Duals still pose tough task despite loss of two teams

Jared Johnson of Jefferson City looks for a move during his match against Camdenton's Kota Jarecka in Tuesday's dual at Fleming Fieldhouse. Johnson has won both of his matches this season.

Jared Johnson of Jefferson City looks for a move during his match against Camdenton's Kota Jarecka in Tuesday's dual at Fleming Fieldhouse. Johnson has won both of his matches this season. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

The Missouri Duals is down from 14 to 12 teams this year. That doesn’t mean the quality of the competition has dipped.

“This is still a great tournament,” Helias wrestling coach Travis Reinsch said as the Crusaders prepared to host the twoday tournament starting tonight. “It’s hard to get people from Kansas City and St. Louis to travel here because they already have so many tournaments in their area, but it’s still a great field.”

And still a tournament each team wants to win.

“A great weekend would be to win it, but we know there are a lot of tough teams in it,” Jefferson City coach Phil Cagle said.

There are two divisions of six teams. Jefferson City is one of the team favorites in the Gold Division, along with Ozark, Eureka and Waynesville. Helias is in the Blue Division, which features two-time defending Missouri Duals champion and Class 3 state champ Neosho.

“They are probably the best team in the tournament,” Reinsch said.

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The Wildcats’ lineup features a defending individual state champion in Blake Stauffer, two runners-up in Nate Rodriguez and Jared Brock, and threetime medalist Carter Boatwright.

Speaking of lineups, both the Crusaders and the Jays will feature new looks since winning duals Tuesday.

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