(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Sikeston's Jacob Stinnett has liked what he's seen so far.
Stinnett is one of five seniors who lead the Bulldogs wrestling team which has enjoyed great success so far in their young season.
"I didn't really now what to expect from this team," Stinnett said thinking back before the season started. "But, I've got to say I'm really impressed with their work ethic, first of all. Secondly, I'm really surprised how far they've come along this fast. I'm really impressed."
The Bulldogs are 5-0 so far in dual matches, most recently defeating New Madrid County Central 65-12 Wednesday night at the Sikeston Field House.
Their big win over NMCC marked the last home meet the Bulldogs will have this season as they celebrated their seniors.
"It's always on us to do our best," fellow senior Nick Nichols said. "It's just bred in us. Coach Lowe and coach Michael pushes us. We always work hard and at the end we always push through."
Seniors such as Stinnett and Nichols have backed the Bulldogs with their experience and willingness to help an otherwise young Sikeston squad. Sikeston head coach Chris Lowe has enjoyed their presence as they continue to lead the team.
"There was a lot of emotion," Lowe said about senior night. "The kids wanted to do well because those are the leaders of our team. They're doing an excellent job of leading this team and it is their team. They step up and express the desire needed to the young kids in order to be champions.
"They want to leave a building block for these younger kids."
Along with those two, Cody Middleton, Antwuan Dorsey and Tarrington Marks make up the rest of the five seniors. Only Middleton and Stinnett wrestled Wednesday night, both winning easily in their 126 and 132 weight class matches.
"We just came out tonight and we were prepared," Stinnett said. "This was our last home dual and I tried to get everybody motivated. I was really impressed with the guys and how they wrestled."
Nichols has been one of the more dominant wrestlers within his weight class (195) and area so far this season. Although he didn't get to wrestle, he knows how important it was for his team to go out in a grand way in front of their home crowd for the last time.
"It was a big thing for the senior to go out with a win," Nichols said. "It's our last time working with these boys at home and stepping on that red mat together. You never know how bad it hurts and how good it feels going out your senior year. Either way it goes, you've got to put it all on the mat and finish."
Sikeston, who were missing three varsity wrestlers due to injury, dominated their dual against NMCC.
Javeon Bonner (120-pound) kicked things off with a 5-2 victory over NMCC's Rhiley Smith which sparked five-straight wins for the Bulldogs -- 10 if you count forfeits.
"New Madrid is a young team," Lowe said. "We wanted to work on some stuff and we did. Overall, I'm really pleased with their efforts."
Middleton earned a quick pin during his match, as did Stinnett who pinned Byrce Smith in the second round.
Demarous Crawford defeated Andy Smith 22-7, and Sidney Gadberry scored a 9-8 technical fall against Cole Nowell in the 145-pound division.
NMCC's only two wins came from 182-pounder Austin Cummins, who pinned Devin Cochran in the second round, and heavyweight Brandon Western, who quickly pinned Sikeston's Gage Barber in the first period.
"I'm glad we could end my senior career at home like this," said Stinnett. "I'm glad the guys came out and competed well. I know they had the seniors in mind."
Sikeston's next match will be the Tiger Classic in Cape Girardeau starting Friday.
106 -- Garrett Middleton (S), forfeit
113 -- Garrick Madison (S), forfeit
120 -- Javeon Bonner (S) def. Rhiley Smith (N), 5-2
126 -- Cody Middleton (S) def. William Pate (N), pin
132 -- Jacob Stinnett (S) def. Bryce Smith (N), pin
138 -- Demarous Crawford (S) def. Andy Smith (N), 22-7
145 -- Sidney Gadberry (S) def. Cole Nowell (N), 9-8
152 -- Taylor McIllwain (S), forfeit
160 -- Christian Crumpecker (S), forfeit
170 -- Clay Porter (S), forfeit
182 -- Austin Cummins (N) def. Devin Cochran (S), pin
195 -- Nick Nichols (S), forfeit
220 -- Tarrington Marks (S), forfeit
285 -- Brandon Western (N) def. Gage Barber (S), pin