Jays’ early season development leads to title at Missouri Duals

Jefferson City’s Dennis Barnes (back) works on Waynesville’s Nathaniel Perez during their 106-pound match Saturday at the Missouri Duals.

Jefferson City’s Dennis Barnes (back) works on Waynesville’s Nathaniel Perez during their 106-pound match Saturday at the Missouri Duals. Photo by Kris Wilson.

According to wrestling coach Phil Cagle, the Jefferson City Jays are still learning and attempting to get better.

Evidently, they’ve already made a lot of progress. The overall team title at the Missouri Duals shows that.

“Our kids did a wonderful job, I’m so proud of what they’re doing,” Cagle said after Jefferson City topped Waynesville 37-28 in the championship match Saturday afternoon at Rackers Fieldhouse. “They believe in what they’re doing, they believe in each other and the coaching staff has done a great job of getting them ready.”

The Jays, who went 6-0 in duals in the two-day event, racked up 282 points to take Gold Division honors to advance to the title match against the Tigers.

The back-and-forth dual may have turned in its 10th match, where Dennis Barnes of the Jays picked up a pin in the final second at 106 pounds to give Jefferson City a 27-21 lead.

“The pin really gave us a big boost,” Cagle said. “It makes him feel better and the rest of the team feel better.”

Jefferson City’s advantage was 31-28 heading into the final match at 132 pounds. Jacob Brune of the Jays closed the event in style, picking up a second-period fall to seal the victory and the team title.

“He proved the type of wrestler he is, he kept going and got the job done,” Cagle said. “We have several kids we’d put out there with the dual on the line and Jacob is one of them.”

Brune and Logan Moriarity (145) of the Jays both were 6-0 in the Duals.

“Logan is just as steady as you could be,” Cagle said.

The Jays won eight of the 14 matches against the Tigers.

“We showed a lot of fight,” Cagle said.

Impressive in defeat for the Jays was Logal Coil at 285. He squared off with Jacob Semple of Waynesville, who is ranked among the best in the nation. Coil lost by a second-period fall, but not before throwing a scare into Semple.

“We almost had the No. 5 kid in the nation on his back,” Cagle said. “When we get a little more experience, maybe in mid-January, we might turn him.”

Barnes, Corbin Howard (120) and Devin Miller (160) all went 5-1 for the Jays.

“All of our kids did a good job,” Cagle said. “You want to be successful in everything you do and this is going to be a wonderful memory for our kids.”

As happy as Cagle and the Jays were after getting the title, they know they’re still a lot of work to be done.

“We’ll enjoy this today and then get ready for Fox on Tuesday,” Cagle said.

No day off?

“No,” Cagle said with a smile.

Jefferson City will host Fox starting with the junior varsity dual at 6 p.m. Tuesday.


After winning the Duals championship, nobody knew if this was the first time Jefferson City had won the overall title. Longtime Jays fans said if it had happened before, it was in the state championship season of 1996-97.

Microfilm records show the Jays finished second in their division that year and there was no “overall” champion crowned.

See also:

Wrestling: Missouri Duals results


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