(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
FARMINGTON -- Two Sikeston Bulldog wrestlers are on their way to the state tournament Thursday in Columbia. Senior Gavilan Bland and freshman Jacob Murphy have each had a phenomenal season, and will be representing Sikeston on the mat from Thursday until Saturday.
Bland wrapped up the Class 3 District 1 wrestling tournament in Farmington with a first place finish.
"Gavilan was 3-0 in the tournament," said Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs. "In the championship, he beat Jon Grule from Farmington - he pinned him."
"That was the kid that in the very first match of the year, pinned Gavilan," he added. "Every kid that placed in the tournament was on Gavilan's side of the bracket. That usually doesn't happen, with the way they were all on our side, but he wrestled really well."
"Jacob won his first match, and then he wrestled a kid from North County," said Gibbs. "He ended up getting beat, but the good thing about it was, he came back through wrestle-backs and had to wrestle the kid again (Brock Harrison). He had to wrestle him for third or fourth place, and he beat him handedly by seven or eight points."
"He did a good job of coming back through and placing third," he added. "It makes a big difference in state, because the pairings are such where a third faces a fourth in another district."
Gibbs went on to say that it was a big win for both wrestlers, and that they both wrestled well throughout the tournament.
Murphy and Bland weren't the only wrestlers that Gibbs seemed impressed with in Farmington.
"Dustin Wells is a freshman that also wrestled well," he said.
"He had a good district tournament, going 1-2. But, the last match he got beat 12-9, but had the kid on his back in the third period. The kid just got him."
The state tournament is scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Columbia.