We have 24 wrestlers going this weekend and I think we have a great shot at winning several championships. These kids are working harder now than they have all year and that's what it takes at this point of the season.
This is one of the three biggest tournaments of the year. This weekend will help us prepare for the other two. We have been wrestling some tough competition this year so now we know that we can wrestle with the best in the state. We still have several undefeated wrestlers on the team and hopefully with our style of wrestling we can keep that trend going through this tournament.
Wrestling this weekend in the 7-and-under division will be returning state champion Josh Stinnett. Josh has been working out with 11- and 12-year-
olds in practice and I look to see him as a state champion again this year. Also wrestling the 7-and-under is Austin Bewley who is undefeated, Kalan Bland, Austin Branch, D.J. Hicks, Jacob Kallemeier, Peyton Kennard and Garrett Middleton.
Wrestling in the 8- and 9-year-old division will be returning state champion Gage Barber, Aaron Day, Brandon Houseman, Connor Sniff and Trevor Wheatley.
Our wrestlers in the 10- and 11-year-old division is probably our toughest group of boys.
These guys go after each other in practice and are buddies after its over. When their teammate wins a tournament, they win it together.
Without each other in the practice room they would not ever improve. That's what it takes to make each other the best at this sport.
Blake Angle is another returning state champion who is still undefeated this year.
Also his cousin, a two-time state placer Dustin Ruby, is undefeated this year, Clay Williams is undefeated and we have Zack Shaw, Jacob Stinnett, Trenton Gross, Dylan Rucker, Adam Kennard, Cody Middleton and Levi Henson.
I look for all these guys to do well up there. These guys have a great work ethic on the mat and in a couple of years hopefully Sikeston will have a strong high school program.
The team is also getting ready for the Missouri National Challenge in a couple of weeks. We will be busy with tournaments the next four weekends before the state championships.