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Home » Wrestling News

Wright Leads Bulldogs at MSHSAA State Wrestling

February 22, 2012
St Clair Athletics



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Only one of St. Clair’s four state qualifiers at the 82nd MSHSAA Wrestling Championships reached the medal rounds, but that did not keep the Bulldogs from scoring the most points of all Class 2 area teams.

St. Clair scored 31.5 points, good for 23rd in the final standings.

“The kids had a great tournament,” St. Clair Head Coach Mark Payne said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The Bulldogs were paced by state runner-up senior Mike Wright (220), who went 57-3 on the season.

“Mikey Wright is a two time state runner-up and that accomplishment makes him one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of St. Clair,” Payne said. “It was really good to see him get the finals again to show how truly great of a wrestler he is. Last year was not a fluke for him and he came a breath away from being a state champion this year.”

Wright opened the meet with a 1:35 pin of eventual fifth-place finisher Darrion Current of Berkeley.

In the quarterfinals, Wright posted a 7-1 decision over Clinton’s Logan Nold.

The semifinal match was the most rewarding for Wright. Losing with just over a minute to go, Wright came back to pin Westminster’s Bennett Lewis in 5:45. It was a rematch of one of Wright’s losses earlier in the season.

But, in the title bout, Wright could not overcome Bolivar’s Gareth Behr, who won that school’s first state wrestling title, 2-1.

It was the second year in a row Wright had placed second.

“His and Randi Beltz’s senior state performance are the two proudest moments I’ve had as a coach,” Payne said. “I learned something about Mikey this past weekend that is really unique. Mikey takes his losses very well. He is the only great wrestler that I’ve coached that can move on immediately from a loss. He has a mental toughness that is one of a kind. It’s rare and it’s one of the countless reasons why I look up to him so much and why I try to live my life like him.”

Senior Dakota Bush (195) came the closest of any other Bulldog to reaching the medal stand.

“Dakota came one match from being a state placer and gave it all he had,” Payne said. “He should have no regrets.”

Bush went 2-2 in the meet to finish with a 47-4 record.

Bush opened by beating Jordan Wright of St. Pius (Kansas City) through a pin in 1:21.

In the quarterfinals, Bush lost a 2-0 decision to Reeds Spring’s Tyler Miller.

Bouncing back, Bush posted a 15-0 technical fall win over Westminster’s Joseph Isaacs.

But, in the “bubble” match, Bush lost a 3-1 overtime decision to Harrisonville’s Marcus Roberg.

Miller ended up placing fourth while Roberg was sixth.

Sophomore Dustin Conner (152) won one bout in the meet.

Conner, who finished at 47-12, lost his opener to Cameron’s Nathan Neal, 7-4.

In the wrestlebacks, Conner earned a disqualification win over Westminster’s Forrest Obenhaus, but then lost a 15-4 major decision to Harrisonville’s Joe Hunter.

Hunter went on to place third.

Sophomore Skylar Hutchison (182) lost both of his state matches on Thursday. He dropped a 16-1 technical fall to Bolivar’s Aaron Allen and an 11-1 major decision to Fulton’s Paul Brooks. Hutchison finished the season at 28-10.

Both of Hutchison’s opponents earned medals. Allen finished second while Brooks took fifth.

“I thought Dustin and Skyler did the best they could and that’s all I ask,” Payne said.


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