Fatima's Strope looks for fourth state medal in Class 1 boys wrestling

Fatima’s Cody Strope secures the top position against Trenton’s Mason Rongey during their third-round wrestleback match at 126 pounds last year in the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (News Tribune file photo)
Fatima’s Cody Strope secures the top position against Trenton’s Mason Rongey during their third-round wrestleback match at 126 pounds last year in the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (News Tribune file photo)

Fatima senior Cody Strope has brought home a state medal in each of his three previous appearances at the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships. He’s going for No. 4 this week.

Strope is one of five Comets who will compete in the Class 1 state tournament, scheduled for today and Thursday at Mizzou Arena. Action starts today at 8 a.m. with first-round matches, followed by the quarterfinals and the first- and second-round wrestlebacks.

Strope (41-1) won a title at 126 pounds Saturday in the Class 1 District 2 Tournament to qualify for state for a fourth time. He faces Hamilton-Penney’s Tennison Nixdorf (28-17) -- who finished sixth in the state at 120 last season -- in the first round.

In his previous state appearances, Strope placed third at 126 last season, second at 133 in 2022 and second at 106 as a freshman. He enters the state tournament with a 177-17 career record.

Also returning to state for Fatima are sophomores Tucker Tune and Nolan Laux and senior Tyler Kloeppel.

Tune (37-9) won a district title at 106. He opens against Marceline’s Reece Stufflebean (32-13) in the first round.

Laux (41-7) took third place at 120 in districts. He wrestles Centralia’s Tharon Harper (21-11) in his first match.

Kloeppel (24-12), who previously wrestled at state in 2022, returned to Columbia with a fourth-place finish at districts. He will take on Priory’s Aaron Parasch (17-3) to start his state tournament.

Making his state debut for Fatima is freshman Ryder Herzing (31-24), who placed third at 144 in districts. He goes against Maysville’s Draken Bennett (39-6) -- who placed fifth at 138 last season -- in the first round.

Fatima is ranked No. 8 in Class 1 by MissouriWrestling.com.

III

The California Pintos are bringing a program-record five qualifiers to the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships.

Seniors Kwynnon Duvall and Alexis Anguiano and junior Patrick Morrow will make their second state appearance. Anguiano advanced to state last season, while Duvall and Morrow both reached state in 2022.

Duvall (28-6) won a title at 165 pounds Saturday in the Class 1 District 2 Tournament. He will face Lafayette County’s Braxton Ernst (33-6) -- a fourth-place finisher at 150 last season -- in the first round, which starts at 8 a.m. today.

Morrow (34-15) was a district runner-up at 126. He opens against Brookfield’s Ryder Techau (32-9) in the first round.

Anguiano (22-11) placed fourth in the district tournament at 285. He will take on St Pius X: Kansas City’s Kyler Kuhn (31-9) in his first match.

Freshmen Talyn Balsley and Connor Farmer will make their state debuts for the Pintos. Both took third place in the district tournament to qualify for state.

Balsley (23-17) opens against Trenton’s Jacob White (30-9) in the 106 bracket, while Farmer (23-17) faces Lawson’s Brayden Sullard (33-13) in the first round at 113.

III

The Versailles Tigers are bringing 10 wrestlers to the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships, including five returning state qualifiers.

Leading Versailles is senior Tristin Gavette (39-3), who is making his fourth appearance at state. Gavette won an individual title at 285 pounds Saturday in the Class 1 District 2 Tournament and faces Lone Jack’s Aaron McClellan (18-7) in the first round, which begins at 8 a.m. today.

Gavette took third place at 215 last season and finished sixth at 220 in 2022. He also reached state as a freshman at 285 but dropped both matches. Gavette heads to state with a 128-38 career record.

Junior Gage Judd (35-9) advanced to state for a third straight season with a second-place finish at 138 in districts. He will take on Valle Catholic’s Andrew Schilly (25-13) in the first round.

Judd has a 4-4 career record at state.

Also returning to state for the Tigers are sophomore Brandon Brewer and juniors Drake Schmidt and William Dobbins.

Dobbins (34-8) won a district title at 190. He opens against Lafayette County’s Ben Mason (29-14) in his first match.

Brewer (31-5), who finished fourth in the state at 113 last season, had a runner-up finish in the same weight class at districts. He matches up against West Platte’s Canton Wilkins (28-17) in the first round.

Schmidt (42-6) was runner-up at 120 in districts. He faces St. Pius X: Festus’ Hayden Hill (22-15) in his opening match.

Making their state debuts for the Tigers today are:

• Sophomore Wyatt Burks (32-12), who was runner-up at 215 in districts. He faces South Harrison’s Crae Coffey (37-8) in the first round.

• Senior Kane Rainey (29-20), who won a district title at 144. He takes on South Harrison’s Cayden Eckerson (26-16) in the first round.

• Senior Matthew Radefeld (37-12), who placed fourth at 132 in districts. He matches up against St. Pius X: Kansas City’s Dillan Chisam (32-8) -- who finished fifth at 120 last season -- in the first round.

• Sophomore Coen Arment (23-13), who took fourth at 126 in districts. He goes against Father Tolton’s Christopher Ankenman (37-2) in the first round. Ankenman won the state title at 113 last season.

• Junior Jayce Mathis (5-14), who finished fourth at 106 in districts. He will face Gallatin’s Eli Sperry (34-1) in the first round.

Versailles is ranked No. 6 in Class 1 by MissouriWrestling.com.

III

South Callaway senior Eli Benningfield will make his fourth appearance at the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships.

Benningfield (37-7) advanced to state this season with a third-place finish at 190 pounds Saturday in the Class 1 District 2 Tournament. In his previous three state trips, Benningfield placed fourth at 190 last year, went 1-2 at 170 in 2022 and finished sixth at 170 as a freshman.

Benningfield begins this year’s state tournament with a first-round matchup against North Callaway’s Casper Safranski (36-9). Benningfield enters the state tournament with a 139-30 career record.

Junior Ayden Munford (32-17) is making his third consecutive state appearance for the Bulldogs after placing fourth at 157 in districts. Munford faces Valle Catholic’s William Kuehn (32-17) in the first round.

Freshman Ethan Munford (31-12) had the best individual finish at districts for South Callaway, finishing runner-up at 165. He will wrestle Marceline’s Jagger Sportsman (35-8) in the first round.

III

Tipton junior Dalton Doss is making his third consecutive trip to the Class 1 boys wrestling state championships.

Doss (23-5) advanced to state with a second-place finish Saturday in the Class 1 District 2 Tournament. Doss is still seeking his first state medal after going 1-2 in each of his first two trips to state.

Doss faces Maysville’s Colton Lemunyon (14-17) in the first-round of the 132-pound bracket.

Freshmen Cooper Doss and Paxton Pyle are making their state debuts for the Cardinals.

Cooper Doss (14-6), a third-place finisher at 138 in districts, will take on St. Mary’s: St. Louis’ Leo Niyonizgiye (43-6) in the first round.

Pyle (34-14) placed fourth at 165 in districts and matches up against Centralia’s Wyatt Adkisson (39-5) in his first-round matchup.

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