Humor-
Breyers, Sabona of London, Lambert's Cafe, First State Bank and Trust, First National Insurance, MM & R Transportation, Dan's Auto Service, DIDIT Management, Pat Taylor, Jeff Ketterman, the Moy Family and the Angle Family.
Your support is greatly appreciated!