The Jefferson City Lady Jays are looking to use this wrestling season as another building block to develop the program.
“We’re growing more of a team feeling this season,” Jefferson City coach Candace Cameron said as the Lady Jays prepared to open the season tonight with a dual at Nixa.
The Lady Jays have eight wrestlers on the roster this season. So while filling out a dual team will be a problem, Jefferson City has enough wrestlers to potentially post good finishes in tournaments.
“This is going to be a good tournament team,” Cameron said. “We don’t really have the numbers to go against some teams with full lineups in duals.”
Lexi Dunwiddie, a sophomore, leads Jefferson City’s returners. She was 42-4 last season and advanced to the semifinals at 125 pounds before being injured to finish sixth.
“She’s got fire,” Cameron said. “She was disappointed with her sixth-place finish, which is silly. She was wanting more and she’s working hard to achieve more this season. She really wants it.”
Dunwiddie will wrestle at 130 this season.
Izzy Eitel is Jefferson City’s lone senior. Eitel, who wrestled at 105 last year Capital City, came to Jefferson City due to the school boundary change.
“She’s a good leader,” Cameron said. “She looked really good when we went to camp during the summer.”
Eitel will wrestle at 110 this season.
Jefferson City has three other wrestlers who participated in the district tournament last season.
Kaylee Redcay, a sophomore, will wrestle at 140.
“I can see that she is working very hard to improve over what she did last year,” Cameron said.
Deja’Nette Wallace will be in the lineup at 170 as a sophomore.
“She’s working really hard to become a better wrestler,” Cameron said.
Kyla Finney, another sophomore, will wrestle at 190.
“If we can get her athleticism and the wrestling moves to go at the same time, she has a chance to be a very good wrestler,” Cameron said.
Sarah Horne will be at 105, while Ava Purvis will be at 155. Both are freshmen. Molly Mitchell, a freshman who played football this fall, is still determining at what weight she will wrestle.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association has set two classes in girls wrestling for the first time this season.
“Girls wrestling is still young and working on developing,” Cameron said. “This is another step in the development.”
Jefferson City, which will wrestle Monday in a dual at Fulton, is in Class 1 this season.