The Rolla wrestling team hosted their first home dual of the season when Waynesville made the trip down 44 on Friday, Jan. 6. The dual had originally been scheduled for the day before, but had to be pushed back. Rolla and Waynesville went back and forth, but Rolla finished strong with Tristan Barr and Coleman Brainard to seal a 43-31 victory.

The night started at 145, where Waynesville took the first points of the night with a pin by Peter Lucitt. He pinned Rolla's Kevin Casados in the third period. Rolla returned the favor at 152 when Gage Maxwell pinned Micheal Cassidy with just 40 seconds left in the match. Maxwell seemed on the verge of a pin several times throughout the match, but Cassidy kept wiggling away. Cassidy even managed to avoid back points, as Maxwell held a slim lead throughout the match. 

After tying the match, Rolla went on a streak with two more pins and a free six points for an open slot at 170. Bryce O'Connor pinned Floyd Moore and Seth Veatch pinned Colby Carmack. Veatch's win was doubly beneficial, as he was forced to sit out for most of the season so far with an injury. Head coach Marty Hauck was glad to get a match for him. 

"That's one of our big moves that we made tonight, obviously we wanted to get Seth a match, so we bumped him up," said coach Hauck. "To get him that match at 182, he's had some time off, we have to get him on the mat, we've gotta get him wrestling, we can't have him collecting opens." 

After the pin by Veatch at 182, Waynesville ran the table at the heavier weights. Devin Stearns beat Colton Franks 7-1 at 195, Daniel Rodrigues pinned Rolla's Jacob Dobkins at 220 and Andrew Lietold beat Alton Heyer by major decision 18-7. That tightened the match to 24-19 in Rolla's favor. The Bulldogs got some breathing room at 106, as Waynesville gave them another six points with an open slot, but the Tigers came right back with another win at 113. Chance Carmack pinned Kyle Williams in the first period, tightening the match up again to 30-25. 

"I thought my heavier weights went out their and wrestled their matches and got things done when we needed it," said Waynesville head coach Lucas Smith. 

Zach Fennell responded for Rolla at 120 with a gritty 2-1 win over Gaven Sax. Fennell normally wrestles at 126, but wrestled down to 120 to give the Bulldogs another three points to retake the lead. The only point Fennell gave up in the match was an equipment violation for his shoes coming untied. Waynesville got their last win of the night when Sean Sax pinned Datham Mickem. 

Rolla capped off the night with a pair of great matches. First Barr dominated Mario Garza for a pin at 132. Barr, the top ranked wrestler at 132, was flying around the mat, keeping Garza off balanced the entire match before getting his pin in the second period. Brainard finished off the night with a win of his own. Teyler Bruch avoided the pin, but Brainard controlled the match from the beginning and won by major decision 11-1. Those last four points finished off Rolla's 43-31 victory. 

"It was a great win for us as a team and we had a lot of individuals do some great things," said coach Hauck. "We wrestled them at the Zumwalt East Tournament and we had one match that we lost then tonight we come out and we major him with Coleman Brainard. We lost to that kid in overtime at Zumwalt East and then we came out and showed some great things there...we've gotta clean up a lot of things and we've got a lot of stuff to work on before State, but this is definitely a good sign for us." 

While there are a lot of positives to take away, one of the biggest take aways from Rolla wrestling since the Kinloch Classic is the lost of Anthony Sederburg. He was injured in practice last week and will likely miss the rest of the season. Luckily for the Bulldogs, Collin Woods can fill in for him, as he was certified at 106 before the match against Waynesville. 

"Anthony Sederburg broke his collarbone this week in practice," said coach Hauck. "I hate it for the kid, he's a very talented kid. I hate it for him to maybe see his season come to an end. We've got an outside of getting him back in time, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there." 

The Bulldogs are now in the heart of some conference matches, as they'll see Lebanon and Glendale next week. Rolla wanted to set the tone within the conference on Friday night.

"It's good because next week we've got another good conference dual with Lebanon and Glendale that same night on Tuesday," said coach Hauck. "Last year, Waynesville won the conference and in order for us to win the conference, obviously we've gotta beat them." 

Hauck and Barr both stressed the idea of taking things one match at a time. They don't look ahead to matches down the road, they finish a dual and it's on to the next one. 

"No matter what, I take it one match at time, no matter whether it's a national event or one single home dual," said Barr. "We just take it one match at a time and go from there." 

This is an important dual for both teams as they gear up for tough final stretches on their way to State. 

"We try to schedule good teams, such as Rolla, we've got Farmington coming up. Both of those teams are great Class 3 teams," said coach Smith. "We like to get them on our schedule just to not skate through to the end of the season, but just keep building to prepare ourselves for Districts."

Rolla will next have a tri with Parkview and Marshfield on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Waynesville's next action will be a dual with Nixa on Jan. 10.