Young Jefferson City team takes dual from Lebanon

Jefferson City's Logan Moriarity grapples with Lebanon's Dakota Shockley in a 145-pound match Wednesday night at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Jefferson City's Logan Moriarity grapples with Lebanon's Dakota Shockley in a 145-pound match Wednesday night at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Kris Wilson.

An inexperienced Jefferson City Jays wrestling team took to the mat for the first time Wednesday night.

Nine new starters had Jays coach Phil Cagle wondering how the team would perform under the pressure of varsity competition.

He needn’t have worried.

“I was pleased with the aggressiveness we had, with the intensity we had,” Cagle said after Jefferson City won 10 of the 14 matches in a 50-20 victory against the Lebanon Yellowjackets at Fleming Fieldhouse. “We had some young kids out there battling.”

The Jays had more than 80 percent (31-of-38) of the total takedowns in the dual.

“We want to be good on our feet,” Cagle said. “If we can take you down, we figure we can beat you.”

The dual started at 138 and Alec Bise of the Jays got the season off to a good start with a 6-4 victory against Tyler Bates.

“Starting his senior year, starting our first dual, that will be a wonderful memory for him,” Cagle said.

The Jays rolled to wins in the next three matches. Logan Moriarity, a sophomore, picked up career-win No. 50 with a pin in :53 at 145. Tanner Irwin followed with a 16-4 major decision at 152, while teammate Devin Miller did that a point better, winning 17-4 at 160.

The most exciting win of the dual came at 170. Jalen Martin of the Jays, a sophomore, trailed senior state-qualifier Nick Brown 5-2 with just :15 remaining. But Martin got an escape, then a takedown at the buzzer to send the match to overtime tied at 5.

Martin then got the win when Brown was called for a penalty point for clasping.

“That was indicative of what we talk about, you just keep wrestling and you never know what might happen,” Cagle said. “You keep working, good things can happen.”

The Jays’ final five victories came by fall — Ian Coil at 195 (4:48), Logan Coil at 285 (:24), Dennis Barnes at 106 (3:21), Corbin Howard at 120 (1:18) and Jacob Brune at 132 (2:52).

“We knew we had to get some pins to win the dual,” Cagle said.

Mekhi Burnley of the Jays may have dropped a 20-9 decision at 220, but Cagle said at the time, it was the key match in the dual.

Down 20-6 after two periods, the Jefferson City sophomore was a point from losing by technical fall. But Burnley fought the final two minutes to stay off his back and even had a chance to score the victory when he put Lebanon’s Tyler Schmitt on his back in the final seconds.

“I told him he won us the dual by not getting pinned or teched,” Cagle said. “He’s a coachable kid who is working hard.”

The Jays gained a measure of revenge against the Yellowjackets after Lebanon handed Jefferson City its lone dual loss last season.

“The kids didn’t want to have a sour taste in their mouth like we did after the first one last year,” Cagle said.

The Jays return to action Tuesday at Camdenton.

In Wednesday’s junior varsity dual, Jefferson City defeated Lebanon 58-18.

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