The Capital City wrestling team began the 2019-20 season with a pair of dual wins.
Now the Cavaliers will wrestle in the first tournament in program history today in the Warrenton JV Tournament.
"That's why we're going to the tournament this weekend, to try and get some mat time for them," Capital City coach Mitch Werdehausen said.
Capital City started its season last Friday with dual wins of 54-27 against Father Tolton and 63-18 against Missouri Military Academy.
"We did a good job," Werdehausen said. "We wrestled hard, we wrestled tough. The kids were anxious and we got their first varsity matches out of the way."
One of the reasons the Cavaliers fared so well is because they filled all 14 weight classes in the duals.
"The coaching staff and I, we pushed hard on getting kids out," Werdehausen said. "We had a little help from the other programs, encouraging them to do multiple sports. It just worked out that we could fill out a lineup.
"If you want to win duals, you have to fill out a lineup."
Eight Capital City wrestlers went 2-0 in the duals, but seven had at least one win by forfeit due to an open spot in the opposing team's lineup.
Freshman Adam Alonzo won his two head-to-head matches by fall and by decision in the heavyweight class.
"Adam's been working hard," Werdehausen said. "He played football in the fall and came out for wrestling."
Werdehausen said Alonzo wrestled up a weight class and is expected to wrestle at 220 pounds today at Warrenton. Greg Porting, a sophomore, will take over at heavyweight.
Hurley Jacobs Jr., a freshman for the Cavaliers, won the 14-and-under state title at 175 pounds last season in the Missouri USA state championships, pinning all four of his opponents. He also won by pin in his debut for the Cavaliers at 195.
"He pinned a state qualifier from Father Tolton," Werdehausen said, "and he wrestled up a weight class just to fill out our lineup. He's going to be wrestling 182.
"He'll be a strong force to be reckoned with throughout the year."
Werdehausen said a total of eight wrestlers went to a team camp in Iowa this summer for some offseason work.
Among the Iowa attendees were sophomore Sterling Wheatley and freshman Eli Schuemann. Wheatley wrestled last week at 120 but is working his way down to 106, while Schuemann was at 126.
"They went up there and wrestled hard," Werdehausen said.
The Cavaliers have some experience in their middle weight classes. Keaton Schrage (138) and Jabari Hubbard (160) are sophomores who wrestled on the Jays' JV team last season. Freshman Joey Huerta (145) wrestled on the middle school team.
"They all have potential to do good things," Werdehausen said. "They just have to put in the work and get on the mat."
Filling out the rest of the weight classes in last week's duals were sophomores Ian Nelson (220), Bahshi Traylor (182) and Lorenzo Gillon (170), and freshmen Dillon Mulcahey (152), Eli Jenkins (132), AJ Kempker (113) and Izzy Eitel (106).
Eitel is one of five girls on the Lady Cavaliers' wrestling team, along with freshmen Arya Ahmed, Hannah Giesing, Raeley Gillispie and Kirstin Kilby.
"The more girls that come out, the more the sport will grow," Werdehausen said. "I know a lot of other schools are getting 10 to 20 girls and they're filling out full lineups."
Capital City will be in Class 3 District 4 this season, with almost all the district teams based out of the Kansas City area.
"There are two teams that placed second and third last year (in the state) in that district," Werdehausen said. "It's going to be a tough battle. Hopefully we can compete at the highest level we can at the right time."
The Cavaliers will host Battle on Feb. 4 and Hickman on Feb. 6 for their only home duals of the season.
"It doesn't matter who we wrestle, we're going to try and put our kids in the best opportunity to be successful," Werdehausen said.