(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Sikeston's second-place team finish at last weekend's DeSoto Wrestling Tournament came with some important milestones in a pair of Bulldog grapplers' careers.
According to Sikeston head coach Seth Harrell, senior Blake Angle set a new career mark of 150 wins at the tournament while junior Cody Middleton set a new record for most pins in a season at 25.
"We always talk about it being a team sport," Harrell said. "However, those guys are out there competing individually too.
"So anytime we have a wrestler that is setting the bar high, breaking records and establishing themselves as a good wrestler we always want to acknowledge that."
Angle set his new win's mark, fittingly enough, in the championship match of the 120-pound division in the tournament.
Facing Hillsboro's Juno Musonda for the second time that weekend, Angle pulled out the decision for the 150th win of his four-year varsity career while winning his weight class and improving to 37-7 on the season.
"I knew I only needed seven more wins (going into the tournament)," Angle said. "And it just worked out I only had seven matches up there. I ended up winning my first three matches on the first day on two technicals and a pin.
"The next day I had two pins and a tech. Then in the finals I had a close match, but pretty much man-handled that guy. It wasn't as close as the score read, which was 3-2."
Angle added that he knew he was close to the mark starting the season, but tried not to focus on it.
"I kind of knew how many I needed, but I tried not to think about it," he said. "Then when I got close I started counted down after I got within 10.
"I got a little over 100 (career) wins last year and that's when I knew it was possible if I kept winning out."
Adding to his record, Angle picked up a pair of wins over New Madrid County Central's Carl Pate and Dexter's Wes Ashley on Tuesday in Sikeston's final meet of the regular season.
"Very rarely do you see someone get 150 wins," Harrell said. "It does happen every year (somewhere), but they're hard to come by.
"This season we had a difficult schedule with who is in our conference and who is in our district. If you can acquire that many wins that says something about that individual."
Wrestling just one class up from Angle in the 126-pound division, Middleton pinned three of his opponents over the weekend on his way to a second-place finish.
His final pin of the tournament was his 25th of the season, eclipsing the old school mark of 24.
"That's quite and honor because in order to pin someone that takes a lot of work," Harrell said. "The fact that you can get 25 pins out of 40 or 45 matches wrestled in a year is saying something.
"He's pinned some quality kids and his technique working into those pins is just outstanding. That's what allowed him to achieve that mark."
For his part, Middleton is proud of the record, but is also setting his eyes on a bigger prize.
"It feels good," Middleton said of the record. "I feel like I worked hard to get there.
"I'm going to try and get the career record, which is 74 and is coming up, for next year. If I can get 20 more (pins) I should get it because I'm at 54 career pins now."
Though the regular season has wrapped up, both Angle and Middleton will get a chance to extend their newfound records when Districts takes place a week from Friday in Farmington.