Eldon’s Simmons bids for Class 2 boys wrestling state honors

Eldon's Jesiah Simmons goes on the defense against Cooper Collins of Excelsior Springs during their championship match at 113 pounds last season in the Class 2 boys wrestling state championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (Greg Jackson/News Tribune)
Eldon's Jesiah Simmons goes on the defense against Cooper Collins of Excelsior Springs during their championship match at 113 pounds last season in the Class 2 boys wrestling state championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (Greg Jackson/News Tribune)

Eldon junior Jesiah Simmons is hoping the third time is the charm.

Simmons will be aiming for a state title today and Thursday in the Class 2 boys wrestling state championships at Mizzou Arena. Simmons, a three-time state qualifier, came away as a runner-up finisher last season at 113 pounds for the Mustangs.

This season, Simmons enters the state tournament with a 35-0 record. The wrestler with the next-fewest losses in his weight class is School of the Osage’s Zach Green (31-4), who Simmons defeated by pin in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 3 Tournament last weekend en route to a district title at 113.

Simmons is vying to become Eldon’s first state champion since 2019, when Isaiah Simmons won a title at 113 in Class 2.

Simmons needs four consecutive wins to earn that state title. He opens the state tournament against Normandy Collaborative’s Demetrius Crawford (29-10) in the first round.

Eldon’s other state qualifier, senior Jonathon Etzel, will make his second state appearance this week. He advanced to state with a third-place finish at 165 in districts.

Etzel (30-5) faces Moberly’s Gage St. Clair (41-8) in the first round. St. Clair took sixth place in state at 165 last season.

Today’s action in the Class 2 state tournament begins at 6 p.m. After the first round, the opening session will also consist of quarterfinal matches, as well as the first- and second-round wrestlebacks.

III

The Southern Boone Eagles will have three wrestlers compete today in the Class 2 boys wrestling state championships.

Kaid Shaw and Grant Leininger are making their second state appearances for the Eagles, while Blaine Bergthold will make his state debut.

Leininger (31-7), a sophomore, is coming off a district championship at 144 pounds in last weekend’s Class 2 District 2 Tournament. He wrestles Odessa’s Gabe Studdard (32-14) in the first round at state.

Shaw (18-13), a sophomore, finished fourth at 120 in last weekend’s district tournament. He faces Ste. Genevieve’s Brody Winters (36-12) in the first round.

Both Leininger and Shaw posted 1-2 records at state last season in their debuts.

Bergthold (25-13), also a sophomore, took third place at 126 in districts. He takes on Blair Oaks’ Carter Kempker (27-7) in the first round.

First-round matches in the Class 2 state tournament start at 6 p.m. today at Mizzou Arena.

III

School of the Osage senior Zach Green will make his third consecutive appearance at the Class 2 boys wrestling state championships.

Green (31-4) took third place at 113 pounds last weekend in the Class 2 District 3 Tournament. He begins his state tournament with a first-round match against Owensville’s Micah Duncan (25-15).

Green had a 3-3 career record at state, finishing runner-up at 113 in 2022.

Osage’s other state qualifier is junior Amos Mundy (31-7), who finished fourth at 157 in districts. Mundy will make his state debut against Odessa’s Michael Scott (32-15) in the first round.

The Class 2 state tournament begins at 6 p.m. today at Mizzou Arena.

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