(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
One will return while the other will make his first trip to the state meet.
Sophomore Blake Angle and senior Josh Carlyle will represent the Sikeston Bulldogs wrestling team at the Missouri state tournament on Thursday at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Angle will return for the second straight time in as many years. As a freshman, Angle would medal with a sixth place finish after fighting his way back from a first round loss last year.
"It's hard to ask a freshman to handle that situation by himself," Sikeston wrestling coach Seth Harrell said. "This year, it's not going to be anything new to him. He knows there's another huge challenge ahead of him, but that experience is only going to help him."
This year Angle (37-9) finished in third place in the Class 3, District 1 112-pound division after defeating Ryan Henningson from Poplar Bluff in his qualifying match on Saturday.
In only his second full year of wrestling, Carlyle is heading to state.
After pinning Danny Doberstein from Washington High School, Carlyle (30-13) ended up finishing fourth in the heavyweight division on Saturday.
"He hasn't really had all the experience as some of the other people have had," Harrell said. "In the long run it worked out for him and that's because he put in some much work and he worked extremely hard at it the past two years. I think it's critically important to get a senior into the state tournament. Just for them to be able to experience what it's like."
Angle's first round opponent will be the defending 103 weight division state champion Joe Barns from Neosho. Carlyle will also have a tough first round challenge in Demarco Kemp from University City. Kemp is the two-time defending runner-up in the heavyweight division and is undefeated (42-0) on the season.
Sikeston had a total of 10 wrestlers try and vie for a place in the state tournament and six of them made it to the last, do-or-die round.
Freshman Cody Middleton lost to Tanner Danielson from Pacific, freshman Jacob Stinnett lost to the No. 1 seed in the 119 weight class, sophomore Dusty Ruby was defeated in a close, 5-3 decision by Poplar Bluff's Josh Townsend and junior Greg Hale lost to Cape Central's Raymond Woldtvelt 8-2.
As a team, Sikeston finished 10th in Class 3, District 1 with a total of 53.5 points.
"It's nice to see that we put ourselves in that position to succeed," Harrell said. "Our kids did that. They were wrestling well and fought their butts off to make it to that last round. They're at least giving themselves a chance and that just goes to show we're wrestling well as a team."
The Dexter Bearcats wrestling team finished fourth as a team in Class 2, District 1, sending six to the state meet.
As a team, Dexter finished with 105.5 points, trailing only Ste. Genevieve (260), St. Clair (183) and Owensville (118).
Wesley McCollough had the highest finish of the day for Dexter, as the senior finished second in the 160 pound division. All wrestlers that finished fourth or higher will be competing in the state competition that will begin Thursday and end on Saturday.
Senior Daniel McClendon finished third in the 189 pound division and sophomore Cody Stevens also finished third in the 145 pound class. Sophomore Ryan Vanover (130), senior Zach McCoy (135) and junior Dylan Hardin (140) all took fourth to qualify for state.
New Madrid County Central failed to send anyone to the state tournament in Class 1, District 1.
The first round for classes three and four will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday while classes one and two will begin at 10 a.m. The tournament will resemble a double elimination style of rounds.