When you come up just short of a district wrestling title, there is always a match or two that you can look back at making a difference.
For the Jefferson City Jays, there were more than one or two.
"It came down to several matches," Jays coach Phil Cagle said Saturday after Jefferson City took second in the Class 4 District 6 Tournament at Fleming Fieldhouse. "We had several kids not wrestle up to their seeds, several of them.
"If we wrestled to our seed, we thought we could win it and that turned out to be true. But that's why you wrestle the matches. Kudos to Ray-Pec for winning it."
Raymore-Peculiar took team honors with 186 points, three better than Jefferson City. Lee's Summit was third in the seven-team event with 140.5.
"Our biggest problem was Ray-Pec has been wrestling some tough matches in the Kansas City area and we've been wrestling local and dominating a lot of our matches," Cagle said. "We haven't necessarily had a lot of those hard matches that get you ready for the postseason and that kind of bit us."
Jefferson City finished with five individual champions Saturday.
At 120 pounds, Braden Werdehausen went 3-0 to take the title. He posted a 4-3 decision against Nathan Wishne of Lee's Summit to win the title.
"He overachieved," Cagle said.
At 132, Hunter Walling won his first two matches by fall before posting a 10-8 overtime victory against Eli Van Trump of Ray-Pec to win the title. Walling got a late takedown in regulation to send the match to overtime.
"Hunter did a great job of wrestling to his seed," Cagle said.
At 138, Joe Kuster went 3-0 to win the title for the Jays. He won his first two matches by first-period falls before taking a 13-5 decision against Jacob Quest of Ray-Pec to win the championship. It was Quest's first loss of the season.
"Joe is one of the most intense wrestlers I've coached," Cagle said. "If he makes a mistake, he gets angry at himself and then he takes it out on the other guy. You can't be afraid to make a mistake, you have to go after it and Joe goes after it."
At 170, Will Berendzen won all three of his matches by fall to take the title. Berendzen won his first two matches in the first period before winning in the second period against Jimmy McGovern of Lee's Summit for the title.
"Will probably wrestled the best match I've ever seen him wrestle," Cagle said. "He was focused, he was determined and did a good job."
At 195, Jakeil Hayes also won his three matches by fall Saturday, with all three coming in the first period. He took the title with a win against Bahshi Traylor of Capital City.
"He's so quick, he is tough," Cagle said.
Taking second for Jefferson City were Da'Juan Wallace at 106 and Michael Friederich at 182.
Wallace injured a hand in warmups and after a first-round bye, won 16-6 in the semifinals before taking a medical default in the title match.
"He could have won that match and won us the district title," Cagle said. "But I was not going to wrestle him because he deserves a chance to go to the state tournament and hopefully he will be healthy and do well at the sectional."
Finishing third for Jefferson City were Brant Aulbur at 220 and Isaac Enloe at 285. Clayton Hurley was fourth at 160.
Those 10 advance to the sectional round Saturday, Feb. 27, at Ozark.
"I was on them all week about how some of them weren't doing the things they needed to do to be successful," Cagle said. "When you're winning, everybody wants to be a part of it and everybody has an idea. But you have to continue to do what got you there and some of our kids did that today and some of them didn't.
"We had some kids go out there wrestling not to lose instead of trying to dominate," he added. "Motivation doesn't always work, you have to have the drive to be successful. If you're driven, nothing can get in your way.
"It's great to be confident, but arrogance will get you beat. You have to make it happen instead of expecting it to happen and I hope some of the kids learned that lesson today."
Cagle is glad to have the two weeks to prepare for the next step in the postseason.
"I'll be a little bit more forceful in their learning," he said.