Jays’ wrestling manhandles Rolla, 58-9

It wasn’t the kind of post-match talk you expect after a 58-9 victory. But it was just what the doctor ordered.

In their first action since capturing the title in the Woodford County Invitational in Versailles, Ky., the Jefferson City wrestling team rolled to a victory against the Rolla Bulldogs on Thursday night. But it was the way the Jays posted that 58-9 win that had coach Phil Cagle concerned.

“We kind of had a heart-to-heart talk in (the locker room),” Cagle said. “They’re good kids, but here’s what I told them: The sports programs at this high school have been built on humility, not arrogance. I’ve heard since Day 1 that I’ve been at this school — be the best you can be, but be humble. That’s what I’m trying to carry on, because it’s a great philosophy.

“… Our kids won a big tournament and they’re feeling pretty good about themselves, but I thought (Thursday) brought them back down to reality. We get a chance to wrestle again (tonight) and we’ll see what happens.”

The Jays went 6-3 in contested matches against the Bulldogs and got five wins by forfeit.

“We win 58-9 and you’re sitting here going, ‘What could we have done better?’ But that’s the way it has to be. You can’t ever be satisfied,” Cagle said.

The match started at 106 pounds and Dennis Barnes made sure the Jays would never trail, rolling to a 17-5 victory. He picked up seven takedowns in the match and almost got a fall as time expired. The only points he gave up were on letup escapes.

“That’s our philosophy — if we can take you down and we can escape, we can beat you, because we’re never going to give up any back points by doing that,” Cagle said. “Our kids work a lot on takedowns, and they do a good job.”

After a forfeit for the Jays’ Zach Benges at 113, Corbin Howard followed for Jefferson City at 120 pounds and picked up a pin in just 2:27.

Christian Mayberry (126) then suffered an 8-6 loss in overtime. Rolla’s Tristan Barr got a takedown with :06 left in the third period to tie it at 6 and then picked up another with :26 left in the overtime period to win it.

“Mayberry had his chances,” Cagle said. “He’s a freshman. He just told me in the room, ‘I’m going to get better,’ and that’s what you want to hear from the kids.”

Jacob Brune then dominated at 132 pounds, winning 18-1 thanks to three takedowns and 12 near-fall points. The only point he allowed was a letup escape.

At 138, Zack Hurley dropped a 10-8 decision in a match that featured four reversals, and Hurley almost got a tying reversal as time expired. He was filling in for Alec Bise, who’s still recovering from a concussion suffered in the Woodford County Invitational.

“Hurley is a kid that’s been wrestling JV and Bise is hurt and he steps up and wrestles well,” Cagle said. “If not for a couple mistakes, he wins that match. It’s good for him to get that experience on the varsity.”

After Tanner Irwin (145) won by forfeit and Casey Bax (152) lost 10-5, Devin Miller got a big win at 160 pounds against Rolla’s Seth Veitech.

“Devin wrestled a great match,” Cagle said. “(Veitech) was 18-3, and Devin controlled the guy. Devin is a very strong kid. He’s a junior and he wrestled like a junior. He showed good leadership.”

Jalen Martin followed with an 11-2 win at 170 pounds before three straight wins by forfeit for Tekoah Sage (182), Ian Coil (195) and Matt Lawson (220).

Logan Coil (285) then capped off the night by getting a pin in just 33 seconds.

The Jays return to action today at Nixa for dual matches against the host school and Ozark.

“We didn’t have one senior on the mat (Thursday),” Cagle said. “We’re a very young team right now with our injuries. We had two key wrestlers out of the lineup (due to concussions), Alec Bise and Logan Moriarity. Moriarity will be back in the lineup (today), but Bise still has to go through his progression for his concussion.”

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