The Bulldogs finished 7th in the 12 team conference, with all eight Sikeston wrestlers finishing in the top six of their weight classes.
Bulldog head wrestling coach Kent Gibbs was very pleased with his team's performance.
"I think we got better throughout this tournament," Gibbs said."We only took eight kids up there and everyone did pretty well. We wrestled very well and had a chance to get to fifth place but just couldn't get over that hump. We lost the matches in the final round. That had a lot to do with the wear and tear of a long tournament like that."
Gibbs felt this is just part of a continuing trend of improvement throughout the year.
"When you step back and look at where we are, we have come a long way," he said. "I think we have made a lot of progress this season."
The SEMO Wrestling Conference is made up of Sikeston, New Madrid County Central, Dexter, Cape Central, Jackson, Poplar Bluff, Farmington, Hillsboro, Ste. Genevieve,North County, Park Hills Central, and Windsor.
Sikeston's Blake Angle was the top Bulldog medalist, nabbing 2nd place in the very difficult 103-pound weight class. Angle fell in the championship match to Jackson's Todd Rayburn. Rayburn is one of the favorites for a Class 5 title in his weight class and had a 37-1 match record coming into the tournament. Rayburn was also the defending SEMO Conference champion in the 103 class.
Gibbs feels that Angle, who is a freshmen, has come a long way since dropping two matches early in the Tiger Classic earlier this season.
"Blake (Angle) has stepped it up a notch since the Tiger Classic," Gibbs said. "Being successful in the early part of the season, and being a young kid, I don't think he realized how hard some of the more elite competitions are. He got beat a couple of times at the Tiger Classic. He used that as a motivation to work even harder and gave him a chance to step back and kind of look at things. He has worked very hard since and gotten even better."
Gibbs pointed out how close both of Angle's matches to Rayburn were.
"He lost twice in this tournament to a Todd Rayburn, who is ranked very high in the state and was 37-1 coming into the tournament," he said."Blake lost to Rayburn 5-4 in their first match and then 12-7 in the championship. Blake had him on his back toward the end of the championship match, but Rayburn was able to slip out of it. If that deal goes the other way then Blake is the champion."
Angle now holds a match record of 28-4 on the season.
Gibbs pointed out that all his competitors achieved their individual goals for the tournament.
"All of our guys were up against tough competition and fared very well," he said. "I'm just really proud of all of them."
Gibbs will have all of the squad, which has been plagued by injury and illness this season, ready to go this week as they head into the home stretch of the season.
"We have been held back a little bit by having some guys injured and out with infections and things of that nature," said Gibbb. "We hope to have those guys back this week. We are taking our varsity kids up to DeSoto this weekend for a tournament and take our junior varsity kids up to the conferences. We are just continuing to improve facing the good competition we wrestle every time out. We will just keep at it and see what happens going in to districts."
As far as the goals for post season honors, Gibbs said Sikeston could have some state competitors.
"The goal is to improve all through the season to have a chance to make it out of districts and at the state championship level," he said. "I think we have some kids who have a shot at that this year."
Results for Sikeston:
Blake Angle-2nd place (103), Kenton Robinson- 6th place (125), Jacob Murphy- 4th place (130), Dustin Wells- 4th place (135), Dustin Ruby-4th place (145), Faylon Marshall-5th place (171), Jarian Wims-6th place (189), Josh Carlyle-5th place (285)